144/365 – Woodpecker Update

Managed to get the first sight of this years punk pirates as they aggressively almost attack the parents when they bring in food. The feeding is relentless and the parent birds are starting to look a little worse for wear. Any day now the chicks will be peering out at the world.

Female great spotted woodpecker feeding chick.

Female great spotted woodpecker feeding chick.

Peregrine Detective

When I first visited the Piece Hall to photograph and watch the peregrines I noticed that both were ringed but the male had a distinctive orange/red band on the left leg. I thought that if I could get a clear shot of the ring I could use the internet to try and find out where he was ringed and hopefully a little of his history.

On a subsequent visit the male was sitting high on the spire preening in the evening sunshine and on a couple of the pictures I took the leg ring was much more visible. At home on the computer I was able to really zoom in and I could make out the letters ZS.

I began searching on Google for pages about peregrine ringing and the colours used and it threw up a link to the Derbyshire cathedral peregrines who use this colour for peregrines hatched on the cathedral. I then searched Facebook for a Derbyshire birders page and made contact with one of the members Daniel Martin who offered to help. I sent Daniel the images above and he said he’d get back to me if he found anything out.

Daniel got back to me a few days later to say he was in touch with Ben who had ringed the falcon but he was out of the country! So my wait continued, until earlier this week when Daniel passed on a message from Ben to say he had ringed the bird back in 2014 in Hanley, Stoke on Trent!!!!

But even better than that, Ben also had some pictures of him being ringed and with his siblings.

Halifax peregrine being ringed

Halifax peregrine being ringed

Peregrine chicks

Peregrine chicks

So from this fluffy ball to the magnificent predator we can see cruising over Halifax.

Peregrine fly by

Peregrine fly by

A huge thank you to both Daniel and Ben for filling in the blanks. If you want to come to Halifax and see ZS in his new home I will be happy to buy you both some beers. Hopefully soon we will have our own peregrine chick’s to watch and who knows where they may end up.