Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Bath Peregrines in winter 2007/08

During autumn 2007 and winter 2008, the pair of Peregrines at St John's Church, Bath have been using the church and nearby buildings daily. One of the young birds that fledged earlier last year has also been using the site.

During the autumn the falcons have been feeding on many different types of birds. Highlights have included a Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, a Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis, a Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur and at least three Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla. The Manx Shearwater, a young bird only recently fledged from its nest, was far inland from the nearest breeding colony on Lundy Island in the Severn Channel. This was probably a disorientated individual.

The Bath Peregrines will hopefully breed for a third year running in 2008. During late January and throughout February the pair will begin displaying. This will include spectacular flight displays over the city and lots of calling to each other. The young bird from last year may also stay around and help with feeding the chicks. See if you can spot the colour ring (blue with black letters) on its leg.

Left to right: Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus feathers and leg; Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis primary wing feather; Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur wing feathers.