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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Flooded Site

Well I was wrong about the depth of water, 4 inches, more like 8 unfortunately, it went over the top of the nest tray and judging by the ply, some visual flaking, it’s been that way for a good few months.
This site last year produced 3 juveniles, one of which was the ‘foster’ female who came down, I placed her with another brood and she was accepted by her new brothers and sisters, and more importantly by both adults. That reintroduction gave me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction I must say.

In regard to the nest site no one could have known, the camera has been off line now for a number of months and in hind sight seeing the tray afterwards on my little digital camera, which the Abseiliers took down there with them, I would have changed the tray and the substrate.
The CCTV covers the balcony ledge so I could see the water and the flooding but I could not see the Tray so I was guessing at the depth of water and did not know if it had gone over the Tray.

Flooded out with the nest tray just about viewable in the right hand corner.

But no matter it gives them a chance and I can do that next year, I do however have to say a big thank you to the Management Company and Sonya of the structure and also Industrial Abseiling, both stepped up and acted very quickly.
The flooding has happened 3 times in the past, although it has to be said nothing as extreme as this, mind you we have never had weather like this have we, consequently I made the decision a good few years back to put the nest tray on bricks.

The flooding is down to the drainage outlet being tiny, it blocks easy so by lifting the tray and placing it against the diagonal shelf, my thinking has always been for juveniles when they go for a walk, the angled shelf allows them in and out when there big enough. The design of the balcony, split level, means that all the pigeon guano accumulates up top, as soon as a strong wind comes along down it goes towards the drain hole. There are quite a few on the building even with the Peregrines present.

If I left the tray sitting down at the level of the drain there is a risk of flooding which has happened on 2 occasions in the past 10 years albeit the earlier years, on both occasions’ eggs were chilled and failure occurred. Although a good nest site otherwise, especially exercise space for the juveniles, it is a very inaccessible nest site and can only be reached by Abseiliers.

The chaps from Industrial Abseiling

The question is now, knowing that pairs are already on territory and I have not seen either bird here for 2 weeks now, have they already found themselves another nest site for the year being this close to egg laying?
I am watching the CCTV night and day now hoping that they will return, one good thing about this strong wind is that it has dried everything out quickly, it might be too late but you never know with peregrines as they never do anything straightforward.

My thinking is also that even if they have settled for another site pre egg laying, and I know which building it may be, at some time or other one or both birds will visit here, seeing it clear I think would hopefully bring them back being more imprinted on them.

Sifting through the prey afterwards that had been cleared showed yet another Woodcock, a wing again and also an Arctic Tern, the smaller bill standing out as was the complete redness, these were on the upper level. The Arctic Tern was only the 3rd I have recorded in London.

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