January 22nd   Leave a comment

I have been lucky enough to bump into a couple of peregrines over the last few days. On Monday I was at Roome Bay and an adult female (big and blue) came over my head straight towards the beach. I watched in anticipation as it hurtled towards the waders there. At the last second with only the barest twitch of its wings it shot over the cliff over to the fields by the airfield and out of sight. I had been mistaken and it was using the cliffs as cover to approach something in the fields beyond. Peregrines might be very capable of chasing down prey but they typically attack by surprise like this. They even have a particular cryptic way of flying where they barely beat their wings, holding them mostly closed with the barest rapid flick just to keep them flying at their attack speed. It is an effective disguise – viewed from head on the rapidly approaching peregrine barely looks like a blob rather than a bird. It was a typical attack with a typical outcome. The peregrine reappeared a minute later and soared over Roome Bay, nothing visible in its claws so nothing had been caught. I watched it drift off over Pinkerton probably already lining up its next attack.

Today I watched another peregrine, also an adult female, flying over the road between Dunino and Anstruther. It may have even been the same individual. Peregrine by name and peregrinations by nature. A peregrine can hunt from Dunbar to Tentsmuir within the same hour or so. This time the peregrine was just cruising, in a slow steady flight that you imagine it can sustain for ever, until it suddenly shifts several gears and turns into the blur I saw at Roome Bay.

An adult female peregrine on the move - a photo I have used before but well worth repeating

An adult female peregrine on the move – a photo I have used before but well worth repeating

Posted January 22, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

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