This southern African species occurs, as its name implies, in rocky areas in scrub, open woodland, and other habitats. On my last day, we drove to the Klipgat Cave, a World Heritage Site, where visitors can see a place where bushmen lived 80,000 years ago. Among the birds at the site was this gorgeous falcon. We saw it perched in the distance, but by the time we got to the spot, it was gone. Then we walked a bit farther and it flew back, within range for some photos. It was carrying prey — a nestling from a starling nest — and as we watched, it mostly disappeared into a crevice, probably to feed a mate or its own chick.
I hope you enjoyed these photos. After my stay at Grootbos, I flew to eastern South Africa, where I birded the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. Click here to see photos of 14 birds that I spotted at Sabi Sabi.Originally Published