chimneyWe moved into our house on Imbolc 2001. A nice little bungalow, small garden, good price. The only negative thing was that Shoreham Power Station was right behind us.

To be honest it has never bothered me. It’s in the south, a great monolith for fire.

Pretty soon after we moved in the first nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons arrived on the chimney. At first I thought I was imagining it, but their call is unmistakable. They came back the next year, and the year after that.

On the third year the power station built them a proper nesting box.

Each year they arrive and raise their young.

I can sit on my sofa and watch them hunt, watch them catch a Starling in mid air, then fly high with it, drop it, and train their young to catch prey. If the fledgling drops it, the adult bird closes in its wings and dives to catch the bird before it hits the ground, fly high with it again, drop it again.

Nature, red in tooth and claw. A drama of life and death. Right before me.

If the chimney wasn’t there I would see unbroken sky, but I wouldn’t be able to witness the power of the Peregrin.

I’d rather have the chimney and the Birds. I’m not sure the local Starlings would agree…