Tuesday, 1 June 2010


After Leighton Moss, we went to a place nearby to have a go at photographing Peregrines. The site, a disused quarry, is also home to many pairs of Jackdaws, and Rob photographed some of them while waiting for a good view of a Peregrine.

Another challenge for the Sigmonster - fast-moving birds against the high rocky cliff-face. The Jackdaws more or less ignored the Peregrines, so when a large mobbing party descended around another fast-flying raptor we knew it was going to be something else and it was - a Sparrowhawk.

After a wait of about half an hour, one of the Peregrines came in carrying the mangled remains of a pigeon. It landed on a photogenic, if distant ledge, and set about its meal with gusto, sending clouds of feathers swirling into the air and gulping down great chunks of unidentifiable bloody body parts.

After a while, it remembered it had babies to feed too, and carried the remains of the pigeon down to the nest ledge. The action was obscured from view now by clumps of flowers, but we watched the ledge and Rob caught the adult when it flew off, empty-taloned now.

This site is good for butterflies, but the chilly, gloomy day wasn't. We found a couple of sleepy Common Blues resting in the long grass, waiting (in vain) for the sun to come out.

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