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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Beckton Sewage Works


Up and running again for 2019, I have visited a couple of times over January; I finished last year with 101 species for the Sewage Works and the Outfall. Not bad for an urban site so the aim this year will be to better that, over half way there so far with 56 species.

The pair of Common Buzzards are still with us and I am keeping an eye on them come breeding time, I have marked a few old Corvid nests around site so we will see. Who would have thought that an urban sewage works site like Beckton would attract in not one but 2 large Raptors, 5 years ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible.
Much is obviously down to a food source on site along with little disturbance, lots of Rabbits, the occasional dead gull and I have watched them doing a lot of ‘worming’ ,sometimes in the dark under artificial light.

I never realised how versatile a species they are to be honest and for such a large raptor, they are quite brazen and thick skinned, testament to their successful distribution I expect. Even the local Crows are obviously getting used to their continued presence, they hassle and mob them but no matter what, the Buzzards favour the same areas, day in day out, Crows or no Crows.

The Kestrels are already tied to the nest box as we approach breeding, on these cold nights they are roosting tight in the corner next to the nest box, I would suspect that roosting tight together and up against the cladding gives them a good bit of body warmth.

Hopefully another successful season beckons, I have sussed out there favoured hunting areas so they are now becoming easier to find on dispersal from roost, the female in particular always goes to the same spot.

Taken in darkness, hence quality,shows pair huddled tight into corner

The Sparrowhawks I only see occasionally, last year’s nest is still in situ and has survived this winter’s bad weather so far, whether or not they favour imprinted previous successful nest sites is another matter.

Green invaders, another hole gone for our native species

I recently located a 1st year male Black Redstart on the tanks, not seen in 2018, a rare bird on site and many years ago an annual breeder, hopefully this chap will stay and breed. However I suspect that it’s here like many others species, especially wintering Chiffchaffs, as the site provides an unrivalled food source.

Hopefully it will linger

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