Peregrine Falcons

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Not the biggest or most showy bird, but the Peregrine is arguably the fastest animal on the planet, and until you see it in action you can't appreciate just what this means. Starting as a speck in the white sky, you have just a couple of seconds to realise that it has started an approach before it tears past the lure. With claimed speeds of up to 200mph, it is so agile that it is nearly impossible to take good action photos. The only hope was to prefocus around the lure, pan and hope!

200mm 1/1250sec f2.8 -1/3 stop (ISO 400)

The peregrine has the keen, acute vision common to all birds of prey. 

200mm 1/800sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

From the top, peregrines tend to be coloured slate gray; this bird is at home in cliffs and gulleys. 

200mm 1/800sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

Unusually, the outer featers are almost colourless from below. 

200mm 1/8000sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

Having reappeared from over the horizon, the bird has spotted the lure and lines up for an attack... 

200mm 1/1000sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

Holding the wings in a V during high speed flight. 

200mm 1/2000sec f2.8 -1/3 stop (ISO 400)

'Missed' 

200mm 1/800sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

'A near miss' 

200mm 1/800sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

'Gotcha'; Despite being taken at 1/800th of a second, you can see the wing-tips rotate as the bird takes the lure. 

200mm 1/2000sec f2.8  (ISO 400)

Retrieving the lure requires a certain amount of diplomacy! 

200mm 1/8000sec f2.8  (ISO 400)

A couple of other runs, this time more of a gentle fly past, probably no more than 100mph! 

200mm 1/8000sec f2.8 +2/3 stop (ISO 400)

 

200mm 1/8000sec f2.8  (ISO 400)

 

200mm 1/2500sec f2.8  (ISO 400)

"You're Grounded" 

Hybrid Falcon

200mm 1/3200sec f2.8 -1/3 stop (ISO 400)

This is a 'hybrid' falcon, and I didn't note the pedigree, but there was certainly some Peregrine in it. 

200mm 1/2000sec f2.8 -1/3 stop (ISO 400)

Another fly-past; I took over a hundred such photos to get the few sharp shots on this page. 

200mm 1/6400sec f2.8 +1 stop (ISO 400)

And some juicy meat as a reward 

200mm 1/5000sec f2.8 +1 stop (ISO 400)

Another lure caught 

On to Other Falcons

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