Peregrine

The Peregrines haven’t done too well on Skomer this year but there is at least one new falcon around and to feed it the adults have been doing something slightly out of the ordinary.  Instead of their famous stooping dives they have been going up to cliffs full of breeding Kittiwake and either plucking chicks off of the nest or simply sitting on the nest whilst they dispatch them and pluck them!  The approach is far from subtle and the huge increase in flight activity and noise from the adult Kittiwakes means that I’ve spotted this a few times now.  Unfortunately the only time I had my camera in hand the bird was unsuccessful, but here are a few shots anyway!

This bird was slightly hesitant to pounce at first and gave me some great close views- the fact that I was relaxing on the cliff with my radio and a beer might have distracted it slightly…  But it soon gave it a go and went over to a cliff full of tasty morsels.

The Kittiwake chicks are getting pretty large now with many fledged and the rest being a pretty sizeable meal for any predator.  This one seems oblivious to the Peregrine sitting just a metre away and luckily escaped a messy ending.  Hopefully this youngster will make it to adulthood and return to breed in future seasons.

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