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ANOTHER LOCKDOWN WEEK

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Its Monday and 6.20 in the morning, my first day of not working, I have been awake precisely five seconds and all I can hear is the loudest Chiffchaff in the universe. This Chiffchaff sounds like it's in the bedroom, which is amazing because I can usually hear the odd Chiffchaff throughout the year, but far far away and definitely not in my bedroom. I have to my knowledge never had one in my garden either.

The next thing I do is a big mistake, I grabbed my wife's shoulders and shake vigorously in fact over enthusiastically vigorously "a Chiffchaff, a Chiffchaff, a Chiffchaff" Outside the window, can you hear it, can you can you? Now with arms flailing and fists clenched she tries unsuccessfully to take my head off but she was in the wrong position. She was however in the correct position to get the brass bedside lamp! A superb start to the day, a Chiffchaff.
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I didn't know it but my day was about to get better, much much better. I went downstairs and looked into the back garden, the sun was shining and the usual Blackbirds were around and about in the garden. At this time of year we also get a pair of Pied Wagtails, they have been coming for at least seven years. They always look brand new and I knew that within a few days they would be collecting nest material and making a brand new family in the neighbours garden somewhere out of sight and secluded.

I grabbed my camera and binoculars and a large cup of coffee and sat in the garden looking and listening to the proper sound of spring, this was going to be a brilliant day of lockdown. I had made my wife a cup of coffee and as we sat 6 feet apart with her staring at me we contemplated our day.

Do you fancy coming on my walk with me I asked, yes she said with a smile. That always made me feel uneasy! As we sat in the sunshine three Buzzards appeared overhead and I grabbed my camera they kept getting closer and closer and I was able to obtain the shots below.

Maureen had gone to make a 2nd cup of coffee and I could see two birds very high up in the sky and quite far away. As they got slightly closer I could see immediately that these were Falcons of some kind, but they were very high in the sky. I once again grab my camera and started taking photographs, some of these shots are below but of very poor quality but you can see that they are indeed Peregrine Falcons.
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I now, could not believe my luck. I have lived in this house for 25 years and never once seen a Peregrine Falcon anywhere near where I lived. I even started doubting myself, was this a misidentification, was I still asleep or was I concussed, waking from my brass induced semi coma?

All the time this was going on, the Chiffchaff was getting even closer to the back garden and within a few minutes he was in my trees singing his head off. He still is now as I type this up.

I got some new birdseed yesterday, two 15kg bags of mixed seed and a 20kg bag of sunflower hearts and a 2kg bag of Mealworms. My idea was to mix it all together to make a superfood for all the birds that grace my garden. With the mix done and all the feeders full to the brim we set off on our 4 1/2 mile walk. The walk takes us completely off-road through farmland and mixed woodland and back and usually we never see a soul.
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It really is a beautiful walk in the sunshine but a mud bath in bad weather. However today the sun is shining brightly. As we walk past the "horse fields" there is a huge electricity pylon just to our left, as we walk past this pylon I could hear the sound of a Peregrine Falcon. I looked back and after a few seconds picked up the Falcon in my binoculars it was way up at the top of the pylon screeching and calling, but why?

After a few minutes of watching I could see nesting material being brought in, this is now very very exciting.
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Now, is this the most stupid of Pigeons, I think it was saying "who's there"



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