Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Hen Harrier


No birding for me today and Eleanor's opportunities were limited due to other commitments. However she managed a circuit of Harrington Airfield and was rewarded with a 'ringtail' Hen Harrier flying around at about 3.45pm and a female Peregrine flying over. A pair of Stonechat were again between the Brampton Valley Way and Gamboro' Plantation west of Hanging Houghton.


Neil M


 Variable in size and plumage, and with a difference
 in 'jizz' it is normally possible to identify
the gender of your Peregrine. The males
are nimble and athletic and regularly take
on more manoeuvrable prey such as waders,
Starlings and a variety of passerines up to
size of pigeons. Occasionally they attack birds
such as Teal and in coastal areas they regularly
take petrels, shearwaters etc. The heavier and
larger females can take larger prey and sometimes
'run down' less manoeuvrable prey such  as larger
wildfowl, gulls, Fieldfares and the like. However
the supreme hunting skills of  the Peregrine means that
no bird is safe and they have been known to take prey
ranging in size between the diminutive Goldcrest
right up to geese, herons and the like. We now see the
Peregrine far more regularly in Northamptonshire
and it is clear that some individuals probably spend
long periods of time here during the non-breeding
season and a few summer too.

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