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Friday 25 February 2022

Beckton February


It’s looking good again for the Kestrels for 2022,in and out of the nest box and copulation noted a number of times, the tie to the nest box is as strong as ever, now in its 4th year since its installation.

After nearly 2 months I have recorded 66 species so far, not too bad a start for this little urban site, areas like this are becoming very important for wildlife as East London habitat gets swallowed up by concrete and housing.

For the last 2 years Mistle Thrush, now a Red List species, has disappeared as a breeding species on the Sewage Works, one of many species now in decline.

The Sewage Works being what it is, has always attracted large numbers of Wagtails, both Pied and Grey and also good numbers of Chiffchaff, I have been catching up with good numbers of these lately.

Lots of variation in the Chiffies as you can see, also good to see Redshank again coming in from the Thames to roost on the Tanks.

Tuesday 22 February 2022



After Storm Eunice on Friday, I spent much of the weekend checking the various peregrine boxes in London and the other Barn/Little Owl/Kestrel boxes placed elsewhere.

In particular the Tower nest box I made 9 years ago at Battersea Power Station for the peregrines, was very exposed to the exceptionally strong winds 50 metres up, however good to see that it rode out the storms, particularly Eunice.

The Battersea Falcon, now at least 11 years old spent at least 5 hours in the box on Friday sheltering, the box faces northerly, at times even out of the wind in there, she was getting buffeted with her tail especially taking on a life of its own.

Checking other peregrine boxes from distance showed them to be sound which was obviously good news, thereafter I checked all the other boxes, one a Barn Owl pole box was in a very exposed position and if any would have succumbed, this would be the one. It was facing east and the back face of the box would have taken the full force of those winds, however as with the others it was sound. I always overdue the bolts on them, in this case it was probably a good thing.

I also made and placed another Kestrel pole box with the help of my good friends Jake and Ben, they did most of the work which made life a lot easier.

Hopefully the Grey Squirrels will not adopt it, being on a pole and not in a tree, I hope it will deter them from stuffing it full of bloody leaves and grass. I have seen a Kestrel in the area often so fingers crossed.

Peregrine breeding season is nearly on us, the earliest egg laying I have had has been March 6th, I suspect with global warming and our barmy seasons, it won’t be to long before they start laying in February.

Friday 11 February 2022

Battersea Latest


With the entire scaffold now de rigged on all faces of the Power Station, the pair have immediately renewed their familiarity with all the brickwork ledges and niches. They are already caching prey on it, in particular on the northern face; a recent visit also showed copulation so breeding looks promising.

The scaffold has been in situ for 3+ years with the normal monoflex covering, to retain their bond at all times, exterior scaffold boards were sporadically placed, these worked well and the pair used them frequently. The exterior boards have benefited also on other peregrine construction sites; they have used them to roost, rest, cache and feed on, they also help retain the connection to the ‘core’ site.

                                                     Exterior boards have worked well

On a recent visit, arriving in darkness I could see them roosting on the brickwork, no doubt the northern face gives a lot of shelter from our predominately southerly, south westerly and westerly winds. I would also suspect the brickwork throws out heat, on cold winter nights out of the cutting winds, this very likely gives them a degree of comfort. None of us like sitting in a cold wind, they are much the same.

                                         Just about viewable in early Feb - bigger Falcon right

More recently however, I noticed something else on another date, some of the faces of the Power Station are illuminated with lights, it makes the grand old building look even more fantastic of a night.

On February 9th when I arrived early a.m found them both roosting right next to the lights, on the north west wash tower, in particular the Falcon was relatively close. There is no doubt that the strip of lights will throw out a level of heat, had both consciously roosted in this position to gain the benefits on cold winter nights?

Only seen it once but having said that, the scaffold hasn’t been down long, it will be interesting to see if it happens again and is not just a one off. They are an incredible resilient species and it could possibly be the latest line in adaptive behaviour.




In regards to the juvenile last seen on December 30th, there is no sign; it looks like he finally got the message. If you recall the levels of aggression from his Dad had gone through the roof with full on attacks, hopefully he decided that leaving was the best choice.