Peregrine Falcon with Common Starling prey

To: John Layton <>
Subject: Peregrine Falcon with Common Starling prey
From: Graham Gall <>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 00:06:11 +0000
That’s a very well written little yarn John 👍💯🤗

Sent from my iPhone

On 16 Feb 2020, at 10:24 am, John Layton <> wrote:

This morning I drove along Parkwood Road, Holt to see how the country looked after the rains. I pulled up just before the end of the sealed surface and walked a short distance along the fence hesitating when I noticed movement about forty metres away which turned out to be feathers floating on the breeze. I slipped on my prescription sunnies, advanced another ten paces and stopped, astonished by the drama unfolding before me. A Peregrine Falcon was perched on a post plucking a Common Starling. The sandy-brown colour of the latter’s plumage indicated a juvenile bird.


At first I was taken aback and held my breath, feeling a surge of concentration as though attention to my surroundings ceased to be a priority. I’ve come upon wild creatures unexpectedly before and felt a similar tension, a heightening of senses perhaps, and the reaction intensifies when it’s a top-echelon aerial predator like a Peregrine Falcon.


I brought my binoculars to bear cautiously, mindful sudden movement could put the falcon to flight. Nevertheless, after about two seconds, the Peregrine sprang from the post and, carrying its prey, flew to a height of some twenty metres before descending on a course which probably took it to an eyrie on the cliff face below the viewing platform at Shepherds Lookout.



John Layton


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