Peregrines provide an exciting aerial display

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It is bitter unseasonable weather for lambing. We have only just put

the first set of ewes who lambed out in the paddocks.

It has just been too cold and the wind too biting for the lambs till now.

We feel so badly for those sheep farmers on the Isle of Arran who have lost entire flocks and indeed for any other farmers losing stock in the snow drifts.

We have virtual rooms under the biggest shed with different areas for ewes with triplets, pet lambs ( there are already a few amongst the triplets), ewes who have not lambed and ewes with twin lambs.

The noise is deafening when you go in, but at least all the sheep have been dry and sheltered.

With any stock you have fatalities and last night it was a lamb that John just missed getting up for which still had a caul over its nose and could not breath. Its twin was not affected.

Another ewe was carrying a lamb that had died possibly a day or two prior to her lambing, but the remaining twin was fine. In fact we have been remarkably lucky.

But there is still a fortnight to go so a lot can happen.

I have been away for a few days as my eldest daughter was in hospital for an operation and I have been helping her at home with the children.

It is a relief to be home. You forget how tiring it all is. But tonight I shall be on double night time duties with the sheep as John wants to catch up on his sleep.

Before I went John came in to tell me that he had sighted from his tractor a hawk crouched over a kill on the edge of a field.

He climbed out of his tractor and walked over to take a closer look. A peregrine falcon got up from the pigeon it was feeding on and flew into the sky to be joined by another peregrine.

“I wondered if it is the same pair that nested in the pylon last year” John said.

“They reared a couple of chicks and they must have returned to this area.”

Although this is not good news for any game bird chicks in the area, we are very pleased to welcome the peregrines back if they are scaring the pigeons off the rape field.

The gas gun and terror kite seem to have lost their effectiveness but a pair of working peregrines will soon sort out any pigeons that are brave enough to fly in their territory.

Last year, when they were nesting in the pylon John saw the most incredible piece of aerial teamwork between these hawks. The male swooped down onto a luckless pigeon and caught it in mid-air.

Mrs Peregrine left her nest and they passed the hapless lunch between them so that she could take it back to the nest for her chicks.

A big welcome back to our aerial pest control technicians.

Mrs Downs