The tiny scourge of the trees

It’s tough enough having to leap from 50 metres up in the air, with a solid roof below you and grass a bit too far away to jump in one bound. But when you finally manage to fly away from the danger of the water tower and safely alight a branch, which you’ll call yours for a day or two, someone else already  owns it. We caught a rogue fantail harassing our new fledgling, just because the branch was a bit close to the nest. And didn’t the fantail ensure our peregrine chick knew about it!

Peregrine fledgling with cheeky fantail (expand with a click)

We later identified the culprit, last seen wearing a black mask and black leggings, wandering up the dirt track, still wary of the large intruder up above. The fledgling actually tried a large distracting loop around the back of the tower and back in to the trees again, but was harassed by various fantails at different points in the lap, only to find the initial culprit was still guarding the nest!

At the same time there was a peregrine disturbance down the paddock further, near the pine trees, but couldn’t quite see as the issue was hidden just behind a hillock. With the parents around the tower these two peregrine youngsters should do well this season.

5 thoughts

  1. Are you sure that isn’t a feisty little Willie Wagtail, Scott? They’re ferocious and will take on anything of any size that is too close to the nest – including humans.

    Poor falcons!

  2. Yes, it’s a willie wagtail (which is a type of fantail, so you are both right). I’m regularly attacked by one when I’m gardening too close to the nest, which is usually right by our front steps. I have pointed out to them that if they placed their nest a bit further from the house, they would be less disturbed, but they just ignore the advice.

    When was this taken, Scott? Going by the size, it looks like Bali, but he was in the box much of the day, so it would be really good news if we could confirm this was Marragaay. As I have the exact times he was in and out of the box, I can check easily.

    But not right now. Now sleeps.

  3. PS Thanks for clearing up the fantail/wagtail thing. I’ve learned something new today – for some reason I’ve always mentally connected wagtails with flycatchers rather than fantails. I really must start learning the Latin names for these beasties to avoid such silly mistakes!

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