Tuesday, 5 June 2012


This weekend will go down as one of the best weekends I've had in a long long time. On friday evening I finished work, loaded the car up and headed off to join Adrian, Lisa, Dougie and John Sullivan at a quiet little campsite in the Lake District, where we were hoping to spend the next couple of days Ringing one of Britains most majestic birds of prey, the Peregrine Falcon. Its a weekend I'd been looking forward to for absolutely ages and in no way did it disappoint. We had a possible 6 nests to visit, time permitting, and getting to them would be a huge test of my fitness - or lack of!!! To say the nest sites were in remote areas is a major understatement, some of them involved over an hours walk to reach. And then after that we had to scale some extremely steep and dangerous mountain crags. All of this while carrying a load of climbing gear which weighed a tonne, as Adrian had to abseil down to reach some of the nests. At times it was backbreaking stuff, and by the end of the trip I was seriously physically exhausted, but in the end it was all well worth it. The incredibly beautiful scenery alone would have made the trip worthwhile, but we were here for a reason. Due to poor weather on the last day, we only managed to visit 5 nests, and out of the 5 nests visited only 2 actually had chicks. This is more than likely due to the extremely bad spring we've had this year. But, 2 broods is better than no broods. In total we Ringed 6 chicks - 3 in each nest. Needless to say it was a total and utter thrill for me to get so close to these stunning birds, and Ringing my first chick will go down as one of the greatest highlights of my wildlife experiences. Its very difficult to put into words the emotions you're feeling when you do something like this, I think you have to actually experience it yourself to have any idea. But myself, John and Dougie all got so much out of the encounter, and we all went home utterly and ridiculously happy. Its something we'll all treasure for a very long time.

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