Predatory menace of the peregrine in the pylon

Airedale, West Yorkshire We have kestrel and sparrowhawk here, buzzard and kite, but nothing quite matches the peregrine for dramatic oomph

I’ve spent a lot of time lately staring up at the electricity pylon across the river. Hawks, wrote JA Baker in his 1967 classic book The Peregrine, grow out of dead trees, like branches; I’ve learned that peregrines can also sprout from steel lattice and aluminium alloy.

David, a local birder, pointed out the peregrine on the pylon one morning in late September; it was mantling over a wood pigeon on the lowest crossarm, 15 metres up. Since then, on every visit to the riverside, my gaze has been drawn insistently upward, checking for the falcon’s return.

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