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Monday, 3 December 2012


Sunday December 2nd

Glorious weather right from dawn, very cold with -1 showing but made easier given the sunshine that I knew was coming; I was hoping to get some half decent photos of the pair.
Unfortunately, similar to September 22nd and November 9th I did not even see a Peregrine other than a flyby by the Tiercel at 7.10am, he came from the west and flew straight over the river and that was that.

Knowing that they are very site faithful during the winter months you do look for reasons why they are not roosting on Victoria Tower as usual, is it the colder weather, have they a warmer roost building/structure? Peregrines are pretty tough, I have seen them out in heavy snow on structures that offer cover from the elements, in many cases they do not move even from heavy rainfull.They just fluff themselves up and sit it out.

Other than this you look for other reasons, have we had a change in the Falcon, this would explain the Tiercel not being present also and a new Falcon differing in her likes of different roost spots and favoured roost/rest ledges being ignored.
It really is conjecture until I can see both birds and compare photos; the simple reason is that they may at the moment prefer another building within their territory.

Another possibility being a very clear night with winter Thrushes moving over (I had a flock of 40 Redwing through), is that they have hunted at night and fed and are laying up on another structure. Who is to say that they do not find a structure near say, St .James Park at night knowing that night time migrants will be drawn into the ‘rural area’ and all the trees and bushes. When they have been absent before in late autumn/winter, does it coincide with clear skies and nocturnal movement?

So little is known of nocturnal hunting and peregrines, again it is all conjecture.

From Parliament I went on to visit a number of other sites, glad to say most were present, some photos below.

Falcon with a nice full crop

I also got a chance recently to visit one of my favourite winter haunts for raptors, the Isle of Sheppy, more specifically the raptor viewpoint down Harty Lane, photos below.

Marsh Harrier

A very pale Common Buzzard

I have been going there for 25 years, it very rarely disappoints and is a great place for some camera work.

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