Peregrine (Peregrine Falcon) Falco peregrinus

This species has recovered well following a massive decline in the 60s and 70s. Formerly only a scarce winter visitor to south-eastern counties of the UK, there are now several pairs breeding. Some of these have selected busy urban settings for their nest sites, including the centre of London. In most places in Norfolk it's still relatively rare to encounter one outside of the winter period but very recently they have started to breed even here - for example a pair are nesting on Norwich Cathedral in 2011.

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Porthgwarra (Cornwall, UK), 21st October 2010

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Porthgwarra (Cornwall, UK), 7th October 2005

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

juvenile Peregrine, Lowestoft (Suffolk, UK), 30th January 2010

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Porthgwarra (Cornwall, UK), 22nd October 2010

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 23rd November 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Kings Lynn (Norfolk, UK), 14th February 2009

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, near Portopal di Capo Passero (Sicily, Italy), 29th April 2012

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Choseley (Norfolk, UK), 1st May 2015

 

Peregrine, Kings Lynn (Norfolk, UK), 25th January 2009

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Kings Lynn (Norfolk, UK), 22nd February 2009

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Lowestoft (Suffolk, UK), 11th February 2012

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Marazion Marsh (Cornwall, UK), 6th October 2007

 

Peregrine, Holkham Park (Norfolk, UK), 19th January 2013

 

click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Burnham Norton (Norfolk, UK), 13th March 2010 - with Carrion Crow except bottom right where with Marsh Harrier

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image  

Peregrine, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 20th May 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrines, Capo Caccia (Sardinia, Italy), 13th April 2008

 

Peregrine, undisclosed location (Norfolk, UK), 24th January 2009

 

Peregrine, Capo Caccia (Sardinia, Italy), 18th April 2008

 

 

Peregrine, Burnham Norton (Norfolk, UK), 13th April 2009 - this bird seemed especially pale in the field

 

Peregrine, Creaking Gate Lake (Norfolk, UK), 17th March 2013

 

Peregrine, Beetley (Norfolk, UK), 5th April 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Creaking Gate Lake (Norfolk, UK), 5th October 2013 - with Magpies

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Peregrine, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 3rd January 2015

 

Peregrine, Bittering (Norfolk, UK), 8th February 2015

 

Peregrine, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 7th December 2015

 

Peregrine, Sástago (Aragón, Spain), 17th May 2013

 

click for larger image

Peregrine, Creaking Gate Lake (Norfolk, UK), 5th October 2013

 

Peregrine, Caerlaverock (Dumfries & Galloway, UK), 28h December 2015

 

The species is fairly common in parts of North America. Three races occur here, all different from European birds. In the photos below I think the ones in California are race anatum and the ones in Florida should be tundrius. There are no accepted records of these races in the UK (two previously accepted records were recently reviewed and rejected) but there is an intriguing report from near Norwich in 1986. This record allegedly involved an encounter with a falconer's trained bird - the story has it that the falconer's bird 'brought down' the North American Peregrine alive. Though the story sounds doubtful, the identification is certain, for the bird was carrying a metal leg ring which proved that it had been rung earlier in the same year in New Brunswick, Canada (British Birds 97:478-479).

The American race tundrius is rather similar to the Palaearctic race calidus, both breeding in the high north but strongly migratory and wintering much further south. Both of these forms seem to go by the names Tundra Peregrine or Arctic Peregrine. There has been a recent spate of claims of calidus in the UK including some in Norfolk.

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image  

Tundra Peregrines (race tundrius), Garden Key, Dry Tortugas (Florida, USA), 20th April 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image

North American Peregrine (race anatum), Point Reyes (California, USA), 2nd May 2005

 

click for larger image click for larger image

North American Peregrine (race anatum), Point Reyes (California, USA), 2nd May 2005

 

North American Peregrine (race anatum), Davis Road, Salton Sea (California, USA), 24th April 2005