Tuesday 17th September 2013
We’ve had the first ‘autumnal’ storm of the year according to the weather forecasters. The temperature has certainly taken a tumble. This maybe, in part, explains why a Hobby was handed in to us on Saturday. This was interesting for several reasons; firstly, the Hobby is a very rare species in the UK, secondly, officially its distribution in this country is mainly confined to the south and the east. There were apparently some unconfirmed sightings in the south Lakeland area. This has now been confirmed by this injured individual being handed in to the World Owl Trust. Unfortunately the bird died on Monday morning. I think it had been concussed, as its balance was impaired. It came to us via a vet in Ulverston, who had checked it over, and found no broken bones. I had never seen a Hobby before, but by deduction knew it as a Falcon, with its dark eyes, and long scimitar shaped wings. It was too large for a Merlin, and most certainly not a Kestrel. It didn’t have the red ‘trousers’ which maybe marked it as a juvenile. I couldn’t say for c certain. I know that Peregrines and Kestrels have a juvenile phase plumage, which marks them out as juveniles. Being a Falcon, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Hobbies have a juvenile phase too. If anybody knows this for certain, contact me via this blog, or on the World Owl Trust face book page, as I would like to know. It would make sense, as this is around the time when they start migrating to Africa, and when all the newly fledged youngsters set about making a life for themselves. Peregrines may suffer up to 85% mortality rate in their first year. It must take a lot of skill to ‘not kill yourself’, when diving at up to 180mph! You only get one chance!
See you next week
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