Monday, November 26, 2007


Apologies for the pathetic word play that formed the title of this post. In time, (after reaing the post) you may appreciate its aptness, and simplistic majesty... maybe.

I'm enjoying a last day off for a while, and as my pesky Peregrine Falcon hasn't played ball for some time now (by roosting on the Thames Tower, opposite the station), I thought I'd go and see if I could find a Pererine at Theale gravel pits again, scaring the bejayzus out of the wintering wildfowl.

Well, my luck was in, and I managed to see and photograph a pair - both male (tiercel) and his larger mate, the female (falcon).
Now, you'll have to bear with me here again. Do understand that these birds are a vast distance away - maybe more than 500m. I had my new toy on 12X optical zoom, and have also cropped and heavily edited (too heavily probably) the image to show the birds better.
Very nice to see a pair together though - I feel really chuffed - especially as they didn't hang around for more than about 5 minutes, and both flew off at speed, the male leading, in a north easterly direction - thats back to Reading station then!

What did you do on your day off?
Aw. Nothing really. Just chased a couple of Peregrines on a train...

For your information, the tiercel (male) is the nearer one to us, facing away from us (almost), whereas themuch larger falcon (female) is sitting further away, facing us, but is mostly obscured by the struts of the pylon. Pity that, as through my telescope, she was exhibiting a lovely yellow pair of legs, and a very stripey breast, and kept ducking down, even that distance away, to peer at me from underneath the metal struts...

So what about the Roe Deer then?
I have had at least a couple of comments recently regarding a distinct lack of mammals on "Blue-Grey".

Well, I agree.
On the train down to Theale, I saw two wonderful Roe Deer, grazing very close to the railway embankment. As I went for my new camera (I'm sure I'd get a decent shot of these large deer), I was asked for my ticket by a brusque conductor.
By the time all that nonsense had finished, the deer were long behind us.
NB. On the way back I saw a fox slinking through the same field, but this time was prevented from taking a photo by a crowd of people all standing in the train (I was one of the crowd).
I'll remember not to take that train again.

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