Tag Archives: Peregrine Falcon

Family Falco Peregrinus

On my last visit to Moorooduc Quarry I watched as the Peregrines flew across the water and retrieved cached food. One of the falcons flew to a ledge where I suspected it had chicks. I returned to the quarry on Tuesday afternoon and immediately spotted two good size Falcons standing on the ledge watching me. At first I thought they were adults due to their size but on viewing with my binocs I saw the mottled colouring and realised that they were juvenile falcons. I spent some time watching them and then thought about where the parents might be. I turned around to look up at the quarry cliffs and the tall trees and behind me found an adult just staring at me. It soon lost interest as I was too far away to be a threat to it or its chicks. Looking further around the rim I found the other parent high up on a tall gum keeping guard. Four Peregrines in one site visit! – you can’t get much better than that…I am looking forward to dropping in again soon to watch their progress and early flights.

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Juvenile Peregrine Falcons, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

A late breakfast at the quarry

After the Peregrine Falcon took off from the cliff I watched it circle the quarry a few times and then land at the top of the cliff, under a bush on another side of the quarry. It came out a few seconds later with the remains of a kill in its beak, flew halfway across the quarry and while flying transferred the kill to its talons. It then  landed on a large tree branch for a late breakfast. This is the second time I have seen the falcons at this site retrieve cached food. The previous time the adult falcon used the cached food to entice a fledging to fly up to the branch for a feed.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Hunting the Hunter

With every visit to Moorooduc Quarry in Mt Eliza, I expect to find the pair of Peregrine Falcons that have been calling the quarry home for years. It may take a little bit of time to dig out the falcons from the cliff faces or the over hanging trees but I am rarely disappointed. I find my own roost spot and just wait and keeping watching the cliffs and trees. On this occasion I thought I would not have the time to wait but as I was turning to go I saw a bit of movement on one of the cliffs and found the Falcon (below) as it was about to launch itself into the quarry.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

The Peregrines colouring is very effective for blending into the blue stone cliffs.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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A very muddy quarry

A drop in visit to the Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna reserve after all the rain lately meant a slog through the mud and water along the paths to the Quarry. It was fairly quiet as the birds seemed to be in a bit of shell-shock only making a bit more noise and becoming more mobile when the sun made an appearance every now and again. I walked along a path where I regularly see Eastern Yellow Robins and while trying to photograph a pair hunting I noticed a young Kookaburra watching me with interest. He did not seem bothered at all by how close I was…

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Victoria

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Victoria

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Victoria

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Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Victoria

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Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry, Victoria

One of the resident Peregrine Falcons at the Quarry, keeping warm by puffing up the feathers with trapped air. 

The Falcon’s Roost

Moorooduc Quarry is a very good site for woodlands birds and for the Peregrine Falcon. The quarry is cut out from a hillside in Mt Eliza and from the top has vast views of the surrounding countryside. With such great views and an abundance of potential prey it is no wonder that the Peregrines can be found here all year round. They also breed at the site each year.

On a recent visit I walked into the quarry and looked for the Peregrines amongst the tall dead trees that overhang at the top of the cliffs. Spotting a Peregrine on a  tall tree near one of the tracks that circle the lip of the quarry I thought I would try my luck and sneak up for a photo. I am pretty sure he watched me all the way, gave me a bit of chance for a photo through the fringing bushes and then took off and flew to the other side of the quarry. When the Peregrine took off he just leaned forward and dropped straight down to build up speed, glided for a while and then flew up to the other side.

Top of the Quarry, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Near the top of the Quarry, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Top of the Quarry, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

View into part of the lake at Moorooduc 

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Peregrine Falcon – a regular at the site, watching me puff my way up the steep track.

Peregrine Falcon, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Dropping straight down the cliff edge to build up speed.