Peregrine preparations

Have you visited the Falls of Clyde recently? Last week it was glorious with all the snow on the ground and the icicles hanging along the gorge. It was also incredibly slippy for those not prepared. I am sure I would have fallen over if I hadn’t had my walking pole with me and some very grippy boots.

Peregrine (tiercel) (c) Chas Moonie
Peregrine (tiercel) (c) Chas Moonie

Our peregrines haven’t been seen recently (as far as I am aware). They will be around the area and I have seen evidence of them feeding on a magpie just before Christmas. I wonder what they make of all this weather… Obviously the snow will make it very difficult for them to hunt with visibility being so poor. We noticed last year during periods of high winds they caught smaller ‘garden bird’ species like chaffinch’s. This would suggest they were hunting possibly like a sparrow hawk would, gleaning birds off branches or catching birds much closer to the ground. They certainly wouldn’t be able to do their famous 200mph stoop in such close quarters!

We are beginning to get ready for the new peregrine watch season and I have already been out with the volunteers putting up our temporary paneling and putting up path diversions on both sides of the river to give the birds the space they need to breed and raise chicks successfully. If they are disturbed they might abandon the nest, this could mean abandoning eggs or worse, chicks that would then starve.

It may seem a bit early to be shutting off paths but legally we are required to do so before the 1st February. Although they do not tend to lay eggs until mid March they do begin their pair bonding and defending their territory in February.

Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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Preface

Have you visited the Falls of Clyde recently? Last week it was glorious with all the snow on the ground and the icicles hanging along the gorge. It was also …

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