I’ve taken the dogs up to Hindlow for the first time in almost 6 months. The cows are right down in the lower field so it’s safe for me to let the dogs off the lead.
The background noise comes from the quarries, the sound of machinery crunching and grinding stone, and the sudden thud from the explosives that take down more stone from the rock face.
It’s a windy day but then it’s always windy up at Hindlow. There is a little warmth from the weak sunlight but it hardly keeps the chill away.
In for a bit of a surprise
Apart from the occasional Crow and Raven, there seems to be very little bird life around. But as I turn away I hear a strange high pitched twanging sound, it sounds similar to the noise that the wind makes in high tension cables and something flashes across my vision before disappearing below the horizon of the cliff face. Seconds later it rises again, vertically before diving down again.
A male peregrine.
Where is your camera when you want it?
I curse the decision to leave my camera behind., but hastily I take out my smartphone and take a couple of videos. It carries on with this behaviour for several minutes before drifting away in the wind.
I gather up the dogs and set off back to the car. There is a familiar figure trudging down the path. Hindlow is one of Vic’s stomping grounds. The local ravens wait for his visits as they know that he will bring bacon rind and other tasty treats.
Lilly spots him and rushes over to the wall barking excitedly before she realises that she has left her ball behind and trots off to get it. The Gabster is a bit growly at first but soon settles down and walks happily by his side. Perhaps the smell of the bacon keeps her hopeful and well behaved.
Vic has seen the Peregrine and has been watching the female further along the path. We reach our cars and watch a pair of buzzards. Crows with nothing better to do, try a bit of half-hearted mobbing.
We speculate about the Peregrine’s behaviour. Vic says that they have been more active recently, and are probably re-establishing their territory now that the youngsters have left the area.
We chat for a few minutes catching up on other wildlife news before going our separate ways.