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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Saturday Jan 29th

First visit of the year, I would like to be able to say that the weather had improved, but again freezing cold at dawn, 1 above with a brisk north easterly wind and the usual dull grey skies. All this combined to give me naff photo’s, so apologies, camera has been stuck permanently on ISO1600 F5.6 no matter what time of day.

Dawn at Parliament

Statues in Victoria Gardens Park, not sure what they signify?

Located both birds at 7.25am roosting on the western side of Victoria Tower, they will always roost away from the wind, good to find them this early, of late they have been giving me the slip in there roosting positions. Neither Tiercel or Falcon looked as if they had fed so was hopeful of some hunting.

Falcon, with the light, just an outline

As it was a Saturday there was a lot more people about, you do tend to get some strange looks when you are tucked up under some trees in Victoria Gardens Park, looking through a Telescope and Tripod. Most ignore you but on occasion I have had a couple of people come up and ask what I was doing, there thoughts have ranged from ‘ Peeping Tom ‘ to ‘ I thought that was some kind of ‘ Rocket Launcher ‘.Many have showed an interest in what you are looking at, when they see the Peregrines through the telescope, they are really pleased , many have never seen a Peregrine before. It is good to spread the Gospel, its just a pity that all the sites cant be publicized like Parliament, everyone should be able to enjoy these stunning birds.

Whilst the Falcon started to preen the Tiercel slipped away at 7.53am flying strongly north, possibly looking to hunt, I was hopeful that he would come back in with prey or show some early courtship behavior when he returned. The Falcon hunted shortly after 8.10am but returned almost immediately without prey, in the meantime the Tiercel had returned and flew up and down in front of the Falcon in a semi display flight, good to see, thank god Spring is on its way, my feet were bloody freezing.

Tiercel with some primary wear
With no reaction from the Falcon inviting him in for copulation, they do start quite early, he flew to a stashed kill on the east side, this appeared to be a Feral Pigeon. After feeding for 25 minutes he then flew back round to the Falcon, as he did she headed out and he followed in tow.

Falcon looking to the Heavens

Tiercel on stashed prey

I had a strong suspicion where they were going, it was in the right direction, possibly to last years breeding structure, will know more in February, hopefully the weather will be better.