Monday, 14 February 2011

Awesome Peregrines

I had a day surveying down in Derbyshire today. On arrival at the site I was a bit surprised by just how cold it actually was down there and I regretted forgetting my warm jumper.

Three was not hundreds of species seen today however it was still enjoyable (out of the wind) with several Buzzard up displaying. Several sightings of Raven were had, probably of the same bird ranging all over the place but likely to be breeding not too far away. Other raptors seen included Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, however the star of the show was Peregrine Falcon, well 3 Peregrine Falcons to be precise, after 3hrs and 45 minutes of not a lot the following happened....

First up was an adult male, this bird appeared right in front of me fairly close as it briefly circled before powering off to the south. It looked like it had recently killed due to it's huge crop. Not too long after that a large juvenile female Peregrine came drifting in from my north, it dropped down in height gradually for a couple of minutes and before long it was powering along as if it had locked onto something, a few twists and turns and suddenly the bird was powering straight towards me about 15 feet off the ground, it was still several hundred metres away but in a matter of seconds it was right on me with gazed fixed straight towards me.....

I wanted to look up to see what it was looking at but I couldn't pull my eyes off this bird that by now was filling my scope as it came closer and closer. I had to zoom out so that I could keep up with it but then it was a case for just bins as this giant screamed right over me, and shot straight over the brow of the hill that was behind me - what a sight! As i turned back round to write the sighting up out of the corner of my eye there was another large raptor, an adult female Peregrine, wings closed stooping straight after the juvenile female Peregrine! Breathtaking.
(Image Copyright Unknown).

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