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Sunday, 5 August 2012


August 4th

So much for my last post when I said I will visit on the weekend of the 28th/29th, I couldn’t get anywhere near Parliament due to the Olympic Cycling but in the end I managed a visit on Saturday 4th.
Like everyone else I have been caught up with the Olympics, it has been a rollercoaster ride of patriotism and emotion; I thought the opening ceremony was quite incredible. As I am writing this I have just seen Jennifer Ellis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all take gold this evening, this along with 2 rowing events and the girls pursuit cycling produced another 3 gold’s in the afternoon, great stuff. I was glued to the tele and cheering on with the best of them, 6 gold medals in a day and still we lost the penalty shootout in the football, something’s never change.
I arrived around 5.15am at Parliament, traffic as you would expect was light at this time but I had decided to limit the visit as the Triathlon was coming pretty close this morning. I could already see Stewards starting to appear even at that time, the Olympics were in town.
Checking Victoria Tower produced a juvenile male and the adult Falcon, the light was getting better and she went straight up to Big Ben and began to hunt. Big Bens ‘golden crown’ gives them a 360 degree all round view and also the height to gain speed to catch prey.

Falcon can just about be seen sitting on the left of the 'crown'

Feral pigeon taken

I decided to watch from Westminster Bridge as the sun was partially behind me and I could possibly get some half decent shots.
At 5.50am she took a feral pigeon, I managed to get one shot of it but none too clever, the juvenile as expected intercepted her and took the prey from her and was last seen heading into Central London no doubt to get away from his siblings, especially the bigger female.
After this she continued hunting at it was not until 6.40am when she again took prey, again she was intercepted by another male juvenile, he took a small passerine from her and then as before with the 1st juvenile, disappeared. Where he came from I don’t know, I had already checked Victoria Palace, as normal with juveniles, as soon as there is food about they come out of the woodwork.

Falcon with juvenile male - size difference apparent

2nd juvenile just about to take prey from adult

Falcon passing the Eye

After this the adult female laid up and rested on Victoria Palace, she most likely had stashed prey somewhere but was probably waiting until the coast was clear before she fed.
Of the adult Tiercel and the remaining juvenile male and female there was no sign, I expect that all were together either on or near the nest site.

The Crown of Big Ben

Victoria Tower and Middle Tower

A good but brief visit with most of the time spent on Westminster Bridge, I did manage to get a few shots but I am now finding I need more range and light from my Lens, a new one is on the horizon hopefully.

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