Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Time for a read

We are now in the quietest period of a peregrine's year: the breeding season is long gone, the 'kids' have departed and the nights are drawing in. There's not much to see on the web cams either especially while the 'pud cam' that looks horizontally across the ledge above the nest is out of operation (it will be fixed sometime soon we hope).
So, maybe it is time to read up about these iconic birds and check back through video clips to remind ourselves of previous breeding seasons.
As for books on and about peregrines, here are a few I can recommend:

The Peregrine by J A Baker, 1967, with a new edition by New York Review Books.
Superb nature writing, a classic for sure. It tells the story of peregrines in winter on the Essex coast but in such a wonderful way that the book is difficult to put down.

The Peregrine Falcon by Derek Ratcliffe (Poyser Books 1980). This is undoubtedly the 'peregrine bible' written by someone who studied these birds in the wilds of Scotland and England and who was a supreme scientist. The text is very readable and well worth the effort. There are many fine vignettes by the wildlife artist Donald Watson.

Falcon by Helen Macdonald (Reaction Books, 2006). Well written, this book describes how the peregrine has been used in falconry for centuries, used a heraldic symbols and even worshipped as a god. A surprisingly entertaining read.

Urban Peregrines by Ed Drewitt (Pelagic Press 2014).
A comprehensive account of how peregrines have taken over our towns and cities. Our Derby project gets several mentions too.

Top Gun of the Sky by Martin Bradley Ceratopia Books 2013. A thin volume aimed at children but with some excellent graphics.

The Peregrine Sketchbook by C F Tunnicliffe (1996, Excellent press). Tunnicliffe lived and painted in Anglesey and his wonderful studies of cliff nesting peregrines were made at South Stack.
I'll put up a further post before the year end about peregrines and art - but there's no better place to start than with this marvellous book.

To see video clips look down the right hand side of this blog to find 'Archived Clips'. Or go to the You Tube site and search for either Derby peregrines or UKVC57 which also brings them up.

Nick Brown
Project team member