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Wednesday, 25 September 2019

2019 - Season review

Not a bad year again with the sites that I monitor or are involved in, unlike 2018, the publicised sites Parliament and Battersea Power Station both unfortunately failed.

In the case of Parliament they simply did not breed, this may well be down to the arrival of a new Tiercel, hopefully this will be corrected next year.

Battersea Power Station as we know was quite tragic, with 3 of the chicks being spiked by the sub adult and the 4th being uncharacteristically knocked out of the scrape by the Falcon. However things have now changed with the new Tiercel and hopefully they will rectify this in 2020.

Within the LNHS area of the sites that I monitor, 2019 produced 32 juveniles from 14 sites and this includes 3 sites that failed so taking the successful sites – 11 it would work out at just under 3 as an average.

In comparison to 2018 it is pretty similar with 32 juveniles produced from 13 sites, as you can see not a lot of difference from this to last year.

Compared to 8 ‘grounders’ in 2018, 2019 was a better year for fledging with 5 grounders, 2 were from the same site and were rescued by the public via the RSPCA, both ended up with Sue/Tom at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.

Without the priceless work of Sue/Tom/Staff/ RSPCA and obviously the public involved, there is little doubt that these 2 would have succumbed either to Foxes/Road Traffic.

Another 'grounder'

Stunning looking birds

Being checked out at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital

These 2 were the only siblings, the grounding was staggered so returning these 2 back with Paul gave us a lot of pleasure, especially in the weeks following where I watched them interacting with each other. 

In regards to clutch/juveniles produced, sizes were as follows –

5 sites produced 4 juveniles apiece
6 sites produced 2 juveniles apiece

Unusually no broods of 3 this year, the very late laying pair which laid 3 eggs in late June was the other failure, I recently got the results back from the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme after sending them the eggs – no development in any of the eggs whatsoever.

Late - sadly this clutch failed

Nests were as follows. 

Nest box – 8 pairs in boxes
Trays – 2 pairs in Trays
Pylon – 1 pair
Structure – 1 pair
‘Natural’ scrape – 1 pair on roof of building (nest scrape on accumulated moss)
‘Natural’ scrape – 1 pair on a balcony (scrape made in pigeon guano)

Hopefully I can add to the above nest box total with a nest box installed earlier this summer on a building, a pair investigated it after a couple of weeks and are now territorial back on the building, looks promising for 2020.

High hopes for this new box, there already in and out of it

We again ringed chicks at 2 sites in London, if I recall correctly this began in 2012 using Orange rings and then transferred to a Green colour 3 years ago. It has worked well and there have been a number of returns, sadly a few deaths but the majority live sightings. One juvenile Tiercel from 2013 relocated only 4 miles from its natal site paired with a Falcon and then bred in 2017. 

Another juvenile Tiercel, again from 2013, replaced his Dad at the natal site in 2018 and bred with the Falcon, however she was not his mother but had been replaced by a different Falcon.

Lots of information/data which comes from the ringing program so it works very well, additionally a number of juveniles/adults have relocated much further afield.

Ringing - gives lots of data

If you see any of these green ringed juveniles please get in touch.

This year with any grounders, with the help of Paul and Shaun a green ring was placed on juveniles prior to release, in particular it was the 2 siblings referred to earlier; hopefully the future will be good for both. 

Finally also, a big thanks to my 2 mates Paul Hawkins/Shaun Harvey for putting up with my demands, as I have said before, both are a little ‘soft’ from working indoors all their lives but I’m now getting the best out of them with a little guidance.

In all seriousness though, good to know that the peregrines will be catered for in the future when I’m past my sell by date.

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