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Friday 20 October 2023

New Peregrine Box


It’s been a busy old week, I finished a new Peregrine nest box which will be installed onto a Balcony shortly, the balcony is a bit narrow so the box has been made slimmer to suit. There is a pair present, and they did fledge 1 juvenile this year, however the balcony is prone to flooding. 

The fact of the matter is that a box gives them – adults/chicks cover from extreme weather, with the substrate also there is no chance of eggs rolling.

As mentioned in previous posts, unless a position has a ‘natural structural overhang’ where a Tray can be placed, I will always use a nest box.

My amigo’s will again help me, truth be told, now at the ripe old age of 66 with a dodgy ankle, I couldn’t do it on my own anyway, so there help and muscle is very much valued. It also gives me a chance to boss them around and nag them a bit, very enjoyable I must admit but it is obviously needed at times……..

I have started setting up the cams again for the winter near the Feeding Station, good coverage over some of the water bowls, Magpies being their usual selves. 
As we get into the colder weather, I would expect the feeding station will really kick in ,however a good number of birds are already using it.

Friday 6 October 2023

Beckton Kestrel Box


Given the success of the Kestrel Box on the Sewage Works, used since 2018 by the pair, it is no surprise, that over 6 breeding seasons it has become ‘guanoed’ up after producing so many young.

It has been a great success, if you recall from past posts, there previous nesting, position in a pipe, put them in danger of being roasted alive as it was an emergency blow out. Thames Water and myself installed the box as mitigation, the pipe had chicken wire placed over it to stop access and they have not looked back since.

On Wednesday 4th , Laing Orourke the site contractor for the new works, working with Thames Water, kindly provided a telescopic Lorry Picker to access and clean the nest box, changing the substrate along the way and removing the guano from the box and adjacent areas.

Over 6 breeding seasons you will likely get a build-up of parasites, especially so now with our mild winters, not very healthy for chicks especially and incubating adults come spring as you can imagine.

                                                                  The chaps and the rig


                                                                      A lot of guano

                                                             Guano and old substrate

                                                   New substrate in and box ledge scrubbed

                                                          Before in the morning - 8.17a.m

                                                                      After 11.33a.m

All went very well, the male Kestrel was in attendance before the clean up and then remarkably, just as the Lorry Picker was leaving, he flew straight back into the nest box, the tie to the box is obviously very strong.