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Saturday 24 April 2021

A rewarding week.


It’s been a busy old week surveying etc, quite a few early ones, used to lap these up when I was younger, not no more, by late afternoon I’m knackered and the afternoon nap is kicking in, I am getting old.

However still thoroughly enjoying them all, on the Peregrine front, you get the most activity from dawn so it’s always going to be that way, it goes with the territory.

First up last week was fitting a Little Owl box, have noticed and heard one in the area now for a while so placed the box on the side of an Oak.

In terms of acceptance it’s probably a bit late for this year, so ideally looking at 2022 but hopefully they will see it and possibly even diurnally roost in it. Stock Doves have already located it, not sure they can get in as the hole size is for Little Owls. It’s not always a given that they will take to it, I know that from Peregrine boxes.

Next up was to release back an immature female Peregrine from the South Essex Wildlife Hospital, I have said it before but the work Sue, Tom and the team do there is priceless, if you ever want to donate to a good cause this is it. I have lost count, the number of the juvenile/adult peregrines that I, or the RSPCA have taken there over the years and they have cared for and nursed them back for me to release them.

As females go, this Falcon was stroppy right from the start, very aggressive and no doubt wanting a taste of freedom. Usually when I open the box for release, there gone, not her, turned round, wings out looking for a fight. She did settle down and eventually flew after about a minute, great to see her steadily climbing strongly until she landed on a distant pylon.

I had picked the location to let her go, as I knew there wasn’t any established pairs in the area which would give her a hard time or worse.

Always gives me a lot of satisfaction to see that they’re getting another chance, she will mature this year so hopefully she can find herself a Tiercel and a territory.

                                                                Not a happy bunny

Wednesday was a peregrine survey down south; up at 2.00am for a 2 hour drive, Thursday and Friday were Black Redstart surveys, again up at 3.00am.

Friday afternoon I also had to check a peregrine site in London under license, a nest box was placed for them a few years back with the help of my buddies Shaun and Paul.

Ignored for a couple of years, it gave me a lot of pleasure to partially see her in the box from distance, she didn’t see me looking through a crack in the door, which was even better so remained incubating.

                                         Shaun and Paul working on the box a few years back

All in all a very satisfying week, just need the Owls to take to the box today to round it off.

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