Monday, 25 July 2011

On a sunny Sunday afternoon

The weather lately had not been great and had prevented me from doing longish sessions watching the family, so I settled on Sunday afternoon in the hope of some action.
I initially only found juveniles #2 and #3 perched and not doing much apart from some preening.  Then I noticed a peregrine coming round the building with prey in its talons and could see when I got my binoculars on it that it was one of the adults. It turned out to be the adult female, Charlie, with a Moorhen. Moorhens are not quite as much a favourite as the Parakeets are (apart from pigeons obviously) but do figure quite a bit on the menu of this pair.

Mum arrives with a Moorhen

Not really any doubt, is there?

I heard screaming and noticed #3 had left her perch:

#3 arrives screaming

and proceeded to steal Mum's prey from her:

Mum, I want this!

Mum, I will have this!


(a poor attempt at digiscoping, but still, pretty clear as to the prey ID).

She then started to eat it:
Err... what do I do with this now?

but, after about 5 minutes, managed to drop it... She immediately dived after it, caught it around the 5th floor and took it to the roof of a smaller building nearby. Then the Crows and Magpies noticed her and started congregating in a tree which was just overlooking that building and for a few minutes I feared the worst. But, no, after a few minutes, the Crows and Magpies got bored and left one by one, preferring chasing each other instead. Phew... I couldn't see her eat the prey while on that roof, but from the plume of feathers and down coming over I have no doubt she was busy on it.
A little while later, #1 completed the trio, and started food-begging, relentlessly, totally ignored by Dad above.

Lastly, I have been meaning to mention this on the last few posts but realised every time afterwards that I had missed it.  On the day after we had rescued the second juvenile, I was at the Wetland Centre to record their second podcast. As I had not expected fledging to happen until after the podcast, I had actually wondered if it was really worth it... More fool me!  On the podcast, as well as the peregrines drama, you can also hear about the wildlife at the Centre, in particular the sand martins, as well as a nature film maker on how he started filming wildlife
You can listen to it on the Wetland Centre's website or iTunes. Enjoy!

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