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Sunday, 16 December 2012

A London Site

Last week I had the chance to visit a site in preparation for a new nest box; its position is one of the best I have come across in regards to suitability for Peregrines. Before a nest box or tray can be placed there are so many issues that have to be considered.

Is the building suitable for 1st flight juveniles?
Are there ledges lower down for juveniles?
Is roof access needed during the breeding season and the licencing period?
If a juvenile grounds, can access be arranged to take it back up or to a high enough nearby building so that the adults feel confident enough to come down and feed it?

There are many other considerations, security being paramount; I have to say that this building met all the criteria.
It was whilst we were up there that we came across first one, then another 2 Woodcocks making 3 in total, I would have to say that as Woodcock is a nocturnal migrant, all were likely taken at night.
One in particular was very fresh and I suspect caught the night before we visited, only partially eaten, nature is nature.

So little is known of nocturnal hunting peregrines but I would hazard a guess, basing much on prey recorded so far over the years that every urban pairing is hunting at night. It is an exploitable food source especially in winter with Redwing and Fieldfare going through in their thousands at night, who is to say it is only confined to urban pairings, why not rural pairings also?

A nestbox similar to the one that will be going to the new site

A peregrines view- hopefully they will like it.

This particular pairing failed this year, I know where she had incubated and it was easy to see why they had failed, the ledge was full of water, hopefully the box will give them the chance of breeding successfully.

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