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Just how common are Peregrine falcon?

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Old Sunday 10th March 2019, 13:24   #1
Stormbringer
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Just how common are Peregrine falcon?

Hi all
As the title of this thread says, just how common are Peregrine Falcons?
It seems like I learn of a new pair/population every week.

Tia
Pete
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Old Sunday 10th March 2019, 17:09   #2
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Depends on where you are. If you're anywhere close to a grouse moor, very few if any left, all shot out. In larger urban areas, they're doing very well, because they're safe and there's plenty of pigeons and parakeets for them to eat.
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 21:43   #3
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Fairly rare here though I did get to watch one hunt ducks. Amazing
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 08:57   #4
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Good numbers in Wales but recent studies show a drop off in occupied sites around several recently established windfalls. To early to reach a conclusion but as some of these sites have previously been occupied for years maybe windfarms are having an impact

Last edited by Empty : Sunday 11th August 2019 at 21:03. Reason: Spelling
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 11:30   #5
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Good numbers in Wales but recent studies show a drop off in occupied sites around several recently established windfalls. To early to reach a conclusion but as some of these sites have previously been occupied for years maybe windfalls are having an impact
A bit worrying that , I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t just the slower raptors that suffered.
Windfalls - Good old predictive text you mean windfarms I think ( either that or the apples are dangerously heavy in Wales)
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 11:40   #6
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My best siting was at the Richo Arena (watching a Wasps rugby match). The peregrine took out a pigeon on the edge of the pitch!

There is a breeding pair at the cathedral - you never know where they will turn up!
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 11:48   #7
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[i]
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My best siting was at the Richo Arena (watching a Wasps rugby match). The peregrine took out a pigeon on the edge of the pitch
...

Yellow card offence Julie surely
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 12:02   #8
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At the time more exciting than the rugby - the crowd went wild!
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 21:09   #9
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A bit worrying that , I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t just the slower raptors that suffered.
Windfalls - Good old predictive text you mean windfarms I think ( either that or the apples are dangerously heavy in Wales)
Cheers
Richard
Cheers Richard corrected that. If you see where they have established windfarms here its easy to see that eventually there will be collisions.
Windfarm situated on a plateau Perrys nesting around it have to hunt over an area now containing well over a hundred turbines some apparently 400 ft tall.
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Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 21:19   #10
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Hi all
As the title of this thread says, just how common are Peregrine Falcons?
It seems like I learn of a new pair/population every week.

Tia
Pete
Locally we do have a fair number now, whereas when I started birding 35 years ago there were basically none (odd immatures passed through rapidly).

In addition to town breeders you can expect to encounter Peregrines at local reserves such as Moor Green Lakes from time to time - a keen birder out every weekend and on fine evenings ought to bump into one locally more than once a year.

It's still easier to find them on the coast, especially in winter.

John
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Old Monday 12th August 2019, 07:04   #11
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The UK population must be approaching a historical high of ca2k pairs, numbers estimated at nearly 1800 breeding pairs in 2014. Even allowing for localised persecution. I would like a serious figure on ‘windfalls’ and not just conjecture.

When i started birding in the late 60’s the species was almost extinct away from the coast and was an incredibly rare Wintering bird in the South East where i grew up. I live in the Bird Denuded Triangle of the West Midlands now and encounter Peregrines locally more frequently than Kestrels - how times change

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Old Tuesday 13th August 2019, 13:54   #12
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Back in the early 80s, a gruelling trip to mid-Wales - almost inevitably in the rain - was needed to see Peregrine, Buzzard, Red Kite and Raven in one day, now I can see all of them within a few miles of home on a good day and almost guarantee three of them on an 'average' one! As Laurie says, at least some species are enjoying a degree of success - if they are adaptable enough to exploit more urban areas away from the illegal persecution on the uplands.

RB
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Old Friday 16th August 2019, 21:25   #13
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Fortunatly numerous around here. We've got a few quarries and cliff faces where they breed as well as a nearby estuary full of prey- an ideal combination!
See them regulary and just recently, found three juveniles learning the ropes, practising swooping and diving on the estuary.
A local birdwatcher, in the know, tells me they've moved to the estuary in greater numbers[possibly at least four pairs] and away from the inland areas. That would tally with my experience. I haven't seen any in the local inland fell and valley areas for a long time now.

Last edited by pratincol : Saturday 17th August 2019 at 06:17.
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Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 11:29   #14
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Back in the early 80s, a gruelling trip to mid-Wales - almost inevitably in the rain - was needed to see Peregrine, Buzzard, Red Kite and Raven in one day, now I can see all of them within a few miles of home on a good day and almost guarantee three of them on an 'average' one! As Laurie says, at least some species are enjoying a degree of success - if they are adaptable enough to exploit more urban areas away from the illegal persecution on the uplands.

RB
We used to do the 'pilgrimage' to mid-Wales every year, but I've now got all those four on my garden list.
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Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 18:45   #15
Farnboro John
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We used to do the 'pilgrimage' to mid-Wales every year, but I've now got all those four on my garden list.
Ditto, with Red Kite far and away the most regular (almost daily in central Farnborough). Marvellous!

John
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Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 21:30   #16
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I often go up the beacons ,mid wales etc but today I stayed local (merthyr) and went to the edge of a large opencast and landfill site, there is an old cooling pond there and always a few ducks, grebes, comorants etc, within 10 mins I had seen a kestrel a kite and a peregrine, I was just about to set up my camera and the heavens opened up. It is such an underrated desolate place I cant understand why it has not been turned into a a sanctury so much to see there
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 13:25   #17
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The UK population must be approaching a historical high of ca2k pairs, numbers estimated at nearly 1800 breeding pairs in 2014.
Laurie -
I too remember when the chances of seeing a peregrine were almost vanishingly small. Its worth remembering though that a UK population of ca. 2k pairs is still relatively small, compared to minimum estimates of 57k buzzard and 46k kestrel pairs (BTO 2013 figures).
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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 13:38   #18
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Hi Kb57,

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I too remember when the chances of seeing a peregrine were almost vanishingly small. Its worth remembering though that a UK population of ca. 2k pairs is still relatively small, compared to minimum estimates of 57k buzzard and 46k kestrel pairs (BTO 2013 figures).
Thanks for the numbers ... for comparison, in Germany it's:

Peregrine: 1000 - 1200 pairs
Kestrel: 44000 - 74000 pairs
Common Buzzard: 80000 - 135000 pairs

(Adebar 2014 figures)

Just saw a Peregrine fly past from my office window, which was a first (for this office)! :-)

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 16:37   #19
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When i started birding Peregrines having recovered from wartime persecution then got hit by eggshell thinning due to pesticides. This is all well documented but now Peregrines are at historical highs and although concentrated prey found in towns and cities means more available food it remains to be seen how much breeding places are available. I do not know what the carrying capacity of the UK could potentially be but having nearly twice as many as a country the size of Germany is a lot of Peregrines - at least double the amount of birds after the breeding season in addition to non-breeding individuals...

Anybody care to suggest the carrying capacity of the UK’s coastline, quarries and tower blocks?

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 17:23   #20
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Hi Laurie,

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Originally Posted by rollingthunder View Post
When I do not know what the carrying capacity of the UK could potentially be but having nearly twice as many as a country the size of Germany is a lot of Peregrines - at least double the amount of birds after the breeding season in addition to non-breeding individuals...
After reading the Adebar article, it seems that the German Peregrine population was 825 pairs in the early 1950s, plummeted down to "a few" in the mid-1970s, and increased to about 70 pairs in 1980 (FRG only, GDR numbers not mentioned).

From the graph for the years 1995 to 2010, it looks like there was pretty much exponential population growth going on, and from the map, it looks as if the German Peregrine population is mainly concentrated in the south-western part of the country.

So I'd guess full carrying capacity hasn't been reached yet in Germany (by the data of the 2014 Adebar at least, which reflects the situation of about 2010).

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 18:30   #21
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Agreed mate

The European populations followed a similiar pattern fortunately the problem was identified. Although the Organochlorines concerned were banned and production in Europe and the US stopped that wasn’t the end of it. Manufacturers merely sold their unusable poisons to ‘3rd World markets’ which led to localised population crashes of species like African Fish Eagle in sub-saharan countries. DDT is still used in small quantities for local malaria control although it has long been acknowledged that continued use merely leads to short-term gains whilst resistant individuals outbreed and survive to pass on their genes...

As Ian Malcom said in Jurassic Park ‘nature finds a way’.

India is the only country manufacturing DDT i don’t know about Dieldrin or Aldrin but Buzz is still with us and nudging 90

The insidious use of anti-inflammatory drugs has led to a worldwide crash in Vultures and something that is being slowly, very slowly, addressed - of concern is pressure on the EU to allow countries like Spain to use them The crooks in Bussels already passed legislation forcing farmers to ‘clean up’ dead animals that succumb to natural causes - how idiotic is that? Griffons around Gibraltar are supplemented at designated feeding stations now - roll on Halloween...

Finally (i hear a collective sigh of relief) - these rich and powerful chemical companies e.g Bayer, BASF etc care for nothing but profits for shareholders same as Monsanto etc and we are all guinea-pigs for this crap whether it was the old-fashioned contact pestcides or the new fangled hormone insecticides etc and i speak as a licensed PA sprayer. I highlight the German ones because their track record from people like IG Farben is not good - Zyklon B was developed as a ‘pesticide’ and that didn’t end well..........for several million people

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Old Thursday 22nd August 2019, 20:38   #22
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Hi Laurie,

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingthunder View Post
The insidious use of anti-inflammatory drugs has led to a worldwide crash in Vultures and something that is being slowly, very slowly, addressed
Yes, that's depressing ... while the recovery of the Peregrine population is absolutely wonderful, it would have been even more wonderful if mankind had learned something from the disaster instead of repeating this kind of mistake just a few decades later! :-(

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Old Friday 23rd August 2019, 00:02   #23
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The UK Peregrine population is still severely compromised by continuing rampant illegal killing by gamekeepers in the uplands. Fortunately, urban birds are doing much better.
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2019, 14:43   #24
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The insidious use of anti-inflammatory drugs has led to a worldwide crash in Vultures and something that is being slowly, very slowly, addressed - of concern is pressure on the EU to allow countries like Spain to use them

Laurie -
Agree this needs to be addressed urgently on an EU-wide level - the problem as I understand it is there is no current EU-wide ban (and never has been), so it is currently down to individual member states to legislate. France currently bans veterinary use, Spain doesn't.

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The crooks in Bussels already passed legislation forcing farmers to ‘clean up’ dead animals that succumb to natural causes - how idiotic is that? Griffons around Gibraltar are supplemented at designated feeding stations now - roll on Halloween...
-
This is old news I'm afraid - the 2002 legislation was modified in 2009 under pressure from (amongst others) Bird Life International.

The relevant bit of the legislation (Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009) states:

(49)
Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 allows for the feeding of Category 1 material to endangered or protected species of necrophagous birds and other species living in their natural habitat, for the promotion of biodiversity. In order to provide an adequate tool for the preservation of those species, that feeding practice should continue to be permitted under this Regulation, in accordance with conditions laid down to prevent the spread of diseases. At the same time, health conditions should be laid down in the implementing measures permitting the use of such Category 1 material for feeding purposes in extensive grazing systems and for feeding to other carnivore species, such as bears and wolves. It is important that such health conditions take into account the natural consumption patterns of the species concerned as well as Community objectives for the promotion of biodiversity as referred to in the Communication from the Commission of 22 May 2006 entitled ‘Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond’.


As far as looking forward to Halloween goes, all I would say is be careful what you wish for....
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2019, 16:51   #25
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As far as looking forward to Halloween goes, all I would say is be careful what you wish for....
Could get large scale colonisation of UK by vultures, with all the corpses for them to feed off . . .



Worth noting that vultures' digestive systems are so powerful that they can kill off most, if not all, disease organisms, including botulism and (IIRC) anthrax. So having them around makes for good hygeine.
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