There is a trade-off when it comes to standing out. The most spectacular are often more exposed to predators. During migration many birds form groups to avoid predation. Then it is harder for a raptor to pick out a single bird. But sometimes joining a flock isn't the best solution. At least, that was what it looked like yesterday evening.
I went on an afternoon trip to Herdla bird sanctuary to look for waders, and they were plentiful. In between a group of 70 Ruffs, a juvenile Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit fed on the fields. A young Peregrine Falcon was in the air, and they all took off. The predator accelerated and caught up with the rather stressed flock. It was only a few inches away from getting a hit. The Falcon continued to chase them, and a few unortodox moves later, a meal was secured! At the time I thought it was a Ruff in the claws of the Peregrine.
I managed to shoot some long distance shots of the hunt, and back home I was looking through the pics for the first time. The prey on the first (non successful) attack was in fact the Black-tailed Godwit. As was the second! I suppose the outstandingness of the Godwit among the flying Ruffs (flashy wingbands and another flight pattern) made the Falcon's choice easy. Unfortunately for the local rarity.
November 2018: Fieldwork in three IBA's in Nepal