One of the joys of studying wild Peregrines (and there are many), is the sense of anticipation as to what one might witness during that next field trip. Such was the case, when we first discovered, and filmed, one of our study pairs raising three Herring Gull chicks.
We had been fortunate, to watch a video of the same behaviour, filmed by talented amateur cameraman P. Chaney having been discovered by R.Baker. This footage was captured on the Dorset coast, but not for one second, did we ever expect to see the same for ourselves.
It was on the morning of May 30th, that we had our first encounter. I was in the company of Steve Watson, a good friend of the group, who had journeyed down from Gloucestershire for a couple of days birding. We arrived at the site, for a routine check on the breeding status of the resident pair. After briefly scanning the home cliff, I located the falcon.She was clearly brooding chicks, as I watched through the scope, my jaw dropped, as the head of the first baby Gull appeared. I turned to Steve, and relayed what i’d seen, he bundled me away from the eyepiece,and after a few seconds he too got his first glimpse. I’ve never heard Steve swear before, but he turned to me and simply uttered a couple of words that i couldn’t possibly repeat here. We watched for a couple of hours, after which we were forced to leave, to fulfil another appointment. We returned in the evening, with both Greg and his camera to capture the first video.
Our next visit to the site, was equally special. The young Gulls are thriving and as you will see in the following footage (which was filmed on the 12th of June), we managed to capture the youngsters being fed by a very confused Peregrine. We hope you are as astonished with what we were fortunate to witness.
Cheers for now