Over the festive period Keith B, organizer of the New Forest Winter Bird Survey (NFWBS) in recent years, invited the volunteers to his home for drinks. Unfortunately, my youngest was the wrong side of her driving test, and I had to transport her to and from her work at a local hospital that particular evening and had to decline the kind offer. However, I was able to accept Keith’s next generous offer to witness the ringing of a brood of Peregrine Falcons in the New Forest along with other survey volunteers.
The ringing took place on Friday 20 May 16 at a site that had been used by Peregrines for many years. However, it has only been since gravel had been placed onto the base of the nest box that eggs have actually hatched, due to them previously rolling around preventing effective incubation. This year there were two well grown chicks present and the female chick was significantly larger than the male. The biometrics of each young bird was taken before each bird was ringed with a numbered colour ring, in addition to the standard metal BTO ring, by a trainee ringer under the supervision of Nigel J. The whole operation was completed within ten minutes and, although it was over all too quickly, it was a real privilege to get an opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with an iconic species of the bird world. The high ISO image below has now been transferred to the family e-photo frame as a reminder of a memorable experience.
I’ll certainly be double checking to see if a colour ring is visible on any future Peregrine I encounter.
Tony T BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)