Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday 21st November - Peregrine at IRRI

On Sunday afternoon my attention was grabbed by what appeared to be a medium sized raptor flying low over the paddies. My first thought was that it must be a Harrier, and as I have (bizarrely) no records of either Harrier spp. at IRRI I was very excited. When I got bins on it it was obviously not a harrier, but the migratory race of Peregrine, F. p. calidus. I've seen this once before at IRRI (in Jan 2009) and it impressed me then with its size. Once again, this appeared to be a massive bird, much larger than the local race, F. p. ernesti (which I see in Manila, one roosts on Mark's building). It's quite brown above, almost Lanner-like, but in all other respects it's just like Peregrines elsewhere. Just much bigger!

Perched on a pylon in the fields. It was being harassed by a flock of White-breasted Wood-Swallows, who were unsurprisingly disturbed by the presence of this assassin in their midst

At first I thought it was a harrier, it was so large! It flew around the fields three or four times before heading south past the mountain. Features of callidus visible in this photo are "narrower moustaches, bigger white cheek patches..." as well as "on average bulkier and longer-winged..." (Ferguson-Lees & Christie). The streaking on the breast indicate this is a juvenile.

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