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Friday 29 October 2021

Latest Projects


First up was a Barn Owl box made and supplied by my buddy Shaun, gratefully received and taken to its positioning on site, I set about fixing it to a telegraph pole.

After cutting the pole to the required length, 3.8m out of the ground and 1.2 down, I connected the box to it, 4 screw bolts through the box into the pole and then 4 brackets screwed and bolted externally and it’s pretty solid.

It’s going in shortly so looking forward to this, especially how quickly the other Barn Owl pole box was adopted at another site last winter, 10 days if I remember correctly. I very much doubt it will happen again that quickly, as before I will place a Trail Cam to monitor it, however you never know............

The 2nd project was renewing some ply on an oldish box I made around 4 years ago, really exposed to the weather it has taken a battering with the ply flaking badly (crap ply) as you can see. To undertake this work I had the help of Paul.

As I have said before, I am very lucky to have some very good mates around me who help me no end, I also love it as I can boss them about a bit.

The replacement ply was for a successful peregrine box this year which fledged 2 juveniles, ironically they ignored it in 2020 but accepted it this year, they can be fickle and sometime there is no reason it seems.

I use 12mm ply simply down to the fact of lifting the box after, 18mm ply on a big peregrine box is bloody heavy moving it about on your own, however the 12mm ply tends to warp and fray easier.

In this case we put a back and 2 sides over the old stuff and fixed it with 70mm screws, a new timber at the front and fresh substrate and good to go. Peregrines are not house proud and as boxes go, this was one of the messiest ones I have seen for quite a while. I can only think they had no caching spots local, quite a lot of prey was inside the box, hidden away from the prying eyes of the local Corvids.

The rest as they say is up to the peregrines, fingers crossed she likes the renovation.

Tuesday 19 October 2021


On a recent visit I caught up with this pair, its a pair I have been watching for a couple of years now and they nest naturally in a hole.

As you can see the bond to the nest site is retained throughout, both male and female were being mobbed by Jackdaws and Magpies when I caught up with them.

They have fledged 4 juveniles in each year in 20 and 21 and are constantly at odds with the Jackdaws in the cliff face, I would presume that the Jackdaws are after the nest hole.

Friday 15 October 2021

Battersea Little Owl


So far this year thanks to the benefits of CCTV I have been recording prey taken at Battersea Power Station by the Peregrines in 2021.I am extremely lucky to be able to do this and it gives an incredible insight into this unique raptors world, both diurnally and nocturnally.

To date they have taken 18 species, a vast majority taken by the Falcon were also taken at night when some of the weaker flying species are moving around, or migrating overhead. I would also suspect that there is no doubt more in terms of numbers/species, not everything is going to be taken and recorded on camera.

The 18th species taken was a Little Owl, which the Falcon came in with on Monday October 11th at 1.12a.m.

Predator on predator, I would suspect this was a bird moving through, or dispersal from one of the large London Parks, they will move around like other migratory birds.

To my knowledge they are not present in Battersea Park next door either, but could easily be wrong on this as they are mainly nocturnal.

Of course it is unfortunate for the Little Owl but that is nature, everything has to feed.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Brixham, Berry Head


Arrived back last Friday after 5 days in Brixham, Devon, fantastic stay made all the better by discovering a new B&B with great owners, it will now be without doubt, the go to place for the future. The view from the window was something else as you can see.

As per usual when we visit, I slipped away at dawn one morning, reluctantly forgoing the breakfast, to visit Berry Head to see what is around, in past years I have had some good birding up here.

On the day I went, Wednesday it was a fine sunrise to say the least, worth the visit just to see this coming up over the seas.

Virtually the first birds seen were 4 Cirl Buntings, I have seen them here before and they can be tricky, however I caught them exiting a set of thick roost bushes. A quick preen and all 4 flew off high and that was the last I saw of them, despite a good look later.

Settling down on the point for a sea watch, I could see many Gannets on the move, over the course of 3 hours, I probably recorded around 200 all going west.

During this time, I also picked up a single Manx Shearwater, 2 Razorbills, 4 Ravens overhead, rafts of Kittiwakes and Guillemots seemed to be everywhere on the water, including many still on the cliff face. All were distant views from the top of the cliff point but very enjoyable nonetheless.

There were also good numbers of Porpoises, likely around 8 of them constantly around the point and it wasn’t too long before some Common Dolphins came into view, I ended up seeing around 20 of them, one pod of around 12 moving strongly west.

Could have done with a scope but the camera bought them in a little closer, photos not great but always enjoyable down here.

A good stay and Brixham never disappoints as ever, great food.