Raptor ready

I’m pretty certain I saw a peregrine falcon yesterday, even though we are on the limits of their range as reported by the RSPB: in any case, a fairly large falcon with pointed, scimitar-shaped wings and a long, largely straight tail was hunting over a meadow just north of Audley End house. I watched it for nearly five minutes as it gradually ascended. I was wearing polarised sunglasses so the colour was uncertain but what I saw were areas of silvery pale on the breast and body. It was definitely not a kestrel which is smaller, has straighter wings and a less strait tail. Nor did it fly like a kestrel, which tends to move briskly between hovering stations. This bird was ranging over the sky. It had a single call repeated in burst of five or six in two different pitches which is not on the RSPB site but less dissimilar to one of their peregrine posts than anything else. But if it was a peregrine, where is it nesting? The country round here is notoriously short on cliffs and even skyscrapers.

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2 Responses to Raptor ready

  1. Katie says:

    From your description, my money would be on a Hobby: http://www.rspb.org.uk/hobby
    They are quite similar to Peregrines but have really sharply pointed wings as you describe. The behaviour and habitat fit, too – they eat large insects and birds like Swallows and martins.

  2. admin says:

    I thought “Hobby”, too, when I looked at the RSPB site. But the call was entirely wrong. Looking again, though, the call was not too completely different and the wing shape is ambiguous: the front page illustration looks possible. The Juvenile is entirely wrong. I will go and have another poke around.

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