Search

South West Peregrine

Cornwall & Devon Peregrine Falcon Study Group since 2007

Tag

Peregrine

A limited chance to own your very own Peregrine Art

A good friend and very talented local Artist Dave Scott from South Devon has created another stunning image of a Peregrine Falcon. We can reveal that you too could enjoy this beautiful study of a Peregrine in your own living room. Dave who is completely self taught, has announced that a limited edition of 100 prints all individually signed & numbered by himself will be made available soon.

Dave Scott - Artist, South Devon
Dave Scott – Artist, South Devon

We asked Dave what was the inspiration behind his latest study of Britains largest breeding Falcon ‘Falco peregrinus’, he had the following to say:

The idea behind the piece was an exercise in light & dark really with female at rest in a quarry or rock face just catching the first rays of the day . Sat fluffed with foot up with the rocks & lichens capturing the whole essence of the birds in their preferred habitats & favourite perches . I’m sure you have watched them do the same many times on the cliffs just having a quiet moment to themselves, their predator instincts shut down very momentarily ! Until target sighted both feet down ! plumage slicked back in tight ! head bob & off !

The original picture was painted in Acrylic onto board & the image size was 24”x 19”.

We urge all of our followers to take a further look at Dave’s work by visiting his website dascottartist.com in which lies a wide selection of Art from the Natural World.

We will be posting details on how to place an order as soon as they become available once Dave returns from a holiday abroad.

Advertisements

Eagles and Falcons from the Northwest Pacific Region

I have recently been made aware of some wonderful photography of Bald Eagles and the American Peregrine Falcon on Google+ , Sharon who lives in the Pacific Northwest sure knows how to capture these birds in all their glory. Please take some time to check out these images, I am sure like me you will be envious of her work. I had a little time to see Bald Eagles, Peregrines and other Raptors whilst on a trip to Vancouver Island and this brought back many memories of that trip.

SharonLandisPhotography

Sharon Landis

The Peregrine has landed

The Group were invited to SUMMERCOURT Academy and spent an enjoyable Day with all the classes teaching them facts about the Peregrine and other Birds of Prey that live in the British Isles.

Class Two

Every child measured their own Wingspan, saw videos, learnt about the Peregrine’s amazing eyesight as well as being able to see many other items of interest and colouring their own Peregrine and Barn Owl face masks. All the children enjoyed the experience as did the team. Education and discovery at such an early age is an important part in helping the conservation of our magnificent birds of prey.

Please see the Website for further details if you are interested in holding your own similar event.

Passage Osprey encounters Juvenile Peregrine

Local Devon based photographer and ‘Bird of Prey’ enthusiast Rich Edmondson, has kindly shared his experience from a recent outing, Rich captured all the action as it unfolded in front of him, giving an insight into how inquisitive or brazen our recently fledged Peregrine’s will be especially if a quick meal could be on the cards.

Rich said “I was at Lopwell Dam in Devon hoping to catch sight and photograph a reported Osprey.I had only been there about an hour when it appeared carrying a fish and being mobbed by a Juvenile Peregrine. It all happened very fast and I managed 7 photo’s.

SEP_2097 SEP_2099

SEP_2099     SEP_2072

The Osprey did not seem that bothered by the attack and just twisted a few times to avoid it. Then carried on its way. It was great to witness and I am very pleased to have been able to capture and share my experience”

I am sure you’ll all agree that it is a wonderful set of Images and it really must have been quite an experience to witness this unfold before your very eyes. Passage Ospreys are occasionally seen in the Tamar, and Tavy river systems as well as around Plymouth Sound, they provide good feeding grounds as Birds migrate to and from their Winter feeding grounds in Africa.

You can see more of Rich’s work here, who leaves us with one more incredible image of this Osprey before it embarks on it’s long flight to Africa.

15325776355_a689b763f6_b

Batten Bay Bio Blitz -Plymouth Sound

The group enjoyed the two days at the Mount Batten event last weekend. Over 200 school children attended on the Friday from local primary schools and many had their first Peregrine experience. We ran video exhibits to reach them of eyrie behaviour, they saw how the eye works and even got to see a Peregrine skeleton up close. Then they all measured their own wingspan and got a comparison to the equivalent British bird of prey. The Bio blitz was a huge success with some 788 species counted including Falco peregrinus…

image

The organisers did fabulous job along with all the volunteers and contributors. We hope to be back next year and get involved with more education. Thanks go to Jack and Eliane.

image

One intrepid group member even helped out Rock pooling and managed to go snorkelling in the bay.

Herring Gulls close to fledging, raised by adult Peregrine Falcons

With this latest and likely now to be last update on the Peregrine rearing 3 Herring gulls on the South West coast of England, due to likelihood that the next possible visit they may have fledged. In that scenario it will be near impossible to film due to restrictions on equipment used. However here we see them being closely guarded by their adoptive mother, in all visits she has been very close to the ledge always keeping an eye on them. This visit we saw them feeding or at least picking over the remains of a carcass retrieved and left for them. They are all in good condition and we will endeavour to bring you the outcome of their fate, good or bad.
We hope this has provided interest over these few weeks, although we wish to return to a successful brood of peregrines next year. I’m sure you will all agree nature is marvellous and yet can be strange and still throw us a few surprises now and then.

 

The original witnessing of an event similar in Dorset in June 2001 can be read in the attached document

South Coast Peregrine rearing Herring Gull chicks 2014

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
Roger Finnamore

Ed Drewitt Author, Naturalist and Peregrine Fan

Peregrines have shown a remarkable recovery in the past two decades and our fastest bird in the world, reaching 180 miles per hour in a stoop dive, has attracted huge attention in recent years. They have become more accessible in terms of web cameras and simply being viewed from footpaths and shopping centres. There are now over 60 pairs of Peregrines in towns and cities across the UK, and another 40 pairs can be added if you include more industrial sites and pylons.

If we turn back the clock to the early noughties the urban Peregrine picture was a very different one – back then there was only a few sites where Peregrines were breeding in cities, and only a small number of people watching or studying them in any detail. I first became involved with Peregrines when I realised they were eating interesting and unusual birds for the middle of a city like Bristol. I was a student at the time and I loved finding skulls and feathers. I soon realised Peregrines were hunting at night, taking species such as Little Grebes, Woodcock and Water Rails as they migrated over Exeter and Bristol at night. They were behaving like owls darting out from the shadows to catch their prey lit up in the glow from street lamps. Since 2000 I have liaised closely with Nick Dixon who has been watching Peregrines that use a church in Exeter since 1997. Nick regularly collects the prey remains of the Peregrines here and we have a data set spanning 17 years and comprising 5, 000 separate prey items. Combined with data from Bath and Bristol we published the first paper of its kind in British Birds and attracted the most media attention the journal magazine had ever had! Journalists and the public were amazed that Peregrines lived in cities and that they hunted at night.

Since 2007 my work on Peregrines has also focused on colour-ringing young Peregrines while they are in the nest. The colour rings, in my case blue with black letters, mean that once the chick has left the nest it can still be spotted and identified months or years later. To date over 90 Peregrines have my blue colour rings on their legs, and across the UK another half a dozen colour ring projects apply different colour rings. In the past few years the Peregrines that Nick studies in Exeter have also been colour-ringed thanks to the climbing antics of Jason Fathers who is able to reach the nest box using ropes and climbing kit. You have to be patient with colour ring recoveries as it can take time for birds to be spotted and for you to go out and look for them. However, so far I have heard back from around 10% of the chicks I have ringed – some alive and some dead. Those alive have ventured away from the west and reach the Malvern Hills, Staffordshire, Bognor Regis, Salisbury, and Suffolk. The birds tend to be nomadic in their first few years of life, with females travelling further than males.

To spot a Peregrine you need to look high and check churches, cathedrals, and office blocks. As well as looking up, you want to be looking down. On the ground, distinctive white falcon poo looks chalky, and is often concentrated in certain places below a favourite perch. Look for feathers too – not necessarily from the Peregrines, but from their prey. They eat mainly birds and below their perches you will find feathers, legs, heads, wings, and whole birds killed and eaten by them. It is often assumed Peregrines just eat pigeons, but in fact pigeons only make up a third of their diet. The rest is a huge variety of birds from ducks to terns, gulls to Redwings, and Greenfinches to Chiffchaffs.

With the opportunity to study urban Peregrines in more detail than we have ever been able to with their rural counterparts it became possible to write a book solely on them. My new book ‘Urban Peregrines’ is for both readers who would simply like to find out more about Peregrines and for those who would like to study them in more detail. With beautiful, professional photographs by local Peregrine fans, and insights that have never really be written in any detail before, this book fills a much-needed void.

Ed Drewitt is a naturalist, broadcaster and wildlife detective, enabling others to enjoy birds and other wildlife. His book ‘Urban Peregrines’ has just been published.

http://www.pelagicpublishing.com/urban-peregrines.html

South West Peregrine thank Ed for this months guest contribution to ‘A Pilgrim’s Tail’

Royal Cornwall Show

South West Peregrine will be at this years Royal Cornwall Show on the 5,6 and 7th of June.

This is the largest agricultural show in the South West, drawing in estimated crowds of up to 130,000 over the 3 days. We will be in the Cornish Heritage Pavillions on stand 775, where we will be talking to the public about the groups role in monitoring peregrines for the British Trust of Ornithology.
We are bringing an interactive display, which will engage all ages. Video clips as well as numerous artefacts and artwork will also be on display.
We are also promoting the Hawk and Owl Trust, whom we have made close connections over the past 12 months as well as Birders Against Wildlife Crime a new and very good web resource allowing you to understand these at times complex laws.
Let’s hope the weather is kind to all the exhibitors and public and we look forward to seeing you there, so please come and say hello to the team members.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑