Thursday, 11 October 2012

The hunt is on!

Big Unit - Female Peregrine takes a Turnstone (Jack Ibbotson)

Dinner time - Peregrine tucking in (Jack Ibbotson)

On the lookout - Merlin scouting for prey (Jack Ibbotson)

Thursday 11th October comments: Firstly, a quick reminder to anyone wishing to come out on the Seal Tours this October. We are still awaiting the birth of our first pup on Staple Island and the tours cannot begin until we have one! As soon as the first pup is born we will broadcast the news on the blog and on twitter and set the date for the first tour!

In other news: it’s feeding time on the Farnes! At this time of year we get thousands of migrant birds passing through the islands, with some using them as a stop off point before heading off on their migration. And with thousands of birds comes..... Raptors! With such a wide variety of birds, the Farnes can be rich pickings for birds of prey, as they patrol the islands on the lookout for any potential stragglers.

Some of these migrants will have flown hundreds of miles across the sea to be here and need a rest! However, for a wily Peregrine capable of hunting at over 200mph or a quick, agile Merlin, it’s like Christmas has come early. These hefty hunters will often become resident on the islands, making themselves comfortable for the autumn and winter months. In the past few days we have recorded at two Peregrines, a Merlin and a monstrous female Sparrowhawk. October can be a great month for migrants and so a great time to see some raptors in action, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re planning a visit and remember; the hunt is on!

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