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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Peregrine Falcon Story. by Ken Dunn on 20 November 2006 12:20am
On the 'Tell Me About Your Day' thread I reported a positive sighting of a Golden Eagle finishing the post with reference to a longer Peregrine Falcon story. Having been been asked to relate this story, here it is.

Two summers ago I was doing a survey for a butterfly conservation group in Scotland and had been getting along fine with regular sightings of Small Whites, Large Whites and Tortoiseshells plus one or two others that I can't remember now. One lovely sunny afternoon while relaxing on the patio I thought it would be nice to try and attract some butterfies to the garden for the survey so I sprinkled a few drops of aftershave on one of the slabs halfway down the garden and went back to my patio seat to read the newspaper and wait.

Every few minutes I would look up to see if any butterflies were in the garden attracted by the sweet smell of the aftershave but there were no new ones.

After about 15 minutes while I was engrossed in a newspaper item I heard a loud screech from high overhead to my right and on looking up I saw a Peregrine Falcon coming to the bottom of its swoop with its wings spread, its talons out and its left eye looking at me. It had a grey mottled underbody and a wingspan of about 0.7meters (2 feet) and came to about 2 meters from my head. It then rose from the bottom of its swoop and flew up over the roof of our house towards the north.

It was a very startling and a beautiful sight.

I got up out of my seat to see if the bird had landed on the roof but it was not to be seen.

I settled down again to watch for butterflies.

After another 10 minutes a butterfly arrived in the garden and it looked like it might have been a Tortoiseshell but I wasn't sure so I watched it to see if it would settle and it did, about 2/3 the way down the garden. I got up carefully and 'stalked' it so that it wouldn't fly off before I had identified it. As it was sunny it was resting with its wings spread and I was able to see the exact pattern of colouring on its wings. The butterfly was a Painted Lady, one which has a very long migration path from north Africa to get to Scotland.

So, fellow Palinites, that is the story.
Re: Peregrine Falcon Story. by suzulu on 20 November 2006 2:08pm
Nice story, Ken.
Re: Peregrine Falcon Story. by sighthound on 20 November 2006 6:36pm
Thanks for telling that, Ken. They are such amazing birds.

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