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South West Peregrine

Cornwall & Devon Peregrine Falcon Study Group since 2007

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A Barn Owl update

An update on the Barn Owl and a few more pics from Steve Johnson

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After a couple of weeks of rough weather, rain & wind it did make me wonder how the Owl would be fairing; not much of an opportunity to hunt lately. It does make you wonder how they exist, their life (as with many other animals) is continually on a knife edge, but survive they must and indeed they do.

With the first break in the weather I went out at my usual time, parked up and prepared the camera, I looked around saw nothing, I then went to a mid point spot and looked to the left side of the scrub……and there it was hunting across the field , I took position and waited, it wasn’t long before it began to fly towards me, stopping short it settled on a fence post it was looking at me but didn’t seem to be bothered, if at all interested.

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I watched it for a good hour, I also thought I saw another Barn Owl but it was only a glimpse so not 100% but fingers crossed for a pairing. The light was dropping so I thought it was time to go, just as I thought that the Owl started to fly straight at me in fact it went right over my head as I was taking photos of it, it then went across the path to another field I followed it but when I looked over the hedge it was gone. It was a great hour spent watching such a beautiful bird.

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All Images Steve Johnson

First of the Season

The first of the Season for the group have appeared at the same eyrie yet again (they like to get it done and dusted early it would seem)

Having watched them incubate over the past couple of weeks we had estimated the date of the first Eyass to be around the 24th of April, and as it turns out on a Visit on Wednesday 22nd the Falcon was still sitting tight, when she left for a short spell to stretch her wings, you could tell she had just finished a long stint; she looked stiff and a little fed up as she circled the cove. Within two minutes she was back though, a mum’s work is never done ‘or so I was told!’

The next visit on the 25th (as this is of course all voluntary, if only it was paid employment) proved a joyous occasion. On arrival, and glassing over the eyrie she almost had a smile. You could just tell it had happened, within minutes she was forced to reveal a new bundle of fluff, or at least a wing or thigh (who can tell from 200+Metres through a scope with cam attached)

Next a head, also an egg, still yet to hatch. How many? the mind starts to wonder. Two hopefully, that would be nice ( as it was raining hard by now). Thirty minutes Peregriinning (this I believe is now a real word, I have used it on many occasions and like minded people don’t bat an eye) passes quickly no matter the weather. The equipment is getting looked after more as I remove my hat to ensure water does not reach the camera as leaning over is no longer enough. (yeah right)

She’s calling; her mate has arrived with food and has gone to pluck the quarry. She is agitated, calling across the cove, restless but still dutiful in covering the young eyasses. He is taking to long and we all need food I guess is her thought, as she awkwardly lifts herself over the white fluff.  then she departs the eyrie (on a mission) a big smile (this time from me) yep two, their bodies huddled together to maintain warmth. Nope wait, is it?, yes it is, there is a third and still one unhatched.

Three confirmed, and Egg (Thats the BTO NRS record card sorted). She is a brute when ripping the meat from the carcass, and then so delicate in the way in which each hungry youngster is fed; only a little at a time. You have to say Nature is just Brilliant.

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