Buzzed by a Peregrine: Twice!
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Buzzed by a Peregrine: Twice!

 
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Jack Aubrey
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 513
Location: Camptoun, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:56 pm    Post subject: Buzzed by a Peregrine: Twice! Reply with quote

I know it sounds like a tall tale but this note recording a maintenance visit to The Vertical Ladder (GCN55C) is a straight record of what happened earlier this evening. Lucky or what?

It was a beautiful evening and the thought of a ramble up the Law was too tempting to resist. I could do a bit of cache maintenance in the process. Came up from the north side and wandered out to the eastern end of the ridge to take some phots. There were clouds of butterflies all the way up, I started a hare on the ridge and there were two buzzards circling high above and a kestrel hovering close by but slightly below me.

And then something hurtled past on the left. I heard a whizz, and felt the wash in the air of something moving fast. At first I thought someone was throwing rocks towards me, then caught the beat of wings and saw a peregrine rocketing on down and out to the north. Lost sight of it against the trees below.


What an experience! I thought and headed back up the ridge and on to the cache site. I removed the chewed plastic bag and one or two unsavoury items and was reading the logbook when, even closer, the peregrine rocketed past, west in pursuit of a pigeon. It stooped below the fat beast and struck upwrads; the pigeon somehow tumbled off to port and escaped. the pregrine did a stall turn, sickled its wings and shot back past me about 10 to 15 feet away and at head height. As i went back up to the trig point to return to the Surprise, I could see her climbing back to her hunting station.

Buzzed twice by a peregrine in 15 minutes! Amazing!

Accidental Twitcher Jack

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wuthered
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Co Down

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that experience. It is a big ambition of mine to see a Peregrine make its stoop. The birds are very scarce around here with a local story of a hit man being hired by pigeon fanciers. He is said to have accounted for 30 birds in the last year. A close watch is being kept on the one remaining nest site in the Mourne mountains.
Story Here
Mike
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HighlandNick
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 635
Location: Highlands, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just returned from France - it was probably much hotter than it was in the UK!
Whilst we were there, we visited a small village and went to have a look at a local museum. As we were leaving, the curator came out and showed us a "falcon" nest. This was just (and I mean just) above the entrance door. Now I am no bird spotter, and I couldn't identify the actual type of bird, but this is the closest I have been to a wild bird of prey nest - literally 15 feet away. The two chicks were peeking out - they weren't fledged yet and didn't seem at all worried with our presence.
Now if this was the UK, the whole village would have been put out-of-bounds..........
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Wildlifewriter
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Posts: 948
Location: Norn Iron

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a good museum!

The French call kestrels "Falcons" - which of course they are - and use the the same generic word for other small raptors, such as hobbys. The French for a preregrine is pelerin.

As a basic principle, the French divide all birds into two groups: those that can be eaten and those that can't. The former are considered more interesting.


-Wlw.
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