circa.4300 BC to 2018 AD
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Wildlife Newsletter for the Township of Dalkey
August 2015 - Michael Ryan


Photo: M.Ryan

 It became nationwide news last year when someone tried to poison the peregrines that nested in Dalkey Quarry, using tethered pigeons coated in poison. It was pure chance that a passer-by spotted the unfortunate pigeons which had been hung on a string suspended from the top of the quarry. Thankfully none of the peregrines were harmed and the adults went on to fledge four young. The four chicks had been ringed by a Wildlife Ranger while still in the nest and if it wasn’t for the fact they had been ringed and were identifiable we wouldn’t know the dismal fate of one of them. One of the four peregrines born in the quarry was found dead in Northern Ireland in May. It had been shot, then its body was thrown into a river along with another dead peregrine, a horrible fate for such a beautiful creature. A fisherman, having spent a very pleasant day by the Blackskull River in County Down, was on his way back to his car when he spotted the birds, which were probably thrown into the river from a nearby bridge. Luckily the fisherman realised the implications and contacted the PSNI. The birds’ remains were being analysed but there’s a slim chance of anyone being caught. The Dalkey bird had travelled all the way north (the name peregrine actually comes from the Latin word Peregrinus, a name originally meaning “one from abroad”, that is, a foreigner, traveller, or pilgrim.
  The bird is so named because they can travel huge distances) and possibly had paired up with the bird it was found with, though they wouldn’t breed in their first year. The fisherman who was very upset by his find had actually posted photos of the bird’s bodies in the water on a blog and they are a very distressing sight. Persecuted for taking racing pigeons, which is totally natural to them, it’s shameful to see the fastest creature on earth suffering such a pathetic fate.



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