A ‘Black Rock’ eyass was something we have waited for many years to see, since 2007 we have monitored this site and each year the pair have failed to successfully breed. Last year the site was vacant, possible displacement or a new pair choosing to use another eyrie in close proximity, of which 3 young eyasses all disappeared in the second week, probably weather related. However it was with great delight that this year breeding attempts renewed, at this favourite location of Richard Treleaven, which featured heavily in his books ‘The Private Life of the Peregrine’ and the latter ‘In Pursuit of the Peregrine’.

Richard would often name the Falcons and ‘Kate 1’ and ‘Kate 2’ were at the heart of his journals along with ‘the Bitch’, dating back to the early 1970’s. His unique writing style allowed the reader to easily identify the characteristics of each bird in turn as they followed these journal entries.

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Roger Finnamore with Black on Yellow XP – Mike Stephens
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Black Rock Eyass 2016 – Mike Stephens

Ringing Peregrines in some of these isolated locations is no easy task, with correct licensing, co-ordination with landowners, ringers and climbers all having to come together in a small window of opportunity, along with often trying to find a favouring weather slot. However Sunday 15th May, one of only three surviving eyasses was bagged and ringed at the top of this intimidating cliff. Watched by a proud landowner who knew only to well of the struggles of these birds in often un-favouring conditions.

Estimated at 17/18 days of age, the chick was quickly returned to the ledge and within only minutes of its return and the climbing team retreating, the Falcon (unnamed) was seen to be back on the ledge feeding the young eyass. Neither of the Adult birds made a sound whilst this tricky but well executed operation took place, but both remained in close proximity throughout proceedings. The next few weeks are likely to remain busy, however the focus will be to ensure that more birds are rung wherever it is safe to do so. We thank all those involved in this weekends efforts.

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XP Safely returned to the ledge – Sam Sharp