Friday, June 30, 2017

Unexpected visitor

Sitting on my bed, marking (yes, I know - school's out for the holidays, and I'm still marking... sigh... the life of a teacher!), when I heard a thump on the roof. Initially I thought it might be a burglar, attempting to remove roof tiles, but as there were no further sounds, I then thought it might be a hadeda landing. However, when hadeda's have landed previously, their claws have scraped on the tiles because the pitch of our roof is so shallow. There were no scraping sounds.

Perplexed, we looked out the windows, but couldn't see anything. I didn't want to go out, in case it was a burglar after all. However, a few moments later, what should fly down from the roof into the tree in our garden, but a Peregrine falcon! I was gob-smacked! I haven't seen one of them in town before, and definitely not in suburbia.

It sat in the tree, with its back to me, but kept a beady eye on me through the window. I didn't dare move - I wanted a photo, but thought living the experience was more important than recording it (my phone was in the kitchen, so if I had gone to get it, I would probably have missed the experience). We sat there watching each other for several long moments.

Finally, with a flick of its wings, it took off, and only then did I notice its prey in its right talons. Clearly what I heard was the impact of the falcon catching the dove, and then landing on our roof.

I believe these falcons have been reintroduced in Cape Town CBD to help reduce pigeon numbers. I know they are also actively breeding on the Tygerberg Hills. So they are clearly around. But it's so thrilling to see one while sitting in my bed. I hope it nests up on the tallest building in the area (a block of flats) and returns soon.

Since I couldn't get my own image, here's one taken at Arabella Wine Farm, on R60 near Ashton. Thanks to whoever the photographer is! (Their website seems to be down at the moment, so you can find out more about the wine farm here.)
Post a Comment