Spectacular falcon is city slicker
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.