Whilst surveying a job in the centre of Taunton this morning, I heard the unmistakable call of a Peregrine falcon above. Looking up I located not one, but 2 of these wonderful birds of prey on the impressive tower of St Mary Magdalene Church!
Each bird had prey, probably pigeons, and were tucking in to their kills atop the stone carvings high up on the tower. What a fabulous sight to see in the centre of Somersets County town! (Unless you're a Pigeon!).
Naturally I grabbed my camera and took some shots, which was tricky as the light was constantly changing, high winds were blowing the many clouds over the sun, so I was constantly messing with my camera settings, and inevitably had a too low shutter speed the handful of times they jumped off their perches and flew around the tower, carrying their bounty!
I chuckled at one stage, when a Swift crawled out of one of the cracks of the stonework and flew off right next to one of the perched Peregrines, which jumped in surprise!!
A few people came over and spoke to me, 2 or 3 of whom were local and either worked in or visited the church regularly. From them I learnt that these falcons had been here for a few weeks but had not bred. They are young birds, but there is hope that they will stay and attempt to breed next year! From the rings on the birds, they had discovered that one of the birds had come from Bath and the other from Exeter! So they obviously met in the middle and decided to set up home in Taunton! :)
As I left, I photographed a Woodpigeon on a gravestone underneath the Tower and thought to myself 'Hope you are saying your prayers my feathered friend....'
To see a report of the Peregrines on the Churches own website, click HERE
^Above^ The Peregrines of St Mary Magdalene church!
^Above^ - Maybe this Woodpigeon underneath the church tower is not so happy to see the Peregrines!