Decided to get out early to check up on some sites that have been rumored to hold Peregrines and also visit some known sites in East London.
I arrived at my 1st port of call around 4.45am and found a Tiercel on territory, I 1st saw this bird about 2 months ago, initial thoughts were it must be a visiting Tiercel favouring the location due to the density of the local feral pigeon population. Since then I have seen him a number of times and have confirmed that he is a single bird, as yet with no mate, holding to this particular structure.
|Tiercel (click on photos too enlarge)|
Next stop was a Church that might have Peregrines on it, this was the 1st time I have visited this site, a bit low, but looked ideal for Peregrines. Although there was no guano staining or prey remains aloft or lower down I made a note to keep an eye on it In the future, it was also bang in the middle of pairs east and west.
There are some sites, especially past breeding sites that I always visit whenever I pass them, this was the case today when I found the hybrid.
As I arrived at the location I could see the bird straight away and realized it was not a Peregrine, its colour also gave it away, a very striking looking bird with greyish plumage. On looking through the scope, my 1st thought was Merlin/Peregrine hybrid, the head especially reminded me of Merlin, its size was equal to a Tiercel Peregrine, possibly a tad larger.
The white undertones to the chest pointed towards Peregrine but the small feet and talons seemed more suited to Merlin, the moustachial sideburns also looked good for Lanner/ Merlin. Additionally the grey plumage may point towards Lanner Falcon.
The barring to back and mantle area showed Peregrine heritage, have to say, although a hybrid it was a cracking looking bird, just a pity I did not get to see it fly, would have been good to get the wing shape and colour.
Would welcome any thoughts on its Id, and also if anyone has seen it around before.
It was also interesting that the bird was at an ex – peregrine site, coincidence or could have possibly followed a peregrine in.