Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Peregrines in action

Partly cloudy today with light showers and brief sunny patches. Swallows still passing, risking life and limb as they reached the Gibraltar cliffs with Peregrines waiting for any tired and unsuspecting migrant. These are Mediterrenean Peregrines (Falco peregrinus brookei), smaller than their northern cousins. They breed on the Rock and in spring live largely off migrants. I watched a pair near the southern end of Gibraltar trying their luck at the Swallows and a brave White Wagtail that decided to pause and feed at the base of the Peregrine cliff! The Peregrines got quite excited and noisy at one stage and I realised that they were mating. Light wasn't brilliant and the lens I had was not ideal, plus I don't get anywhere near their nesting sites now, but I got a picture of them in the act!

Peregrine watching and swooping at migrants today

Caught in the act! The female assumes an almost vertical posture with the head pointing down while raising the tail. The smaller male mounts her in a precarious action.
Job done! The smaller, and paler, male leaves with the female (left) watching.

Food is back on the agenda once more!

No comments:

Post a Comment