Peregrine falcon spotted

A walk around my local fields resulted in a surprise observation!

The Dorenveld is an extensive open expanse of largely arable land quite close to where I live. I say “largely arable”, but it also has some pastures where horses are kept, and some areas are left wild. It’s an interesting area and one of my favorite places for an early morning cycle ride or more leisurely walk.

I’m always surprised at the wildlife in the Dorenveld. During migration periods in Spring and Autumn it’s a resting/feeding spot for migrating birds. And throughout the year you never know what you might come across. I’ve seen foxes and hares, buzzards, kestrels, partridges, great white egrets, ospreys, stonechats, wheatears. In the Spring you will be accompanied by singing skylarks, while nesting lapwings are kept busy scaring off marauding crows.

The Dorenveld is near the wonderfully named village of Erps-Kwerps

Well. I was nearing the end of a recent Saturday morning walk around the Dorenveld when I spotted a large bird in a field off to the left. As I came a little closer I thought it might be a Buzzard. Imagine my delight when I looked through my binoculars to find myself staring at a Peregrine Falcon!

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

This was the first Peregrine I had seen in the Dorenveld, and my first ever sighting of one on the ground. Usually you catch a quick glimpse of one flashing overhead, high up in the sky. However, cities are often a great place to spot Peregrines as they are increasingly nesting at the top of cathedrals and other high buildings. They have nested in Brussels for some years now.

Needless to say, I returned home with a spring in my step!


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