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Friday 22 December 2023

Peregrine Box

On Friday, I placed a new peregrine box on an alternative building as mitigation, the successful one they bred on in 22/23 is earmarked for demolition in the near future.

It’s of a similar design to their current one, basically sitting on a low scaffold platform with access to a roof exercise area, the idea being that, not only with the box visible to pique their interests, hopefully the similarities in the scaffold platform will do the same.

The plan then will be to dismantle the old box, the rest is up to the pair.

A big thanks to everyone involved in this in making it happen and there help on the day.

Saturday 16 December 2023

Southend Pier


December 13th 2023

With Chris shopping in Southend, I made the most of the trip with a visit to the end of the Pier, train there and back naturally these days.

It was on a rising tide and the 1st train out was 10.30a.m, having got caught out a while back, they only run from Wednesday to Sunday.

Just short of 2 hours out there produced a few nice birds, I wasn’t expecting lots of activity with the wind direction, but it still produced a few goodies, nonetheless.

A nice surprise was 2 immature Shags at the end of the Pier favouring the Med Gull posts, can’t recall the last time I saw one here. Watched these for a while, don’t often get the chance to see them this well.

Moving to the upper level over a 90-minute period produced the following birds of note:

2 Great Northern Divers
Red Throated Diver
4 Kittiwake
12 Mediterranean Gulls
4 Great Crested Grebes
144 Turnstone at roost

A good visit, another on New Years Day may be in order.



Friday 8 December 2023



Battersea Power Station

The pair remain stable as we likely enter the Falcon’s 13th or 14th year, she is holding on well, this is despite, no doubt numerous challenges by singles testing her and the Tiercel. Her age is against her and eventually she will be replaced, now unable to produce eggs sadly as of this year, it will likely be the same story for 2024, if she is still present.

The last time she had breeding success was 2021 with 3 juveniles fledged, sadly nothing since, the new permanent position has been 100% accepted and she still spends lots of time inside sleeping.

If you have visited you will know that the Northern Park is now an Ice Rink, however I am still finding wildlife, despite the multitude of people, you just have to know where to look. Both Wagtails are present, the Pied’s are usually found dodging people ground foraging and the Greys stick mostly to the river foreshore.

                                                               A well stuffed Falcon


                                         Tiercel - fluffing himeself up to look bigger - intruder!

                                                                     Pied Wagtail



Now into December, the pair are rapidly approaching yet another breeding season, just under 7 now weeks before the licence and breeding season kicks in again on February 1st 2024.It shows what a long commitment the breeding season is for them with 2 juveniles not long gone.

The new nest position as far as I am aware, has not been accessed, I haven’t seen them at the nest box and fairly regular checks of the substrate, shows the pattern inside remains the same. Of course, it’s still early days, January will hopefully bring forth some breeding signs, I’ve seen them copulating before on Boxing Day, much depends on the weather.

They are fickle beasts, it’s as much about cutting down alternative positions, the issue is that you cannot cover all of Victoria Tower’s ledges, balconies and niches, time will tell.

The 2 juveniles now are long gone, I often wonder where they will end up, hopefully they will get through there first winter.

                                             Falcon - look at the size and spread of that foot



                                       Juvenile cutting some shapes around Victoria Tower


Friday 1 December 2023

Norfolk Seals


Morston Quay Seal Trip 

November 20th

Having pre booked with Temple Seal Trips running out of Morston Quay, Chris and myself left home around 6.30a.m, the trip was governed by the tide not surprisingly, on arrival we sailed around 11.30a.m. A big wide boat, around 16 of us were in it with plenty of room for me to swing the camera and not take anyone out with the lens.

The weather was spot on as we headed out of the Creek at Morston, on the way out to Blakeney Point, we saw the odd Seal, but in ever increasing numbers as we headed further out, heads started popping out everywhere.

As we got further out the sheer numbers of Seals, they were all Atlantic Grey Seals mostly with the occasional Harbour Seal mixed in.

As you know from the Blog I see, Grey Seals along the Thames quite often, just a head usually and partial body, however with many hauled out, you realise just how big they are, especially the Bulls.

As we neared all the remote areas further out, pups started to appear and the sheer numbers were quite staggering, up in the thousands we were told stretched as far as the eye could see along the sand dunes.

A spectacular sight, Chris absolutely loved it as did I.

                                                                   Striking colours

                                                            Lots of time spent sleeping

                                                      Heads started to show on the way out

                                                                      Mum and pup

                                                 Pup - this is what contentness looks like

                                                                      Grey Seals

              More Grey Seals, we were told up in the thousands dissapearing right along the coast

                                                                 Bull, Cow and pup

                                       Way back on the dunes, this one kept an eye on the boat


I was obviously keeping an eye out for birds as well; some good birds were seen like Great Northern and Red Throated Diver.

Also 2 Razorbills, 3 Rock Pipits, Guillemot, 2 Red Breasted Mergansers, Pintail, Goldeneye, and a Red Kite patrolling the Seal colony, presumably looking for scraps.

A great trip.