Sunday, 23 August 2009


'My' peregrines having deserted me again at the moment and being in need of a fix, last Saturday morning (15th) I headed for Westminster to try and locate at least one from the pair there. Seriously, tide was high that morning and I did not see much point in doing my usual patch walk, so I thought I'd go and check on the House of Parliament birds. I was told a few weeks ago that one of them had a ring and I had been twice already to see if I could locate them. It had not taken me very long to find where most (all?) their favourite perches were, but, so far I had not seen any.
It was to be 3rd time lucky, one of them was on one of those spots:

I think I have been spotted:

It could give a run for their money to my usual pair, it barely moved for the whole hour and a bit I stayed there, except for a small spot of preening, which exposed a nice bit of heart-shaped spot on one of its cheeks, not very dissimilar in fact to the female I have photographed lots (such as on this photo:

I think I have been spotted again, yet I thought I was quite hidden by a tree (but, obviously, by symmetry, if I have line of sight to it, it should also have to me):

Yesterday, I went to the RSPB London peregrines at the Tate. I had been meaning to go since it started but I had not managed to find time to go during the week until now, and I couldn't be sure I would in the next 3 weeks.
So having a 2 1/2 hours gap in the afternoon, I hopped on a Tube train to Mansion House and fought my way through the hordes of tourists on the Millennium Bridge to get there. And I was not disappointed. Not only did I have a fantastic conversation with one of the volunteers where I learned plenty more, but one of the birds was present. I spotted one as I was getting near the watch point through my binoculars, with difficulties as it was near the edge and the sun was right in my eyes, but by the time I got to the scopes it had gone. Only to reappear a little while later, heralded by all the other birds flying all over the place all of a sudden. It then gained some altitude over the river, tried its luck with probably a pigeon, missed, and then gained so much more altitude that we lost it. I was considering going when it came back and landed in a spot much more suitable for photos, though, as luck had it, it was presenting its back to the scopes. You can just about guess its head as it is preening in the first photo, the other one being another one of those headless shots...

After a few more glances through the scopes, I said my goodbyes and left.

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