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Friday 24 March 2023

Battersea March Latest


A good visit last Sunday and a great dawn when I arrived around 5.45a.m which soon became quite an eventful visit.

Both Peregrines got the jump on me and had already left roost and had taken a Northern chimney apiece, body activity showed the urge to hunt, even from the Falcon with consistent head bobbing and turning. Eventually the Tiercel flew strongly South with the Falcon shortly after flying and climbing high East. As I tracked her with Bins, another bird eventually came into view, and I then lost her.

A short while later she returned back, laden down with prey, which remarkably turned out to be an unfortunate Woodcock.

These are on the prey list for the Power Station, currently standing at 46 species recorded on the cameras, they are a weak flying nocturnal species which normally move around at night. This bird sadly was flying in daylight across London, no doubt looking for somewhere to drop down to spend the day hidden.

After feeding and then caching the prey, the Tiercel then returned, both then copulated, no eggs as yet. As the morning moved on, I saw the pair come together, obviously agitated, and looking towards the heavens. My eyes are nowhere near as good as theirs, it took me a couple of minutes to eventually locate a 'dot' in the sky which materialised into an intruding female Peregrine as it got slightly lower. Far too high for them to waste energy going up to challenge it, they both watched it intently calling for all they were worth as it drifted off North. Intruding Peregrines are the norm in the run up to breeding as singles look for their own territory, or to challenge an established pairing.

Both then settled down, but before too long a small flock of Feral Pigeons turned up, around a dozen birds heading for the Refuse Centre from across the river to feed. Despite having cached prey, visually it was too much for the Peregrines who simultaneously went for them. There then ensued scattering pigeons all over the Northern Park, some just above my head as both peregrines pursued them. I actually the heard noise from her wings as she changed direction as she was so low, trying to follow them both with the camera tied myself up in knots but I got a few shots.

Spectacular stuff.

                                                            Cached Black Headed Gull



                                                               Falcon after a Pigeon

                                                          On her favoured feeding ledge

                                                            Unfortunate Woodcock

                                                                 Watching the intruder


Elsewhere on site, breeding behaviour is also increasing for the smaller birds with a number of species becoming really active towards breeding.

The Roof Gardens again proved their attraction, with singing Black Redstart, Robin, Wren, Wood Pigeon, Chiffchaff and no less than 14 Goldfinches gracing the Birches!

I watched the Black Redstart for a little while, its early days, he is not singing from just one position, he is flying to different areas, even to Phase 3 to make sure he covers all the site. It’s likely that he has not got a female as yet.

The Goldfinches I could see were also flying up to the Sedum Roof's to forage, fantastic to see not just this many, but that all these habitats are working and have attracted a number of foraging species already.


Both species of Wagtail, Grey and Pied are still sorting themselves out on the river wall, it's looking like 2 pairs of Greys and one of Pied.


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