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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Parliament and Prey

Sunday August 14th

After another visit I have more or less accepted that they are not going to return as in 2010, this was the case on Sunday with only the adult Falcon seen at Parliament. It could well be that the adults will not return and hold to Victoria Palace until the juveniles have fledged, or at the very least the 2 males.

This is one of those cases that I hope they prove me wrong, certainly different from last year and also shows how behavior can change from one year to the next.

On Sunday I arrived with my wife Christine at 5.15am, I positioned myself so that I could cover Victoria Tower and Big Ben, it was 5.45am before I even saw a Peregrine. I had already accepted that they were not present, no calling or juveniles showing. It was the adult Falcon who first showed, she looked as if she had come in from the west, presumably the nest site, she landed on Victoria Tower.

Falcon with large crop

Scoping her shortly afterwards showed a large crop so it was unlikely she was going anywhere, possibly showing the first signs of the lessening of the bond to fledged young in trying to lay up on her own. She was still present when I left 40 minutes later, I was hoping that the juv’s might have followed her, as it was the Tiercel was likely bearing the brunt of feeding the hungry horde.

Resting and sleeping

The closest I got to a juvenile
I decided to visit the natal site and was lucky enough to find a juvenile male on prey, nearly missed him but for the confetti of feathers coming down, as it was the views were not that good. I then searched all the localized buildings, no luck, so probably ranging farther afield.

Decided to call it a day and visit a couple more sites on the way home.

Tiercel - seen at another site resting up

Tiercel with Falcon below, they do like a Tower Crane


I did a prey collection from an East London site over the weekend, it has not been collected since January, the site fledged 3 juveniles so I was expecting quite a lot. This proved true with a large bag of mixed prey recovered, predominately feral pigeons but also a few I was able to identify myself. All the prey is sent to Ed Drewitt in Bristol, website as follows Ed Drewitt he very kindly identifies everything for me, bones, feathers, feet and all.

From what I saw and photographed other than the pigeons were –

Black Headed Gull – 4

Ring Necked Parakeet – 5

Moorhen – 1

Starling – 4

Teal – 1

Unidentified - many

I was not sure whether to post the photos of the prey, I keep them for reference, Peregrines are birds of prey and they eat other birds like many other Raptors, they are doing what comes naturally. In the end I have decided not to as some are very graphic and they may offend.

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