Wednesday 15 September 2010

Peregrine Falcons

I have seen three Peregrines recently, the first was at Carn Farm on the Rhinns, just south of Port Charlotte. A typical sighting, it was hanging in the air above the road, and then lazily swung away over the hill, finally coming to rest on a rocky outcrop.  Then a couple of days later I had stopped to check the flocks of duck and waders which congregate on the rock just offshore from the Gaelic College in Loch Indaal.  All was calm for a few minutes, then there was a sudden explosion and they all headed off.  It was obviously a raptor, and sure enough, a Peregrine landed on the rock itself, in full sunshine.  It had killed a small bird and after a minute or so of looking around to check that the coast was clear, it started to pluck and eat it.  I could not tell what the hapless victim was - probably a small wader such as a Ringed plover.  I watched it scatter feathers on the breeze for quite a while, and eventually I left, while it was still eating.
Earlier today I saw another bird, flying low over the Uiskentuie Strand, beating hard into the wind.  The wind was so strong that it wasn't making much headway, and as I had the wind behind me, it was soon out of sight.

Photo: Mary Malec

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