At the 2015 Annual Meeting of SBRC held at the UK Natural History Museum in Tring, Robert Prŷs-Jones asked committee members to examine a falcon specimen of uncertain identity, believed to be either Red-footed Falcon or Amur Falcon. The specimen had been collected in Kashmir in 1880. One expert had identified it as Amur Falcon. However, SBRC members concluded it was Red-footed Falcon as it lacked the overall grey-black-and-white appearance of amurensis and had very gingery fringes to the coverts unlike amurensis. Also, the streaking on the flanks of amurensis is very heavy turning to large blackish blobs on the lower flanks whereas this specimen shows finer, brown streaking with no transition to heavier streaking/blotching on lower flanks.
DNA has now confirmed the SBRC identification to be correct. This is the first record of Red-footed Falcon for the Indian Subcontinent. It is also believed to be the first vagrant species added to the Indian Subcontinent list using molecular analysis.
A full version of the story can be viewed here:
Prŷs-Jones et al. Confirmation of the first record of Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
for the Indian Subcontinent.
News has just emerged that a Sooty Tern ringed as a chick by Gerard Rocamora at Desnoeufs on 15 July 2000 was recovered by George Marie on 16 June 2016 as a breeding adult. This is the first known record of a bird born on Desnoeufs returning to the island to breed, though there are similar records from other Seychelles islands, notably Bird island.
More details of Sooty Tern ringing recoveries can be found on this page.