Pedigree Lundy Peregrine

Posted on February 20, 2019

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One of the many joys of a trip to Lundy is a Peregrine Falcon sighting. There are up to half a dozen pairs resident on the island and it is not unusual to get a fleeting glance of a Peregrine as it patrols the cliffs around the island. They are quick and shy; and this elusiveness makes any sighting of the ‘fastest animal on the plant’, a sheer delight.

Winter time is one of the best times for spotting Peregrines and on a recent trip to Lundy (with the fab four), we were blessed with a least one sighting every day. (Feb 11th – 15th 2019). Three encounters stand out.

Firstly this fat female, perched on a lookout just to the south of Jennys Cove, where thousands of Guillemots have returned for the breeding season. She showed for about half an hour, letting me get quite close to take these photos before disappearing when I pushed it too far.

 

Guillemots and Fulmars cling to the west coast cliffs.

and a few Razorbills too.

No Puffins yet.

The earthquake and Jennys Cove beyond. (With Tibbetts hiding in the background like Cilla in a Cold War Steve photo collage).

Peregrine sighted…..

Shes got her eye on you.

And it’s a big eye

 

Just meters away, taken through a crack in the rocks..

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The starlings were flocking.

And this is where we saw our second significant sighting: Jan. 13th. Walking out of the village, by the farm buildings. We were suddenly aware of a huge flock (by Lundy standards) of Starlings overhead (100+) and as we watched we could see a slightly larger hawk-shaped bird in amongst the group chasing birds like a spitfire from the Battle of Britain.

At the time we thought it was a rare treat to see a Peregrine so close to the village but looking back and in the light of our third significant encounter, it may not have been a Peregrine but a Sparrowhawk ….. or a Hobby….. ???

Anyway, anyway. On the same day as we saw the female Peregrine on her lookout perch at Jennys Cove we saw another Peregrine on the East Coast near Tibbetts. We were watching the starlings again and out of the blue came a Peregrine, bombing the flock like a missile from outer space. This is typical of Peregrines, who can record speeds well in excess of 200 mph during a dive, the aim is to hit the victims wing and grab the disabled bird. A direct hit may be fatal to both parties…

This particular attempt was not successful. The starlings scattered with many taking refuge in the shadow of a nearby grazing highland cow. The Peregrine circled the area at high altitude, long enough for it to be identified through binoculars and then melted into the blue.

Eye on the prize

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Starlings over Tibbetts.

And first Daffs, in what was an amazingly mild and pleasant week.

 

More adventures of the Fab Four at Stoneycroft in balmy February coming soon.

 

Fuji XT3 – 100-400 w/1.4x converter, 10-24mm wide angle.

If you are viewing the pictures on a PC then you can click on a pic to make it bigger, if you are on your phone you can do that finger thing to make them bigger.

 

Bye

 

 

 

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Posted in: Birds, Lundy