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Saturday, 7 January 2012

Season Summary

Happy New Year to all

First of all, apologies for the lack of postings of late, normal work and field bird surveys have kept me very busy over the last few months. I am a Steel fixer by trade, a family tradition and have been doing this since I was 16.Now at the ripe old age of 54, its beginning to tell on the body, everything is harder these days. In contrast the bird survey work is thoroughly enjoyable, how can you moan whilst getting paid for doing a lifelong hobby? I have grafted all my life Steel fixing, I am ready and hopefully soon, to concentrate on the birding alone, Peregrines of course as the priority.
Back to the Peregrines and the season summary, it has been a good year for the pairs that I monitor; new pairs have emerged again, on some of these I have to say a big thank you to the public for contacting me.
Of the pairs that I can publicise, Parliament were successful for a 2nd year, fledging 3 juveniles, one of which has already laid claim to another section of London, he has been recognised due to his orange leg ring.
For obvious reasons I can’t publicise the other locations, I wish we could, one day we may be able to do this; everyone should be able to enjoy these magnificent birds.
On one site I at last, after 4 years of trying  managed to read the resident Tiercels leg ring, I have always known where he was from due to the colour, black, but have never been able to read the numbers. He was rung on the publicised site of Chichester Cathedral,West Sussex on June 1st 2002, he was one of a brood of 4, it shows how far they are going to find new territories in urban areas.It makes you think, do they just head for Cities/large Towns due to the fact that they were born in one, or do they just move on until they find an opposite sex peregrine or a building/structure where they are not challenged by other Peregrines?

Falcon(click on photos to enlarge) 

Elsewhere new singles/pairs emerged, hopefully as mentioned above I can commit more time to each pairing, as it is, I simply cannot cover them all and give each pair the attention they deserve.
Urban Peregrines cannot be left to their own devices come fledging time, with juveniles jumping ship all round London roughly on the same period, you simply cannot cover every pair. More often than not, especially with the wrong weather on the day of fledging, they will and do ground. I understand about natural mortality, in the ‘ wild’ the mortality rate hovers around 30%.I do this along with others, to make a difference and give each juvenile I pick up and take back up the chance it deserves. The nature programmes where you see non-interference from camera men where juveniles are in trouble, I do admire them for being that way, me, I would rescue the lot.

Another grounded juvenile (Photo Nathalie Mathieu)

It would be great and a far easier task for me if I could name the sites so the local public can be involved more in each respective site, all each one needs is a hard core group of peregrine enthusiasts to look after them. Due to a mindless minority of eggers/pigeon fanciers this is never going to happen, unfortunately this is the England that we live in, a small minority spoiling it for many, many others.
Fingers crossed for another good breeding season.

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