Keep your eyes peeled if you are heading toward Kinsale this weekend as an unusual falcon is believed to be in the area.
10-year-old Assa has been missing from home for seven weeks and has made his way to the Cork coast all the way from County Clare.
His falconer, Jurgen Hick of Munster Falconry Services, said the bird, who is trained for pest control, just decided to go further than usual one day.
“I was flying him here at home and I went off to do a school run,” he said.
“When I came back he had stretched his wings. Now there is nothing unusual about that, he is an experienced falcon. Radio telemetry allows me to track him but he just went too far.”
He heard nothing for almost five weeks but then got wind that Assa had been seen near Newcastle West. Mr Hick triangulated various sightings and went to the catchment area for several days, with no success. He was delighted when to hear of a fresh sighting in Kinsale last week.
Mr Hick is not concerned for Assa’s wellbeing but is keen to get him back although he may be feeling right at home in Cork.
“I used to work on the landfill site on the Kinsale Road Roundabout and he would have been used for that work, to move on crows,” Mr Hick explained.
“He is able to fend for himself, there is no fear of him starving.
“More than anything I want him back. He is homebred and I have his sister here.”
The initial sighting has now been confirmed by a retired falconer who lives in the area and was able to spot Assa’s bell. Mr Hick is grateful to the many locals who have reported sightings and will travel to Kinsale this weekend in the hope of being reunited with his bird.
If anyone sees Assa, they can contact Jurgen at facebook.com/Munster Falconry Services.