A few photos, from the recently fledged juvenile Lanner, ssp erlangeri spotted at Baixo Alentejo last monday 03.07.2012 . The bird was perched on a small ridge of rocks, although the distance was great, so was the heat haze, and better digiscoped photos where impossible to obtain. The jizz was better for Lanner than Saker, with very long wings reaching the tail tip, very dark eye-line on a creamy head, and sandy/greyish tail wich contrast with the uniform brown mantle, scaps, coverts, and wings. The well patterned breast along with whitish tail tip pointed to a recently fledged juvenile. I watched the bird for about 20 minutes perched and flying, the latter gived an impression of a big Kestrel with long finelly barred tail, but very different from Peregrine with slower wing motion. The dark allmost black flight feathers, mainly the primaries, made an obvious contrast with the plain brown upperparts, wich is not seen on peregrines . The difficulty to differentiate juvenile North African Lanner from Juvenile Saker was still my main concern, since on that time the bird was perched, I couldnt see properly the fine streaked trousers.
On the day after 04.07.2012, 5 km on the NE direction from the previous sighthing location, I must run out of luck for the next months as the juvenile Lanner glided in front my eyes, and landed in front of me at no more than 30 meter distance. In the heat of the moment, I still manage to take some photos, where the streaked trousers are evident, the caractheristic head pattern of juvenile Lanner, with a dark triangle on the nape pointing down, the long and narrow moustache, the dark "tiara" between the forehead and the crown, and the evident eye stripe. Then the bird went away on a very fast and powered flight, showing the plain (unpatterned) innermost (2) tailfeathers, with a slight dark band just before the obvious juvenile whitish tail tips.
It was of most help, Dick Forsman Raptors "Bible", wich sometimes I carry with me.... more than the photos, the text on big brown Falcons ID is crucial.