Spec­tac­u­lar fal­con is city slicker

Rochdale Observer - - WILDLIFE -

SOME crea­tures can take your breath way – the pere­grine fal­con, for in­stance, is an as­ton­ish­ing bird.

In our re­gion we prob­a­bly have a cou­ple of hun­dred of the fastest crea­ture on earth – it can reach speeds of 200mph when it dives to catch its prey – pi­geons have no chance to es­cape. The pere­grine will take out its prey in mid-air in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion.

While many of them are nest­ing in the Bow­land Fells, oth­ers are happy to perch atop build­ings in towns and cities, fa­mously in Manch­ester city cen­tre.

I was walk­ing past the parish church in Chor­ley last year and a group of pho­tog­ra­phers were snap­ping away at the main tower. At the top, we had a dis­play of pere­grines fly­ing in and out of their nest, bring­ing food for their chicks. It was strange that a small hud­dle of us were look­ing at this as­ton­ish­ing sight when the hub­bub of Chor­ley on a Satur­day af­ter­noon just went about its busi­ness. That’s how it should be re­ally.

The spread of ur­ban nest­ing has taken them to Liver­pool Cathe­dral, St He­lens, South­port, Black­pool and Pre­ston.

Then we had in­vited some VIPs to our moss­lands in Sal­ford. A long speech about car­bon cap­ture was in­ter­rupted by the king of Moss­lands Bird­ers, Dave Steel. He said: “Look! A young pere­grine is hav­ing an ar­gu­ment with a gull.”

It was like hav­ing Life On Earth hap­pen­ing in front of your eyes. Both birds were great ac­ro­bats and cer­tainly gave vis­i­tors some­thing to talk about.

It proves you don’t have to go far to see the won­ders of na­ture, but you do need to be out­doors – and it’s great for your health.

The Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and north Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the wildlife.The Trust has 29,000 mem­bers, and over 1,200 vol­un­teers. »»To be­come a mem­ber of the Trust go to the web­site at www. lanc­swt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more in­for­ma­tion about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewil­dlife trust.org.uk.

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