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Wednesday 18 April 2018

More on Beckton

April 18th

With a glorious day forecast and wall to wall sunshine predicted, I was over the Sewage Works again from 1st light.

With migrants now starting to arrive, it was good to hear a number of Blackcap singing as I drove through the site.

Came across the male Kestrel at roost and I sat in the car and watched him, positioned near the nest box, I suspected that she was inside.


This was shortly confirmed that she was, and had laid eggs, when he undertook a nest relief and she exited to feed on what looked like a Mouse.

Female feeding

After about 5 minutes, with the mouse entirely consumed, she re entered the nest box to resume incubation.
Incubation of eggs is around 27-29 days so not dissimilar to peregrines, although in most cases Peregrines lay around 2+ weeks earlier.

Going back in

Now looking forward to seeing young, the position of the box will give the young a large roof to exercise on and build wing strength for that all important 1st flight.

Moving on from here to check some favoured areas, I again came across the Common Buzzard, admittedly I thought it would have been long gone by now as we are into its breeding season.

I am now thinking that it may possibly summer, there’s certainly no lack of food here for it,(think Watership Down) it could well be that it is not mature enough yet to breed.
From the car I watched it moving round and ‘working’ the site, they are quite confiding and tolerant of occasional Thames Water traffic, in some cases Vans passed only 5 metres away and no reaction whatsoever.

As mentioned previously it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that it could one day breed on site, the site is certainly remote enough for it, I have even earmarked a couple of ideal tall trees that will fit the bill.......

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