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Friday 28 June 2024

Parliament Latest

I can confirm that all 4 juveniles have fledged and are flying well, this is despite 2 of them 'grounding' whilst undertaking the fledging process, all thankfully were rescued and relocated to the roof of Victoria Tower.

The roof of Victoria Tower is the agreed relocation spot for releasing them back with the adults, it is high and easy for them to fly off when they are ready, no disturbance, but above all the adults will see them aloft and then feed them.

A recent visit over 3 and a half hours had both adults hunting distantly, just the one juvenile received prey during that time, this was a Great Spotted Woodpecker. With the brighter blue skies and sunshine, prey species like Feral Pigeon and Ring-Necked Parakeet etc will see them far easier as they are targeted.

                                                                 2 Juveniles

                                                                      Adult Tiercel


                                                Juvenile with Great Spotted Woodpecker

I was also keeping an eye out for the long staying male immature from 2023, no sign so very possible with chicks/juveniles present, his presence may not have been tolerated.



Friday 21 June 2024

Thick and Fast

Following on from 3 of the same brood back ( The whole brood down – May 30th) Paul and myself returned 3 more back on Thursday June 20th. A massive thanks again goes to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital team for getting them fit to go back and of course Paul, his help is invaluable.

One of the juveniles has quite a story that some of you may be familiar with, if you follow Kingston College Peregrines, you will know what happened.
Basically with 3 juveniles, the resident adult Falcon sadly died, and a new Falcon immediately took over, she then systematically attacked each juvenile, all as I understand it were either hit or forced down to the ground where they were rescued.

Courtesy of Paul from Kingston Peregrines, 2 ended up in SEWH with the 3rd taken elsewhere, in regard to SEWH, 1 has a fracture of the wing and will be long term and 50/50 , but the female from Kingston was the 3rd bird and declared fit by Sue/Tom and ready to go.

Obviously, she couldn’t go back to Kingston, so I decided to foster her with another family of 3 at a very similar stage. Additionally, this new family of 3 had recently lost one of its siblings, I would presume Fox predation, so the family unit was perfect.

The release couldn’t have gone better, the adult Tiercel was present, circled watching me, at the same time I released ABJ, she flew and joined him calling, circled again with him before returning and alighting near another sibling.
Obviously, all this is done under licence, a lot depends on making the connection with an adult/sibling, at or very near the nest site, additionally you have to take in what stage ‘ natural’ siblings are at, these were spot on.

Paul’s release also went very well, with another sibling heard close by at the nest site, he had a very tight long set of spiral stairs to contend with, dark, winding, a very tight fit and claustrophobic, its hard work, carrying a complaining bird up in a carrier makes it even harder.

My 2nd release at the nest site, went ok although the juvenile flew straight into a Balcony covered with Pigeon netting, I hate this stuff, it’s the standard 0.5mm strands - 50mm squares, it is deadly for them. It was covering the balcony, top to bottom to stop pigeon access, the juvenile had grabbed it and was hanging.
However, by the time I had got back down to ground level, it had thankfully extracted itself and was on a ledge on an adjacent building.
Lost a few birds over the years to this type of netting, thankfully he wasn’t one of them.

So, 3 released back, we ringed them also and Paul white ringed them as follows -


They now have another bite of the cherry.

Saturday 15 June 2024

Grounders and Ringing

The last week or so has flown by, first up was a grounded juvenile peregrine at an East London site last Friday, thankfully spotted by the owners and the recovery procedure kicked in and Paul and myself were notified.

Initially located on the floor by workers late afternoon, we got the call and arrived at 7.30p.m but failed to locate it, widening the perimeter, we eventually located it sitting large as life on a handrail.

With myself distracting it to keep its attention, Paul grabbed it quite simply and transferring the bird, then colour ringed it.

I am still having to take it easy, so Paul took the bird aloft and released it where the adults will feed it, watching from ground level, it straight away joined 2 other fledged juveniles aloft in the vicinity and the adult Tiercel slightly lower down.

A good release back and well done to Paul for doing all the hard graft.


Elsewhere, ringing of various species – Peregrine, Barn Owl and Kestrel has kept Shaun and Paul very busy, in particular on the Peregrine front with the new white colour scheme which we started in 2023.

Its turning into a very productive year for the pairs we monitor on the scheme and could well be the most chicks/juveniles produced.

In regard to Barn Owls and Kestrels, it has also been very productive, from 2 sites alone, it produced 11 Barn Owl and 9 Kestrel chicks from various boxes.

More to come later on this.









Saturday 8 June 2024

Parliament Latest - Chicks!


Great news in that pair of Peregrines, have bred at Parliament this year on Victoria Tower, and we have a very healthy brood of 4 chicks.

I was unable to attend, but Paul visited the balcony on May 28th and ringed all of the chicks, on size/weight we are looking at 2 males and 2 females.

Having previously watched activity and the nest balcony comings and goings, on behaviour, I had thought they were in the Tray. If you recall in earlier updates, we gave them the option of using either the Tray or the old Nest Box.

However, being smarter than me, they opted for the old nest box(now sitting on the floor) which obviously provided all round weather protection for adults/chicks alike, especially needed these days with our totally unstable weather.

Sadly, I am hearing that many pairs have failed this year on the West Country coastlines, solely down to the unstable weather, with climate change, no doubt a sign of things to come.

                                                                     Photos by Paul

The 4 chicks have all been BTO metal ringed on one leg, with a new white colour placed on the other leg, it’s a new scheme, Paul, Shaun and myself started last year.

The ring numbers are AAZ - AAY - ABA - ABB.