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Friday, 20 December 2013

Juvenile/1st winter or not?

Having now had a chance to have a good look at Jacob’s photos below I am not so sure it is a juvenile/1st winter peregrine. I have posted another photo of a juvenile peregrine taken on October 17th; Jacob’s photo was taken on December 6th so around 7 weeks between the 2.
Thanks go to Jacob for allowing the use of the photo.

Jacob's bird - just fed by the looks of it as well.

Juvenile from July showing breast streaking and darker tones

October 17th plenty of breast streaking

Adult Falcon

As you can see the green ringed bird is showing no breast streaking, it seems more reminiscent of an adult bird although Tiercel's tend to have less streaking on the breast and crop area, saying that the streaking should be visible in December. It could be the light but the green ringed bird is showing brown tones which fits with a juvenile although I would expect it to be slightly darker. A juvenile will not go into its moult until next summer so it seems a bit early for this bird which is showing pale brown tones and underside streaking to the flanks and underside of the wing.

There is obviously variation in them but I wonder if this may be a brownish adult, it’s obviously green ringed so it could just be a brownish adult or a pale brownish juvenile with little streaking to the breast.

Hopefully we will be able to find out in the future.


I was recently undertaking a survey in Essex, towards the end of the survey I spotted a Tiercel Peregrine coming in fast from the south, initially pylon height but power flying and losing height all the time, in short he was on something.
As he came across I got on him with the camera, trying to stay with him was a challenge for my eye and the auto focus(it was on spot) but as is my way, I kept firing not knowing whether the shots would be any good, most were crap. It was at quite a distance now and I vaguely remember him slowing slightly as he approached the ground still at speed, I remember thinking he’s close and then I lost him, or so I thought.

As is my habit I didn’t look at the camera until I got home, quite a surprise to see him on a female Sparrowhawk, very likely the bird seen earlier on another part of the Transect.

Did he or didn't he?

You see them interact occasionally with both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk and more often than not it is just mobbing by the smaller Hawk and Kestrel, most takes place up in the sky, in most cases it is just interaction but for once in this case I think he targeted her as potential prey going on body language.

Did he get her, in truth I don’t know, he did not ‘cast up ‘ as I looked afterwards through bins but saying that he could have continued on at ground level unseen after missing her if this was the case.

I should have looked at the camera at the time, it was off my transect but am now regretting not walking over there for a look.

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