Pylon Peregrine Falcons

I have had a bit of a week what with one thing and another, so I decided to take the dog for a longer walk and I actually remembered my binoculars. I often walk down the Cuckoo Trail in the evening, wearing a headtorch, and as the light fades I have heard Ravens flying around a pylon in a field off to one side of the former railway track. I took my bins in the hope of seeing them as I find it difficult to judge whether they are Carrion Crows, even though the Raven’s call is distinctive, and when I reached the vantage point, I saw a blob on one of the horizontal struts. Aha. A closer peer through the binoculars revealed a messy nest to the right of the bird, on a join with a vertical. Nesting Ravens! Hang on, I thought, that bird has a hooked beak: a Buzzard. It looked a bit small and hunched for a Buzzard, and the light was not in my favour but I could just make out a vague contrast between the head and the chin: a Peregrine!

I walked on a little way to get another view and realised the bird had moved. I saw a grey back: definitely a Peregrine. I then realised is wasn’t the original bird that had moved, but a second: larger, so a female. The male was hopping in and out of the nest, and there was some calling between the pair, reminiscent of a squeaky bicycle.

Curiously, I have read on a number of websites including this RSPB page that Peregrines do not build a nest – they use a scrape or ledge, but they will utilise nests from other species such as…yes, Ravens. I’m wondering if the Ravens (or Crows!) have built a nest and the falcons have commandeered it for themselves. Apparently eggs are laid in March/April time so perhaps they are scouting out possibilities at the moment. It would be amazing if they did take up residence, and I will make sure to take my binoculars if I’m going during daylight.

I have put together a short video to give some context. All footage was taken on my phone, and you might have to turn up the volume to hear the clip of the calling.


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