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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Parliament February 28th

I headed up to town on the tube as it was a weekday otherwise you have to pay petrol, Congestion Charge and Parking, before you know it your £30.00 out of pocket, London is an expensive place to visit in the week if you drive.£7.00 on the Oyster was not too bad as I arrived at dawn, around 6.45am, I left the telescope at home, too much gear otherwise.
Looking at the wind showed the union jack going westwards so I thought they would likely be on the east side. For the next 30 minutes I searched every nook and cranny, no peregrines, I gave the Middle Tower and Big Ben the once over, not a sign. By now I had decided they had gone over to last year’s nest site where they successfully fledged 3 juveniles, hopefully where ever they breed they will be successful again. I will keep an eye on Parliament but will now start covering the upriver nest site more.
During the course of the morning I kept a look out and had more or less given up on them when low and behold they came in, just as I was getting ready to go. Both landed on Middle Tower where I managed to get a couple of photos, despite this it still looks as if the upriver nest site is favourite.
Time will tell.


The pair

Another issue that I have been thinking of a lot lately is the number of pairs in London and there security.
Sad to say that in this country raptor persecution still persists and it is one big reason why sites in London are not publicised, it is a pity as the London public should have a chance to watch and be involved with these birds on their doorstep. It is an age old and awkward position, do you not publicise every site or publicise them with the view that, more eyes watching makes for a securer site. Parliament is publicised as it is secure, the Tate Modern is publicised as it is not a breeding site, in the end I think you have to judge each breeding site on its own merits and location, but is that right? If you get all the local people involved in each respective site there will undoubtedly be more security for the birds and that is what it is all about.
Out of town across the country other urban peregrine sites are publicised and on the internet, no problem. America, in particular New York, publicises every nest site and the world and his dog are involved, would the same approach be better in London, get local people involved?
If a minority of Eggers or Pigeon Fanciers want to find them they will, a recent court case showed this, an egg collector named 9 sites in London straight off the top of his head. In a rural location they should be kept unpublicised, there is little security on a lonely moor or cliff face to a determined individual. I have always kept all the sites that I monitor apart from Parliament unpublicised, but I must admit to re thinking, is it the right approach to each pair when it comes to their security and safety?

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