I was able to visit on the above date under essential work for the first time since lock down; if memory serves my last visit was March 7th. The visit was to check whether breeding or not and additionally, any potential safety issues that could possibly arise through netting (if any works had taken place).
Arriving at 5.00a.m, the Park was still closed so I walked Abingdon Street, Westminster Bridge and the Abbey looking for signs of them.
|Empty Abingdon Street|
Located the Tiercel at roost on the base of Middle Tower before he went up hunting, eventually the park opened around 6 and I was able to keep an eye on the nest box.
Over the next 3 hours I watched it pretty intently, the hoped for nest relief did not materialise but based on the actions of the Tiercel over this period it looks very good. The fact is that over the morning I did not see the Falcon, so she was either covering eggs or likely chicks at this stage or she was not present at all.
However his actions, he took no prey during my visit, but on 2 occasions he did flybys of the box calling and I could see his head turned looking towards it. Tiercels love to incubate as we know; I would presume he was trying to get her to exit so he could take over.
This didn’t work, so on a 3rd flyby he went directly to the box, for around 2 minutes he stared inside before leaving.
The obvious scenario is that she would not lift and switch over, possibly likely knowing he had not taken prey, its more or less prey first and then you can incubate as Falcon’s are very dominant, especially early morning.
This happens a lot at Battersea, with the Tiercel trying it on many times arriving prey less and then being sent on his way.
The other scenario is that he was going to the box to look for cached prey, however signs point towards breeding hopefully, the only other thing to consider is that she was off elsewhere hunting for herself or not present at all.
|Tiercel - leg ring doesn't look like the standard BTO issue|
I will confirm this week now that I am allowed out.