Wild June and fledging peregrines


Days 8 and 9 of #30dayswild have sped by with more unexpected wild surprises. Day 8 Wednesday was a moment for a reflective stroll round the West Hethersett Loop down to the grandly named Great Melton Reservoir. The lake was bathed in sunlight and I had high hopes for a specialty as this week has seen flyover visits in the village of both Oystercatcher and Common tern.

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Great Melton Reservoir a great spot for appreciating the beauty of nature.

No sign of the terns instead several black-headed gulls wheeled and fished and standing serenely in the background watching the gulls was one of the local grey herons. The reservoir then gave up some fluffy surprises as a pair of greylag geese appeared from the reeds  with four fluffy goslings.I have counted large numbers of greylag and Canada geese and Egyptian geese locally but not seen many youngsters suggesting high predation rates perhaps by carrion crows or the ever increasing populations of lesser black-headed gulls?

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Sunbathing fluffy Greylag gosling

I was just wondering what wild experience I could try out on Day 9 when my phone rang. a few minutes away the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines had started to fledge and one was sitting very low down on a roof waiting obligingly for me to take a photograph. An important lesson for a would be wildlife photographer is always have your camera with you and today of course was the only one of the year when I had left it at home. Fortunately I was in good company and have my phone a friend to thank for the attached series of Photos.

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This little lady is affectionately known as 43 and had taken her first tumbling flight several hundred feet down from the Cathedral Spire onto a low roof.

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43 showing off her leg ring and predatory stare which would definitely put shivers up your spine if you were small and feathery. but it will be a while before she is terrorising pigeons and wildfowl like her parents.

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43 tried a number of tentative escapes and wing flaps but her initial drop appeared to have dented her confidence.

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There were one or two moments when those big killing feet looked as if they might take a tumble but she eventually made it back up to the safety of the ledges around the cathedral.

If you want to see more peregrines then the next couple of days at the Cathedral are recommended as 43’s three sisters inevitably take their first flights. If you want to check on their progress see the nest cam (click here) or check out their story and pictures. at  the Norwich peregrines website (click here)

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