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Rare Eurasian Kestrel spotted near Halifax

HALIFAX – Dozens of bird enthusiasts clamored to Eastern Passage, N.S. to catch a bird not normally seen on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Eurasian Kestrel is normally found in Europe, but one bird has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and has been spotted near Hartlen Point.

An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage.
An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage. Courtesy/Kyle Shay
Courtesy/Kyle Shay
An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage.
An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage. Courtesy/Kyle Shay
An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage.
An Eurasian Kestrel soars in the skies above Eastern Passage. Courtesy/Kyle Shay
“It’s very exciting. I think it’s the second [one] that’s ever been sighted in Nova Scotia,” said Joshua Donham, a member of the Nova Scotia Bird Society.
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The last time an Eurasian Kestrel was spotted in Nova Scotia was more than 25 years ago, according to Donham.

He snapped a few pictures of the raptor Monday after spotting it looking for food.

“It came down, grabbed a mouse, went up and went off inland a little bit to feed,” Donham said.

Bird watchers, some clutching binoculars and others setting up long lens cameras, have set up a temporary camp to catch a glimpse of the animal.

Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel.
Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel. Cory McGraw/Global News
Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel.
Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel. Cory McGraw/Global News
Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel.
Bird watchers clamored to Eastern Passage Monday to catch a glimpse of the Eurasian Kestrel. Cory McGraw/Global News

Wayne Hyland snapped the first pictures of the bird last month, not knowing he captured a rare sight.

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“I saw a small raptor and just shot off four or five shots of it. I didn’t really recognize it,” he said.

An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped November 21, 2014.
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped November 21, 2014. Courtesy/Wayne Hyland
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped November 21, 2014.
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped November 21, 2014. Courtesy/Wayne Hyland
Courtesy/Wayne Hyland
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014.
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014. Courtesy/Wayne Hyland
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014.
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014. Courtesy/Wayne Hyland
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014.
An Eurasian Kestrel is snapped December 29, 2014. Courtesy/Wayne Hyland

Hyland is a beginner bird watcher and said he considers himself lucky to have spotted the feathered creature.

“It’s quite exciting to be a part of it. I get to see something that most people don’t get to see in North America,” he said.

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