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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Battersea Power Station

For 14 years now I have been coming to the Power Station since locating and confirming the 1st breeding Peregrines in Inner London in 2001, at the time I was a Steel Fixer and working next door.

I undertook and kept a diary and my old mate Des McKenzie very kindly spent a lot of time on it and made it readable and it was entered into the London Bird Report for the year - 2005.

The Power Station viewed from the north bank of the river.

The 1st breeding pair for London were recorded in 1998 by Adrian Dally, 2 juveniles were seen and both had fledged by the end of May, not unusual by today’s standards in London.
Adrian has written a report on it in the Essex Bird report, what was unusual for that time, was the fact that the whole family had left the Mill by the end of May, it seems likely that they had a ‘core’ site which they were unable to breed on. In this case very likely the O2 or the Dome as it was then. What was also unusual is that the adults, if not breeding at the preferred site of the adults (O2), would fly the juveniles back from the Mill to the O2 so early.

In the early days at Battersea, there was much to learn on them, there still is, there’s hardly a week that goes by that I don’t pick up some tit bit of information from the pair, by far most of my learning has come from the birds at Battersea.

Since 2001 I have documented them and studied them, as you can imagine the original Tiercel and Falcon have long gone and if I recall correctly to date, we are on our 3rd Falcon and 2nd Tiercel, a relatively high turnover but being such a prime Thames side site it was always going to attract intruders, to this day nothing has changed.

The latest pair about to hunt off the chimneys

Black Redstart doing his Peregrine impression on the dummy of the Power Station

Resident Tiercel

The Power Station as everyone is aware is an iconic building and I have been very fortunate and privileged to have access since 2000, in that time I have seen a number of changes and from a personnel point of view, it is good to at last see it being developed by Battersea Power Station Development Company Limited. The structure was falling into disrepair and although I enjoyed the solitude of my visits, it is high time the old girl was bought back to its former glory and renovated.

I must stress as I continue, there will now be regular updates, that all opinions and views are my own and in no way whatsoever do these opinions/views have any connection or represent the opinions/views of BPSDC.

Kestrels have also bred alongside the Peregrines

Egyptian Goose

This post will be the first of many, hopefully you will find it interesting, especially its wildlife, a unique site for London, it is a grand old building and a hard to miss reminder of a past era.

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