Aylesbury Peregrines 2013 – Part 1!

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Welcome to the start of the Aylesbury Peregrine Falcon project of 2013!

Went out this morning as we had good light and also because one of the recent sightings on the Bucks Bird Club website suggested that they were near the platform where they successfully bred 2 chicks last year.

This years project has started earlier because of this and also because I’d love to try and get some better shots than last year including some of them mating if I’m lucky enough!

One idea we aim to try this year to help with this is to attach Mrs E’s Pentax Q to the end of our F*250-600mm lens. With a crop factor of 5.5x this will give an ‘effective focal length’ of 3300mm so should get us in a bit closer!

The shot above is a very good start to the project this year, with hopefully a lot more to come! Full version is both on the Peregrine Falcons Gallery Page and it’s own image page here!

Peregrine Falcons in Aylesbury – Part 9

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With the chicks gaining more courage by the day, this morning I decided to get in closer than I have been recently hoping that the chicks would get right to the edge so I could get some better quality shots of them.

Not only that but it was the first time in a few weeks that I decided to go in the morning hoping that the forecasted sunshine would also give me some good shutter speeds. It didn’t quite go to plan though as the wind kept them firmly tucked up at the back of the nest!

The wind took it out of me a bit as well, so off I went into town to get some breakfast and to warm up a bit. When I got back later though things had definately improved, the chicks were both out, right on the edge of the nest box testing their wings and flapping them around.

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Peregrine Falcons in Aylesbury – Part 8

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Even with all the Jubilee celebrations I still found myself in the car park outside the Slug and Lettuce on Monday as I just cannot keep away from the Peregrines! It’s only been 4-5 days since my last visit and it is clear that they are still growing rapidly.

Their down feathers are almost all gone now with their adult plumage coming through stronger on a daily basis. So much so that where I thought that one of the chicks was plucking a pigeon himself, he was actually plucking the down from himself!

They were displaying well and even though we had very poor light the shots of them flapping and testing their wings came out surprisingly well. You can also see their change of colour in these pictures too, they most definately are not white balls of fluff anymore!

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Peregrine Falcons in Aylesbury – Part 7

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With the chicks getting larger all the time, Wednesday was just about getting more shots of them before they lose all of their down feathers. It’s hard to believe that they are only 4 weeks old and almost the same size as their parents!

So, back to the pub! Well, set up in front of the pubs anyway, as the view from outside the Slug and Lettuce is about the best compromise of angle and distance to try and get decent shots of the chicks. Of course this only works if they get nearer to the front of the nest box!

Luckily as soon as I had set up, Mum decided to fly off and leave them on their own, so the chicks were in curious mode. Precariously they edged their way to the front of the nest and peered over giving me my best shots of them so far.

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Peregrine Falcons in Aylesbury – Part 6

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Since my last update a week ago, I have been down to see the Peregrines twice, on Saturday and Wednesday.

On the Saturday afternoon I met up with @Ryanclarkphotos as we had seen a lot of activity on the webcams. On this occasion we were setup in the County Offices car park directly opposite the nest and got shots of bits of pigeon and a chick being fed.

We were also treated with some aerial displays and whilst these are not the best shots as they were at distance and backlit, they had to be included because of the different behaviour, including er… inflight toilet, a Gull encounter and flying up the tower.

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