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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Battersea Power Station

 May – Nature in the Raw. 

From the previous update you will know that a lot has happened in the previous time period which was beyond the norm regarding a peregrine relationship, eggs were also laid, to be precise 5 of them which is a special event in itself.

During May the status quo of the triangular relationship was maintained, the adult Falcon, her immature offspring from 2018 and the adult Tiercel who resides to the east of the Power Station.

Tiercel clashes were more or less daily as the adult tried to take his rightful place on site, the fact of the matter is, that the immature was possibly stronger and more dominant likely regarding himself as being territorial.

Having watched them both clash now on a number of occasions over May and June it was apparent that the same scenario must be played out daily; it certainly was every time I visited. To this day they continue to clash, on a visit on Sunday (June 16th) they clashed twice over the course of the morning. Some serious dives at each other and obviously chasing but it seems neither will commit to engage as it will likely mean injury to one or both.

How long this will go on for I don’t know, during all the clashes I have seen the Falcon does not interfere or call at all, I have seen no reaction from her – possibly waiting to see who is the stronger?

The 5 eggs were laid late – the 1st on April 9th with the 5th laid on April 18th, quite late in London terms but not so surprising given the complexity of the relationship.

As previously mentioned the Falcon flies to the east, copulates with the adult Tiercel and then returns, the Tiercel staying in situ further east with the immature Tiercel territorial on the Power Station no doubt watching.

On May 25th 2 eggs hatched and thereafter 2 more followed by May 27th so all looking good although overdue, 4 chicks so far, from the earlier post due to the ‘long distance’ relationship I had always thought that fertility may be an issue.

However from this point – May 27th events changed and the immature Tiercel showed his inexperience sadly.

Unfortunately and tragically he spiked 3 of the chicks and not surprisingly all died, the 4th however was knocked out of the scrape by the Falcon, not big enough to get back in the scrape it died of exposure. It was very unfortunate by her and completely out of character, I have watched her on CCTV since 2013 and she has been a brilliant mother. I would put her clumsiness down to the situation they were in, it was not normal being a 3 pronged relationship and may well have added to her stress levels hence the uncharacteristic kick.

Indeed their breeding record since Construction began on the Power Station site, around 2013, has shown far greater success during the shorter building period than before the longer period of when the Power Station was empty.

From 2000 to 2012 over a 13 year period they produced 14 juveniles whilst the site was empty with little or no activity in it.

Contrast this with the period from 2013 to 2019 over a 7 year period they have produced 18 juveniles whilst Construction is in full flow, to say they have adapted to the Construction has been an understatement.

What happened with the chicks was very sad and tragic but you have to remember this is nature, sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan, the immature should have been long gone but with the disappearance of his Dad there was no reason for him to go.

With the arrival of the new adult Tiercel, even he could not displace him and during all of this the Falcon has not interfered perhaps seeing who will become dominant, surely they can’t go on like this or can they?

I remember thinking this a good few months back.

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