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.

The Fastest Show On Earth

Is back in Halifax, the peregrines have returned!!!!

Peregrine falcons have nested on and off in Halifax over the past ten years in an old church spire. For the last couple of years there has been a lot of building work around the spire so the peregrines have nested elsewhere, but this year they’re back.

Female peregrine falcon

Female peregrine falcon

The peregrine is the fastest animal on earth using its amazing speed of over 200 mph to hurtle down on prey in its classic stoop. They can accelerate to 80mph in a second and with their large talons can take prey up to the size of a mallard duck. They are one of the worlds most common birds of prey and after almost being persecuted to the edge of extinction they have made a remarkable comeback. Most big cities in the UK will have a pair nesting somewhere as the urban landscape mirrors the cliff faces they used to nest on and provides a banqueting table of pigeons and other birds for them to hunt.

Female peregrine leaving the nest site

Female peregrine leaving the nest site

If you search peregrine webcam you will find links to cities that have put up nesting boxes and webcams so you can watch them hatch their young and raise them in Spring and into Summer.

Here’s a couple of links but remember the time difference if you reading in the US or Europe!! But be warned it can be very addictive!!!! Why not see if there’s one near you?

Sheffield peregrines here

Woking peregrines here

Rochdale peregrines here

We don’t currently have anything set up but I have been speaking to the land owners and they seem quite keen as its a great way to get people to visit the town. So watch this space. In the meantime I know where I’m going to be over the next couple of months. Fingers crossed they’re successful and soon we might be seeing a few more falcons in town!

Peregrine coming right at you

Peregrine coming right at you

 

 

 

85/365 – Urban Red Kite

This is one of the red kites which come in to take food left out by local residents near Leeds. The area was a release site for them after their near extinction back in the 70’s and they are now thriving. The food is scattered on a garage roof and the birds swoop down to the delight of visitors and photographers. It can lead to some interesting shots as they fly between houses.

Urban Red Kite

Urban Red Kite