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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Weekend June 18th-19th Fledging

For quite a while now I have been thinking, would it be better to advertise Peregrine sites in London, for all to enjoy, in this there is nothing I would like more. Would it be better to get local people and business’s/companies involved in the immediate area, the principal being, the more eyes watching, the safer the site is?

Many sites are obviously already known amongst locals and kept word of mouth, the birds are hard to miss and can be very vocal, especially juveniles.

I belong to a group called the London Peregrine Group, it is made up of individuals, RSPB, Royal Parks, and the Met Police Wildlife, the policy has always been only publicise on safe and secure sites, ie Parliament and the Tate Modern. This comes from a minority threat they face from Eggers and Pigeon Fanciers.

No breeding sites for Schedule 1 species are publicized unless regarded as secure, or in some cases on a Reserve.

On some of the sites the owners do not want the birds advertised due to the threat of security and also the restrictions that Schedule 1 brings, happily there are only 1 or 2.

With the Peregrines continued expansion in London, it is getting harder to keep sites low key and unpublicized, London now has the largest population of any city in the world including New York.

These Falcons are large, high profile birds, very vocal and spectacular, they will get noticed. Perhaps it is better to judge each site on its own merits and locality? There is no doubt that some sites are already well known and could benefit from more eyes watching, especially at fledging time, myself and others at the moment are really stretched due to the number of pairs. In New York every site is known, people get involved with the birds, there also does not seem to be any threat to them?



Arrived at the nest site after visiting 3 other sites early a.m, if you want to see a lot of Peregrine activity unfortunately you have to get up at dawn, it used to be easy 10 years ago but trying to balance this, and work 5 days a week as a Steelfixer, is getting hard.

Am pleased to say that all 3 juveniles have fledged, in particular a male who is flying very strongly, no dodgy landings, what has helped is the fact that we have had good winds over the weekend.

Juvenile male fledged
Another juv, possibly a male is up the top with the adults, flying but not so confidently. The 3rd juvenile, looks like a female is lower down and for the duration of my visit, 3 hours, she did not move.A lack of confidence in trying to fly may be down to a dodgy 1st flight, both adults tried to encourage her out, but I later found out from Rose Farmer, she monitors them as well, that she did not move all day.

Adult Tiercel
I also managed to find a spot where I could not be seen by the public, in a private area, consequently I managed to record a few photos.

A spectacular sight was a Common Buzzard going over highish, both adults alarm called, took flight and immediately began to climb up after it. Typically I had packed the camera away. Fortunately they both gave up on it, they can be very aggressive whilst breeding, Herring, Lesser Black Backed Gulls and Grey Herons are all seen off.


I located all 3 juveniles more or less as soon as I arrived, the strong flying male was seen to land on the roof and was lost to view, another juvenile was sitting near both adults.

The strong flying juvenile male
Was also pleased to note that the lower level juvenile female had regained some height to a higher point, this must have happened early a.m.For the next 2 hours the Tiercel hunted, 2 small prey items were delivered to the higher level juveniles.

When I left, all were roughly in the same position, the weather again was ideal for flight, hopefully the weaker flying female will take advantage of it.

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