Wednesday, 27 February 2008

News Flash 2 - and now an Earthquake!

Just around 1am GMT this morning my house shook as if some giant hand was gently pulling off its roof. Clearly a minor earth tremor, I checked first on the family, then went outside into the street to - well, total silence. Was it imagination? There was not a sound to be heard. No alarms, no falling masonry. But eventually a call from a neighbour's window showed I wasn't alone in feeling the vibrations. Indeed, within half an hour BBC national news was announcing first reports of a widespread tremor felt across a wide area in the Midlands and northern England.
But actually all was not quiet outside. The night itself was still and calm, but all around there had been a gentle but constant sound of wings beating. Birds were flapping in the branches, having been disturbed in their roosts, and were settling back down again. Quite a number of these sounds seemed to be overhead, yet were invisible to me.

Perhaps our peregrines took advantage of this disturbance, who knows? Recent research has shown that peregrines are now adapting to hunt at night, using city lights to help them find their prey highlighted against the dark sky. Perhaps an earth tremor seems an unlikely cause of extra food becoming available to a peregrine. But already 2008 is proving to be an interesting year, and perhaps there are many more surprises still to come.

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5 comments:

Karen Anne said...

Glad no one was hurt except the elderly gentleman.

This is making me nostalgic for when I lived in California... I didn't know you guys had earthquakes.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.09am
Wow!, so glad you are all safe.
Here in coastal B.C. we are on a major fault and get tremors sometimes, but never thought of you as having earthquakes, though I was born and raised in London.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.09am
Wow!, so glad you are all safe.
Here in coastal B.C. we are on a major fault and get tremors sometimes, but never thought of you as having earthquakes, though I was born and raised in London.

Anonymous said...

12.15am Pax
2 falcons at the nest one on the gravel, one just below the nest

Anonymous said...

Its 2.45 both our birds have just arrived back on the tower, i have stood watching them soaring really high for about 15 minutes, when all of a sudden they both stooped almost together. Unfortunatly they both dissappeared from sight, but a few minutes later they both came back with mum carrying what looks like a pigeon. Although i have been lucky enough to see them hunting before i still find the whole expierence breathtaking. As yet still no more sightings of the Ravens. Andy Simpson.