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Friday 14 April 2023

Battersea Power Station - mid April


Sadly it looks like the Falcon’s advanced year’s – 12+ have put paid to breeding this year, the writing was on the wall in 2022, with 2 infertile eggs laid quite late. Despite numerous displays to each other to date, egg scraping and multiple copulation, age it seems has finally caught up.

It is a shame, as both have totally accepted the new nest box head on, situated in the north east wash tower, it is used daily by the Falcon for an afternoon nap. As above pair bonding is still constant but now approaching mid-April, it is looking very unlikely for egg laying.

It now remains how long will she hang on, non-breeding at Battersea occurred during the years of 2008 to 2012, 5 breeding seasons before the current Falcon ousted her. During those years there was nowhere near the density what we have currently of single immatures and adults. These days, there are so many waiting in the wings in and around London and the outer counties, the challenge on prime sites is constant, not just in the run up to breeding when the urge to pair/breed really kicks in.

                                                                      Still copulating

                                    Both Grey and Pied Wagtail also breed at the Power Station

                                               Tiercel arriving with Ring Necked Parakeet

This Falcon’s record has been very good as you can see from below.

Considering 2013 was the start of the Construction Phase, the mitigation to keep them breeding on site, by Battersea Power Station Development Company, was quite incredible. The pair accepted the new tower designed for them showing their tenacity, resilience and total bond to the Power Station come what may.

2013 - 2 juveniles - Southwest Wash Tower
2014 - 3 juveniles - Nest Tower
2015 - 4 juveniles - Nest Tower
2016 - 4 juveniles - Nest Tower
2017 - 4 juveniles - Nest Tower
2018 - 1 juvenile - Nest Tower – New Tiercel
2019 - 4 chicks but all were spiked by long staying 2018 juvenile/immature sadly
2020 - 1 juvenile - Nest Tower -
2021 - 3 juveniles - Nest Tower
2022 - 2 eggs but sadly infertile

22 juveniles over the construction phase, at one time boasting 21 Luffer Cranes and everyone one of them used by the Peregrines, quite an incredible species.

Sunday 9 April 2023

Beckton Sewage Works


Early April

It seems the Ravens have disappeared, after starting to build a nest on one of the big pylons in March, I haven’t seen either bird since. However, it is a good sign that they are expanding their range and hopefully they will succeed elsewhere.

Its looking good again for the Kestrels, the box has been in situ since 2018 and has been used every year since, it makes this their 6th year. They had bred in the pipe beforehand and were in danger of getting steamed from the overflow, hence the nest box.

She is becoming tied to the nest box and usual egg laying is usually late April, however as with peregrine laying nowadays and global warming, it could well be earlier.

Recently I am only seeing one of the Common Buzzards, they lay mid-April so it could be that it is just the male that is viewable, and she is sticking close to the nest, wherever it may be. For a big Raptor, they can be surprisingly elusive, I like to think I know where all the suitable trees are and all the old corvid nests, at the moment I haven’t got a clue where she is.

Migrants have started to arrive, on Good Friday returning Willow/Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap were all heard, good to know summer is on its way.

No Common Terns as yet showing on the Thames, just a matter of days I suspect before they start appearing at the Outfall, surprisingly no Sand Martins either over the Sewage Works. The little Martins have a small breeding colony, in the banks further up the Creek, they forage regularly over the Works.

Ring Necked Parakeets have again appeared in numbers, around 40 odd, the annual invasion timed perfectly with budding tree leave’s/fruit. Around 3 pairs breed on site of this invasive bird, which is very detrimental to our native species, even the Green Woodpeckers have disappeared from site which may be linked to them.