The last few weeks have been ideal for watching Bristol’s urban peregrines – the sun has been out and both adults have been very active, up and hunting for most of the day. The chicks are obviously old enough now to be left alone for short periods, and must be big and voracious enough to need feeding almost round-the-clock. Conditions have been pretty much perfect for hunting too, with a slight breeze to give them a little lift and plenty of warm sunshine, producing thermals to ride high into the wide blue yonder.
The Avon Gorge peregrines have been just as busy as the city pair, with 3 confirmed healthy chicks (2 F + 1 M), ringed this week by Ed Drewitt. On top of feeding their brood, they have been kept busy recently, seeing off passing buzzards brought out by the warm sunshine – and even a few red kites have drifted by this week. It will only be a few weeks now until Bristol has a fresh horde of juvenile aerial predators, getting up to mischief and most likely finding themselves in trouble with some of the local gulls and other residents.
Other exciting news this week is that there has been a lot of tawny owl activity at Brandon Hill. After hearing the males calling in Berkeley Square on Sunday night, I have twice heard a female at the hill and last night, I heard a juvenile calling for around half an hour in the tree-tops by the Charlotte Street entrance. I don’t think they’ll stick around for too long and will probably be back up at the Downs or Ashton Court very soon, but it’s nice to have them drop by and have the opportunity to hear their calls so close to town and catch glimpses of them, lit-up from underneath as they fly around Cabot Tower.
Lastly, I found this slow-worm last night, which I thought was worth sharing. It was a real monster, found just by a road-side verge on the way to Easton-in-Gordano!