I was out early, 4.30a.m ish, anyone connected with Peregrines will tell you that more often than not the most activity, especially with juveniles, usually happens at dawn, hence silly o'clock. It helps if you have no common sense or what constitutes normality, my wife Christine puts up with my ungodly hours well.
Anyway after checking 3 sites firstly, all good with juveniles I arrived at the 4th, this was the site I was especially concerned with, there were 4 juveniles and all had fledged in the recent rain during the week. Two of the juveniles, a male and a female I knew were ok as I had seen them on the CCTV returning to the nest site. The other 2 I had seen the other day, lower down on 2 storey building’s hunkered down in the rain, there was no way to retrieve them to get them back up high.
I know this is the way of things, but with constant rain over 2-3 days, thoughts were they wouldn’t be able to get back up to height where they will be fed, the adults at this low height will not come down and feed them. It’s a double edge sword, the rain and lack of food will weaken them and they need the strength to get back up there. The adult Falcon was also attacking any Carrion Crow or Lesser Black Backed Gull who ventured near them but that was the extent of her involvement, they were on their own.
So it was with a sense of dread that I arrived at the site on Saturday morning, had the 2 succumbed or simply disappeared to Foxes or had they managed to get back up?
To my surprise and immense relief on arrival, there were the 4 juveniles sitting atop nest site tower block, 3 males and a bigger female.
It made my morning and as I later watched the adult Falcon with prey leading the 4 around in a first come first served scenario, also teaching them, the noise was unbelievable, it made all the hard work by everyone involved in this site to get them to this stage thoroughly worthwhile and so rewarding.
I know I am a bit of a mother hen but where would we be without a bit of passion?
I received a call on Monday the 10th from Thameswater Beckton that 2 of the 4 juvenile’s had fledged in torrential rain and grounded, although the adult Kestrel was doing her best to defend them, the local Crows and Magpies had found them both.
|The 4 at an earlier stage pre fledging|
Thoroughly soaked through, cold and not looking to good, the staff had managed to get one in a box but the 2nd was still at large.
Luckily we found it trying to hide under a bush, it was weak, laying down flat, soaked through and not showing a lot of life, I just walked over and picked it up.
Both were then taken to Sue and Tom at the SEWH where they were checked over for injuries and found to both have a fungal infection in the throat.
Anyway after a course of tablets, warmth, exercise and the all important food both were ready to go back on Saturday 15th.
They were both totally different birds, the trick now as I arrived back at Beckton would be to locate the adult(s) or the other 2 siblings.
|Bigger female left, both ready for release|
I released them both quickly, the male juvenile flew straight to the other 2 siblings and the female went straight to a high tree, the adult Kestrel had also seen them so the visual connection was made.
I watched for another 30 minutes and the released female juvenile was then consequently joined by the other 3 juveniles in the tree so a good result all round.