The Discovery center at Burrator reservoir celebrated it’s fourth Anniversary this weekend. South West Peregrine were there for the initial opening back in 2014 and were lucky to be involved again this year, with their annual fundraiser. As well as Letter-boxing, rope making,nest box building and a host of other outdoor craft and lifestyle activities, South West Peregrine were able to put on an informative display for the general public whilst having 3 of the team there to answer lots of questions about the local birds of prey and some of the field work that is carried out. There are numerous pairs within the National park boundaries, which are monitored as part of our annual Survey work. Children and Adults alike, as always enjoyed the interactive tools and video used in the display. The team will be back later in the year to give an evening talk at the Discovery Centre, spaces are limited so get in touch via their website to book yourself a spot
Sunday 4th June, another three young were colour ringed along with the metal BTO rings; this was a tricky site to reach, but the ledge was large enough to allow the ringing to go ahead in-situ.
This is a fourth consecutive season the pair have bred and over that period 11 Chicks have all been raised to fledging. The ringing carried out under licence and with landowners permission went once again without a hitch, due to good teamwork and planning the climb in advance.
A short sequence taken from Bushnell camera trap footage, over an hours period in June 2016, Devon, UK.
The Falcon does her best to protect three young chicks from a summer downpour. Weather play’s a huge part in the young’s survival; however with a good food source, and a well drained ledge, all three went onto successfully fledge in July.
This was this particular Falcons third successful breeding season, now having reared eight young in total.
Wednesday the 1st of June 2016, saw the ringing team back on the clifftops of North Cornwall at a particular tricky coastal site. A first attempt to climb was aborted,due to some technical issues. After a very difficult climb, the second assault proved a major success. Three very healthy eyasses bagged up in spite of only one adult being present for the past two weeks. The young birds were now at 25 days of age, slightly older than the desired ringing age by a day or so, but due to the their location on a very large ledge it was not a problem for the experienced team. They were a bit of challenge to handle and ring, however the team prevailed. All three healthy young Peregrines, were then returned safely to their ledge some 100 feet below the cliff top. The adult male was soon back to inspect the goings on and in due course feed the ravenous young.
SWP would like to thank Chris Adams for photographing the team and allowing us to use his images on this post.
Roger Finnamore of SWP gets his hands on some young Buzzards (Buteo buteo), he takes up the story
‘The Peregrine is obviously the core species of our field work, that said however, we do have other strings to our bow. The 1st of June, and I had kindly been invited to meet with George Swan. George has been carrying out a colour ringing project on Buzzards, the venue a large estate in mid Cornwall. Not quite knowing what to expect, George and I met at the appointed hour. He agreed to do the driving, an interesting journey followed as Cornish hedgerows flashed by. We arrived at the first chosen site and George was soon on his way up a substantial tree. A single chick was found at this site, duly bagged, lowered to the ground ringed and swiftly returned to the large stick nest.
Again at break neck speed, it was off to the next nest. Concentration of Buzzards took me by surprise and it wasn’t long before we were at the foot of our next nest. This nest held two much larger chicks,these were weighed, measured, ringed and returned. A completely new experience for myself; getting introduced to a new species a under the watchful eyes of George was one which I most definitely would like to repeat. Very many thanks to George for the opportunity’.
A short film has been produced to show the ease of installing a Kestrel box. We encourage anyone who has access to suitable habitat to give this a go for themselves. It is not only our garden birds that need homes at this time of year, many of our Birds of Prey also need our help.
The team are now looking to install a Barn Owl and Tawny Owl box along with artificial stick nests to encourage other raptors. We will keep you updated as to the progress of these projects in future posts.
The Group were invited to SUMMERCOURT Academy and spent an enjoyable Day with all the classes teaching them facts about the Peregrine and other Birds of Prey that live in the British Isles.
Every child measured their own Wingspan, saw videos, learnt about the Peregrine’s amazing eyesight as well as being able to see many other items of interest and colouring their own Peregrine and Barn Owl face masks. All the children enjoyed the experience as did the team. Education and discovery at such an early age is an important part in helping the conservation of our magnificent birds of prey.
Please see the Website for further details if you are interested in holding your own similar event.