She stoops to conquer and conquer she invariably does as she stoops or dives at speeds up to 200 mph to strike an unwary pigeon flying below.

The peregrine falcon is the fastest creature on, or rather above the planet, plummeting with wings closed in breath taking fashion onto its chosen target.

Although feral pigeons comprise the bulk of the falcon's diet, other species both large and small are targeted too, a favourite prey item being the rose-ringed parakeet!

Traditional cliff top and side nesters, peregrines have over the past thirty years or so recovered from persecution and pesticides in earlier years and adapted to nesting on high-rise buildings throughout the country.

In Surrey for example we are fortunate to have nesting pairs in Morden, Sutton and Kingston where of course pigeons abound.

The falcons choose a roof usually cluttered with satellite dishes etc for protection. Now most rooftops are equipped with purpose built nesting trays of pea gravel and a roof to ensure safe raising of young.

Because town centres are bathed in artificial light, peregrines have now adopted a new approach at night by zooming vertically when they see a bird above, probably a passage migrant, and seize it from below so increasing their range of species taken.

The birds Latin name  is Falco peregrinus, alluding to the fact that is a wanderer, a globe-trotter hence peregrination with an ability to have colonised many countries across the world. The birds can be watched nesting on some council webcams