Saturday, 14 November 2009


With the gale force winds and torrential rain predicted for this morning, I wasn't actually really expecting to see the peregrines on the hospital this morning. But at 8:30 there they were. I knew that someone who moved a few months ago to the area was very keen to see them, but so far it had been like a curse: if they were around, he wasn't... Finally though there were chances he'd be around this morning so I texted him and we arranged to meet in the cemetery. As I was getting there the male flew off... Then, as I was waiting, the female had a stretch, had a poo, and I thought the curse would still be as this is often the precursor to her leaving, but she repositioned herself, did some preening, and was still there when he arrived. Just as I was taking this photo:

She's gorgeous, isn't she?...

The curse had been lifted :) We had wonderful views of her perched, then she left for about 10 minutes and we had good views of her flying. The cherry on the cake: just as we were leaving, I turned round one last time and the male had just arrived.

Charlie is the name I have given her, it's a lot shorter in every day life to say than the peregrine on the hospital. Why Charlie? Well, at first I wasn't entirely sure she was a female, though that was my first impression, so I needed a name that could be used for both sexes. Then I tried to find a name that reflected the building she was on, Charing Cross Hospital, and based her name on the first 4 letters. As it happens, I am not the only one, if I remember correctly the rescued injured youngster from Derby was named Cathy after Cathedral this summer. As it also happens, Charlie appears to be a popular name for peregrines, I know of another 2, a male in France and a female in Worcester. Lastly, another reason why I like that name is Charlie Brown, since she was a youngster at the time and looked very brown, and still does in a way. Brown is not quite the right word anymore, but someone described her as tawny last week which I find very fitting. It is not that obvious on the photo but her chest is very rosy whereas the male's is almost pure white. This makes them easy to identify at a distance.

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