Depending on your inclination it was an eventful day today for our peregrines. Not minutes after visiting campus this morning to check on our peregrine family (who typically were notably once more) we received a text message from one of our locally-based campus staff members with exciting news. Terri and her daughter had just witnessed a peregrine catch in mid-air right over the lake in a paddock, about metres ( ft) from the tower…. by now I was minutes’ drive away!….
All three peregrines were ‘in residence’ but it was “Little Miss Trouble” Solo who took the lead, hauling in a galah and taking it heavily to ground not metres ( ft) away, apparently with quite an impact (which raises the question about whether she damaged herself from a similar action last week?). Swift flew down and took up residence on a nearby dead tree branch to monitor her charge while Beau flew low circles for a while before heading back up to the tower.
Terri and daughter watched as Solo enjoyed her meal but not without unwanted company – a nosey magpie flew in and decided to scavenge so Solo, on her one good leg, kept nagging and dragging lunch further along the rocky outcrop, protecting her prize. I spoke to Terri on the phone during Solo’s lunch and could clearly hear her excitedly minding her food from this nosey magpie! Interestingly Swift didn’t hang around and left before Solo had finished.
Less than an hour later she’d finished lunch and head headed back into the trees up by the tower. It’s a rare event for someone to witness a peregrine catch, especially so close by, so no doubt Terri and daughter will be quizzed by Cilla and myself for weeks to come!
At nearly months old Solo is catching her own meals now, which appears to be quite advanced for her age. Satisfying to know that she is able to achieve this with her one good leg. This was comparatively large prey too and on that basis is even more impressive (or is that just the “step-grandparent” coming out in me?!).
Thanks to Terri & daughter for a wonderful description of today’s events and to Lydie for help with the post-mortem! Yet another milestone this season for FalconCam Project.