Upwards the peregrine falcon spiralled until it was obscured by the clouds. Seconds later it descended into a steep dive. It accelerated like a speeding bullet, eventually thumping into the hapless magpie flying adjacent to Salcombe Hill. The talons at such force would have resulted in instant mortality for the magpie.

This was the first time I had seen a kill by a peregrine on Salcombe Hill and, although I had seen peregrines cruising alongside the Dunscombe Ranges, they were never close enough for a meaningful shot. I was determined to capture a photo of this amazing raptor. It's quite a trek getting there and hitherto my visits had been fruitless. But as with all wildlife photography tenacity and patience is key.

Sidmouth Herald:

Saturday was an odd day and with the beating sun I walked from the lifeboat station up to Salcombe Hill via the field and woods. Reaching the bench overlooking the valley and the next tumultuous hill I had to negotiate the sea mist arrived giving the whole valley a rainforest makeover. I photographed a buzzard as it weaved in and out of the mist and also saw three fulmars gliding along the cliff face. But yet again no peregrine.

As I began to walk back there was no mistaking the squawks of a raptor. What's more, it was definitely close by. There on the cliff edge was the quarry I had been determined to photograph for some time. It was a juvenile peregrine. Vegetation obscured my view and even with a single focusing point, I could not zero in on the bird. I had to engage in a bit of manoeuvring to finally get my shots in the can and luckily the juvenile peregrine stayed put.

Sidmouth Herald: Peregrine falcon on cliff in Sidmouth

With speeds exceeding 186mph, the peregrine is the fastest animal on the planet. Looking at the form this is without doubt one outstanding bird and what makes it extra special was capturing it in my hometown. Magic!

Sidmouth Herald: