The day I was nearly attacked by a Peregrine Falcon in Arlesey

I have been finding plucked bird feathers in my garden quite regularly .I had put this down to all the cats that frequent our garden.

At about 18.10 today I believe a Peregrine Falcon launched an attack on me.I was sitting in my garden chair in Arlesey on my net book writing. I had camouflaged trousers and top on ,with a green floppy hat.It came from behind and I felt the wind from its wings on my face. At first I thought it was one of the doves cos they land close when I’ve got my camouflaged gear on , and I am sitting still. I often feel the wing draught off of them , when they are coming in for water, but this time i was up by the house.

It then landed on the ground about 2 feet away from me. It then turned round and had a good long look at me for about 10 seconds.I kept perfectly still and wished I had my camera. It then lost interest and flew off. It was about 50% bigger than the grey doves I have in my large garden.And they were small sparrow sized birds in my shrubs and bushes at the time.As well as the size I have described the bird had a light grey chest with vertical black dashes on it.It had a medium hooked beak and medium talons.  I have tried to identify it from the RSPB site. And it looked most like a Kestrel .Has anybody else had this happen to them. I think could it have been a yound bird learning to hunt? Or could it have been an escaped tame bird? Looking for its owner.

this is an actual peregrine falcon the photos at the bottom are the actual shots taken the next time i saw it in my garden.

I have had two previous incidents before . The first one about a year ago a bird about the size of a wood pigeon landed on the wall joined onto my house. It was looking into our patio window. I suddenly realised it was a small bird of prey. I thought that’s strange because we live in an avenue of semi detached houses and its very close to people.There are very large conifer trees at the bottom of our too large garden  .After observing it for a good 5 minutes , I moved to get my camera but flew away.

The second incident I had frequently been seeing a medium to large hunting bird hoovering over Arlesey by-pass. One day it wasn’t warm enough to go outside , so I was watching four or five ringed doves eating something on the lawn quite close to the house. All of a suddenly they all took off in different directions. There was a thud and feathers started raining down to the ground . I saw this fairly large light and dark brown speckled bird of prey climbing steeply up into the sky. Within a few seconds it was all over. The next day I noticed that it had brought it back to eat up the side of the house behind the gates. There were feathers everywhere .If only I could have got a shot of it. Could it have been a buzzard? They seem to co-exist very close to humans nowdays.

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this bird frequents my garden now.

When I was One of the Kamikaze Five

I had almost forgotten this when I was about 22 yrs old in 1974 , I and 4 others were used as sacrificial lambs ,by the union members . We were in Clive Jenkins white collar workers union ASTMS. We thought we weren’t being paid the going rate for a Computer commisioning engineer .The union wanted to have maximum impact on the company and the workers  losing the least amount of money. A work to rule was agreed upon by the members.

Of course as soon as 5 members stopped work because the procedure wasn’t correct , the company suspended us. We thought it was funny at first . The other members then went on strike in support of the kamikaze five. The five then got letters saying if they didn’t return to normal work within 5 days your contract will be terminated.We were now playing chess with the senior Managers of ICL in Putney.

The strike went on for about 3 weeks , as far as I was concerned I was now sacked and it got pretty bitter. We were picketing the blue collar workers who were still going to work. It was mid-winter as well. A compromise then had to be reached so both sides didn’t lose face. We had lost 3 weeks wages which is about 6% of our yearly salary. Lots of the boys had big morgages as well and were working sat and sun and shift work to pay them. Shift was an extra 25% as well. So some had lost 10-12% of their yearly wage. So there wasn’t an easy solution. I was happy that after 3 weeks I still had a job in the end. We did get some rise and some promises.

NOW EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA OR INDIA

tHE KAMiKAZe FIVE FACTORY LONG SHUT IN 1991

Brian Pepper, Clive Lombari, Gary Smith, Terry French, brian from Ashwell