Thursday, 3 January 2013

A Wigeon in town

The Peregrines have been a little quieter in recent weeks - with the mild weather there has been plenty of food around for them. And during the rain they tend to just sit it out!

As I was on my way home from work yesterday, I suddenly noticed a few feathers on the ground close to where the Peregrines sometimes eat. I picked them up and realised they were from a duck. As I scanned further, I realised there were lots of breast feathers from the duck tucked against various steps on the path. I collected them up and checked at home - they were from a female Wigeon. 

Wigeon are not unusual prey items out in the countryside, and often Peregrines will bring them to the ground and eat them there and then. So it was a little surprising that this duck had been eaten in the middle of Bristol where Wigeon are not found. Perhaps the Wigeon was flying over in a flock, or hanging out on the River Avon near the Avon Gorge. Or maybe the Peregrine caught it closer to the Severn Estuary. Either way, it would have been a good, hefty meal for the Peregrine, and will no doubt keep it going for a few days or more!