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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Parliament and Battersea Power Station

All Change?


Quite an eventful weekend just gone starting off with Parliament on Saturday at dawn, positioning myself in Victoria Gardens Park I awaited the Falcon to emerge from the Palace from one of the many niches/ grotesques.

After an hour and no sign of her I hobbled to the edge of the park (knee op last week) and looked across at the Abbey, lo and behold there she was on prey with a Tiercel next to her!

Obviously it made my morning and I couldn’t have been more pleased, it likely means that breeding may well now go ahead on Victoria Palace.

I got a few distant shots of them both for reference, I was surmising that it was a new Tiercel after not seeing the resident Tiercel for a few months and thinking he was no longer present.
Checking the photos later, although fairly distant and not detailed I could see no difference to the old Tiercel; better photos will be more conclusive, hopefully this weekend.

Pair on Westminster Abbey

Whether it is a new Tiercel or not, I must admit that I thought he had gone given the time I had put in and the visits, others as well whom I keep in contact with had only seen the Falcon. I was contacted by a chap on Twitter who mentioned that he had seen the Tiercel fairly regularly, great news and well done to him, hands up it looks like I was wrong about him being missing.

Hopefully breeding will now be a foregone conclusion so looking forward to Fridays visit when hopefully I can get some decent photos of him – weather permitting if I don’t get blown away....

Battersea Power Station

Another dawn visit on Sunday, albeit in exceptionally strong winds, the prelude to the approaching storm we are now experiencing now, not surprisingly not one of the Luffer Cranes was working.

I soon located the Falcon and then consequently the immature not far behind her as they located to the Tower resting up for around 30 minutes, neither bird hunting.
However this was soon to change when I soon heard the Falcon’s agitated call, looking up to see the cause of the stress showed another Peregrine, quite obviously an adult Tiercel as he began to display.

It’s been a long time since I have seen an adult Tiercel display, the pairs that I monitor are mostly long bonded and there is little display it seems if they have a settled bond and are paired and territorial all year round.
For around 5 minutes he showed off his flying abilities, vertical stoops, casting up, down, power flying at breathtaking speeds, using the wind it was the most incredible display I have seen bar none.

I was impressed, she was obviously as she went up and joined him, you may ask what the immature did, he obviously stressed called but remained on the Tower as both adults were eventually lost to view as they went further and further up towards the heavens.

Distant and poor photos of the new Tiercel but you can see the speed was there.

Casting back up after a vertical dive

Classic shape, wings closed coming down at speed

Checking the rest of the site for birds, 3 Grey Wagtails were already showing breeding behaviour along the river wall and the House Sparrow colony numbered 15 birds at roost in the Buddleia, I eventually left site.
As I exited, I spared a thought for the immature still sitting on the Tower, going on this morning’s activities it was likely that his world was about to change, or so I thought.

After arriving back home I consequently checked the CCTV and lo and behold, there was the Falcon again feeding the immature after the morning visit and also later again in the afternoon.

Falcon continuing to feed immature

A very odd scenario given the morning’s reaction to the new adult Tiercel, could it be that she could well bond with the new Tiercel but continue to nurture the immature going forward?

If so a very unusual event, especially if the Tiercel is accepted by the Falcon, I would not have thought that an incoming new Tiercel would accept the presence of the immature unless the immature retains the protection from the Falcon?

It seems quite a complex early relationship it seems as I was contacted over the weekend to say that the new Tiercel was seen copulating with the Falcon on Saturday, so signs look good for breeding it seems.

Early days and hopefully pointing towards successful breeding, we will see.


  1. All very interesting Dave, look forward to the updates

    1. Thanks Brian, glad you enjoy them, they keep me on my toes.