Hello peregrine blog readers I hope the winter has treated you well. I have come out of hiberation just in time to return as your Peregrine Ranger. The birds have faired well too, with the tiercel, now at least 17 years old and the oldest ever in Scotland, is looking very well groomed and in rather fine fettle indeed. The falcon, now 13, has also made an effort and at first appearances seems to be in much better condition than she was this time last year, showing more yellow in her feet and cere (coloured part of the beak) and has finally managed to moult the last of her scruffy old tail feathers. Not that it matters too much what I think, but the tiercel seems to agree with me and appears, despite his advancing years to be very keen to get started with their courtship routine.
Throughout the week he has been scraping out the old eyries on several ledges and calling to the falcon to come and join him. She has been up to her usual tricks and been playing hard to get. But finally, early this morning she yielded for a little while, as least.
Having been woken up to the peregrines making a right racket this morning and despite still being in my pajamas and pre-bacon bagel, I might add, I rushed down to the watch point to see what all the commotion was about. From what I could tell the tiercel, bloody from talons to chest had brought in a fresh kill and the falcon must have been calling loudly to assert her dominance, having taken the prey from him. Although I didn’t see the prey item she was clearly appreciating it. The birds then showed their more gentler side and performed a mutual ledge display as the tiercel fed small pieces of the prey to the falcon, continually head bowing to each other and completing the display with some, rather tender beak kissing.
So signs are looking good.
If you’d a like to see what the peregrines have been upto for yourself the watch site officially opens on Saturday 22nd March at 11:30am til dusk and should remain open daily from 10am – 8pm until end of June. See are newly updated facebook page for more details of the launch talks and events.
Fingers and talons crossed for a successful season.
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger