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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Another Clean Up

January 17th

This box is the home of ‘wingy’ the 1st winter juvenile that was present and still interacting with the adults as recently as December, is he still with them, it appears not as he wasn’t there at dawn.

Saying that he possibly could have roosted elsewhere but on Decembers form he was pretty tied to the site.
In regard to the nest box and the replacing of the substrate, like the others, this is the 4th box/tray this week; this was again pretty clean as boxes go. Much of this is down to the horrendous storms and gale force winds we have been having, all of the boxes so far have been cleared by the wind of feathers, pellets and prey. Two of these boxes, including today’s box face west due to limited positioning, not ideal, the norm being east through to north but in these cases the structure dictates the position. Nonetheless they have both been successful for the last 4 years despite our predominately west – south westerly winds.

Purpose built nest box now 4 years old and starting to look tatty

Scrape again made

Entrance and access to roof for juveniles, very important for building wing strength

As with the other 3 this week, this Falcon has already made a scrape in preparation for egg laying, with the milder weather at the moment and London’s warmer temperatures I suspect early laying may again be likely for 2014.This I think will become the norm for the future with the usual laying dates of March 28th – April 2nd becoming irrelevant in London as pairs lay earlier in the month of March, last year showed this with a Falcon incubating on March 10th with the Charring X birds not far behind.
This year I have 2 under CCTV so will be able to get precise dates hopefully.

Cleaning out

Roof access hole

New Substrate - new scrape


It could be that for the 2015 breeding season I may well consider clearing them out earlier, say December if the early laying becomes regular, all adults this week have reacted in the usual way, no hostility, a brief circuit to have a look and see what you are up to, they then retire to a comfortable distance away to watch you.

Getting checked out - bad light

The remaining Boxes/Trays will be cleaned next week before the licensing period begins again on February 1st, it comes round so fast, it makes you realise what a big commitment every pair makes to breeding with the time involved.

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