About twenty minutes upriver is the Peregrine Winery. We stop there on our way to Arrowtown where we sometimes go to get our morning coffee. "The Peregrine" is a bird of prey, also known as "The New Zealand Falcon" and also "The Karearea."
This amazing bird has got attitude. It's a mean hunting machine and does not give up it's prey easily. It's also not large and this actual size bronze sculpture shows that well. Notice the 'Peregrine Pinot Noir' and 'The Karearea Pinot Gris' behind.
Note the wine names.
I had never seen a falcon, as they are rare and I think stay high in the mountains. In the winter time perhaps they will come down. Then in July 2010 (our southern winter) one made a low fast pass. Probably at Doggie. Doggie and myself were about two meters apart, near the drive,near the front gate, I was weeding around some small trees while Doggie played around.
It's a good life being a Doggie.
A falcon came from behind me at full speed (70-100km per hour ) and passed by at waist height, close enough to touch if I reached out, and just as close to the dog. I think it was interested in the dog but then decided against that. Doggie is small but he is bigger than the rabbits that the falcons apparently eat around here.
The Falcon shot about one hundred meters out, did a fancy turn, scared a flock of birds, and passed back over our heads, only a couple of meters up. It then perched in a pine tree where it could watch us.
And watched us for quite a while. Doggie was being given good consideration.
The New Zealand Falcon is rare. Many people, including myself have never seen one. We see plenty of the larger Harrier Hawk here, but the hawk is quite different from the Falcon once you know what to look for.
In our field we often come across the remains of a rabbit. It's not clear to me who or what causes that although I have seen hawks carrying small rabbits. Each pair of falcons needs a hunting territory large enough to feed themselves and their young. The territory can vary from 9 square kilometres in open country, to 75 square kilometres in dense forest where prey is harder to find. They defend their area from other falcons.
I will be watching, there has been more going on in the field than I realised. And I need to keep an eye on Doggie
The Peregrine Winery is a stylish place as are the wines.
The barrel room
The roof of the building represents the Peregrines wing.