It’s my turn to keep an eye on the peregrines and today has proven to be an interesting day up at the watch site, though first thing this morning it looked like it was going to be a normal day for the resident pair. The female and male have been taking it in turns to incubate the nest and there has been a steady stream of freshly caught prey brought in and swiftly plucked, pecked or stored in the various caches on the sides of the gorge.
The female was on the nest around midday when the male started to make a fast high pitched call from the top branches of the oak tree. Within seconds another peregrine came into view flying about 5m above the top of the gorge heading upstream! The male was quickly on his tail and saw the intruder out of the area, before returning to his perch to keep an eye out for any more trouble.
Since peregrines are territorial birds they will not tolerate other birds of prey lingering around. Keeping intruders out of your territory reduces competition for food and nest sites so any juvenile peregrines passing through, including offspring from previous broods are quickly chased away. In previous seasons we have even seen the resident pair seeing off much larger birds of prey such as buzzards and osprey that have flown too close to the nest area.
We shall keep you informed of any more exciting news during the incubation period so stay tuned folks!
Bye for now!
Alex Kekewich – Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger