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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Site visits - February 23rd

A very productive and satisfying day with a new nest box placed at one site, after this I visited another site and topped up with substrate ready for the coming breeding season.

New nestbox about to be placed
The new nest box was absolutely essential after visiting this site in January, although I had placed a tray in position, its location, where ever I placed it, allowed water to drip into it, hence the box. On top of this, the site has a number of feral pigeons and it had been ‘ guanoed’ a number of times. Have they done it on purpose, It would be amusing if they had, but I do not think that pigeons are that clever, or are they!
The Peregrines had been in the tray and the Falcon had made a scrape, it is also quite well known that Fieldfares guano Goshawks when threatened....

Guanoed Tray, coincidental or intentional ?

I have high hopes for this particular site, the people that I deal with are brilliant and love the Peregrines, they will get as much pleasure from successful breeding as I will, fingers crossed.

A misconception with the public regarding Peregrines, is that feral pigeons will move out once Peregrines are holding territory on the same structure, they will not as they know they are in no danger from perched birds, additionally it is there home and they were there first. Open sky is a different matter, even then the ferals carry on normal behavior but are obviously more aware of the watching Peregrines, especially at dawn when they know that is ‘prime time’ for hunting.

Nestbox in position
The 2nd site substrate top up came from an inspection in January/February, the Falcon had made the scrape in the box, but had unfortunately moved all the shingle aside and had hit the bottom of the box. Plywood was showing, obviously no good for a clutch of eggs as they would very likely break on movement of the incubating bird and contact with the wood.

Before - substrate with plywood showing
The thickness of the substrate at the time was around 60mm, so she had created quite a deep depression, to play it safe I topped it up to 80- 100mm, hopefully it will do the trick.

After - fully covered
Will now be checking these 2 sites, amongst others with the breeding season now nearly on us, fingers crossed for a good year.

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