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Saturday 24 July 2021

Battersea Juveniles


The 3 juveniles are doing very well, 2 females and a male juvenile, very active around the Power Station and over the River, practicing and honing technique on most anything, larger Crows and Gulls especially getting the treatment being more abundant.

Some photos from Wednesday, 2 Oystercatchers went up river and one was targeted by one of the female juveniles, forcing the Oyc into the river on a couple of occasions, however she gave up and good to see that it carried on up the river.

The other set of photos is a Herring Gull used as practice also by a female, much to the distress of the big Gull, who started calling as it realised it was the focus of her attention.

Practice makes perfect.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Valley Dragons


As you do at this time of year with the birding a bit quieter, I have been taking a few photos of Dragonflies over the Valley, in particular, looking for Lesser Emperor, a bit of a rarity from Europe I understand but becoming more common in the South.

I ended up finding 2 males, never got or found one is situ resting and all were on the wing. 

                                                                   Lesser Emperor

Bit of a challenge for the 200 – 500mm auto focus trying to stay with the little buggers, it’s times like this I wish I had my old F4 – 300mm, it was so sharp and quick. However the bigger lens performed not too bad, with help from wall to wall sunshine I got a few half decent shots at range, gave up trying to get the close ones flying as I was tying myself in knots.

Friday 9 July 2021

Beckton Kestrels


Well they all fledged ok barring one, Thames Water staff and myself kept an eye on it the other Saturday, it came down very low, initially it had been on the ground but had managed to fly up onto a light.

I watched it for a while, it was fed by the female Kestrel low down and was given a whole Mouse, the juvenile rather remarkably tried to swallow it whole. A bigger bird like an Owl can do this but eyes bigger than it belly for this little fella.

In the end it gave up and then ate it in the conventional way.

After a further 30 minutes or so after feeding it started head bobbing, it then flew, trying to gain purchase on the side of the SPG Main Building, there was nothing to perch on and it slid down and dropped down to ground level.

                                                                  Female Kestrel

Decided to catch it in case Magpies/Crows found it and relocate it back to the high level roof.

Boxed it up and then took it inside, with the help of the staff, we were then able to get it to the roof level and it was released up on there.

                                                                  Going back up

Since then have been watching all 5 of the juveniles, they are quite happy on the main roof being fed by both adults, it’s mainly mice/lizards coming in but not surprisingly with all the rain, a good number of worms.

                                                         2 of the 5 juveniles on the roof

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Battersea Power Station


It’s been a while since an update on the Power Station pair but very pleased to say that she laid 4 eggs back in March,3 of which hatched and satisfying to see from this, that 3 juveniles fledged in June.

Its particularly good on her part, in peregrine terms she is no spring chicken, arriving as a ringed adult in the winter of 2012/13,she is likely around 10+ years old. At this age fertility can become an issue on her part so she has done well.

The 3 juveniles as above have now fledged, there is one obvious male, a definite female and the 3rd is looking like another slightly smaller female than its bigger sibling female.

This year will likely be the last time the nest box tower will be used; autumn 2021 will see the opening of a new Des Res nest box integrated into the Power Station itself.

The Nest Tower itself has been an incredible success since its installation on this major project, it has seen continued annual occupation for breeding from 2014 to date, they have fledged 20 juveniles over 8 breeding seasons on it.

Some recent photos below from a very wet visit, well worth a look see if your in the area, especially early morning when the 3 juveniles are very active.

                                                 Adult Falcon - who's watching who?

                                                                       Adult Falcon


                                                        Size difference - obvious male left

                                                           Lynx going past Parliament

                                                                 A very wet Falcon

                                                   Adult Falcon roosting with the 3 juveniles

There are not too many high profile species that can adapt to a large scale major construction site and continue occupation and breeding. It speaks volumes about the character/tenacity of the species and the strength of the commitment and bond to the nest site.

In regards to the juveniles, I have been watching them quite a bit on and off camera, the little male often loses out to his bigger siblings when it comes to prey and food, I saw him recently claim a Ring Necked Parakeet only to lose it to his larger sibling. It is the way of things in Birds of Prey as we know, females are always bigger and stronger, in recent visits have already noticed that he has started to keep his own company.

For as long as I can remember, I have been coming here 20 years, there have been Black Redstarts on site, this year has seen not just one in occupation but 2 singing males.

Great to see their continued occupation also annually, it’s been a good year for them it seems in London, along with a number of other species on site, strategically positioned nest boxes have been targeted and placed for them.