Saturday, June 09, 2007


This was a real turn up for the books...
I was sitting in the garden this morning at around 8am (as in the changed time of this post), when like yesterday (at around 6am) the birds on the rec, over the fence, kicked up into the air, and a series of alarm calls echoed around the rec and surrounding trees.
I jumped up and scanned. A BIG falcon had 'stooped' towards the ground, and began to pull up, eventually flying at top speed, due west.

I saw what I had convinced myself was a large, dark, powerful Kestrel do the same thing yesterday morning over the rec, (only yesterday, it was not 'stooping'). Because I hadn't absolutely positively identified it, I didn't post it on "Blue-Grey".

This was different though. This WAS a Peregrine Falcon. (I assume yesterday's was also, then). I got a good view of it, and NO Kestrel behaves like this bird did anyway, this morning. No Kestrel spooks other birds either - this was almost certainly a young Peregrine, by its size, probably a male, finding new territory. Wonderful!

NB. Peregrines used to be pretty well confined to mountainous areas, or coastlines / moors with suitable cliffs for hunting and breeding. This has changed over the last 2 decades or so. You can link from "Blue-Grey" should you want, to Peregrine nest-sites in Exeter or Chichester. I've seen Peregrines on the Tate Modern, an old aquaintance has seen one bombing down Oxford Street, they are in Manchester, Cardiff and Bristol to name but three more urban or city nest sites. These birds fed originally, (in the wild) on Rock Doves (Cliff pigeons if you will). Your average Urban Pigeon or Dove is nothing more than a distant relative of these Rock Doves - the Peregrines in cities are spoiled for choice!

What a sight though, and because of this, in the next post, I'll just compile a list of our garden birds, or birds I've seen from the garden...

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