Bath Peregrine Season June 2017…so far!

Recapping to some extent on previous reports of the beginnings of fledging at Bath Urban Peregrine Project.

Things were looking really good in Bath as we approached the time of fledging with St John’s basking in warm sunshine.

From Bath Cricket Club, the 2017 juveniles could be seen clearly in the nest box….

…..and even more so from the Riverside walk…..

….as they exercised their wings on the patio.  In the warm sunshine it was looking good for a straightforward fledging in 2017.  The beginnings of the process went well, and three peregrine chicks came out of the nest leaving PY (the baby of the brood) home alone. On 5 June at 07:50, female (blue ringed) PW had fledged early at 38 days from hatching.  Had the weather remained sunny and warm this would not have been a problem, but it was turning stormy with high winds and driving rain.  In essence, PW left the nest box and, “disappeared off of our radar.”  Then on 5 June at 11:10, female PX early fledged, also at 38 days from hatching, but as the previous report recorded, at around 12:30 she was recovered in good condition but in driving rain from a Manvers Street roof having attracted the attention of the Bath Gulls.

PX, seen here, was returned to safe area on a large flat roof at St John’s church in full sight of adults with food.

In a very short time she was once again bounding around and looking good while drying out and exercising her wings.  However, the weather took a turn for the worse overnight and a really intense storm passed through.  On the morning of 6 June, PX was recovered from the ground in low condition after a very stormy night and was immediately transferred to the hospital at the International Centre for Birds of Prey.  It is believed that in leaving the roof she landed heavily and she may have hurt her back.  She is on a course of medication and it is understood that she should recover with rest.  The plan is to release her at St John’s once she has been given the all clear.

On 6 June at approximately 16:30, female PW (above) came into view, was recovered from a particularly low roof on St John’s and was placed in a transportation container for release into the nest box the next day.  Having fledged, she would normally have been left to find her own way back onto the main body of the church buildings, but in light of the weather conditions and her location, it was considered best that she was recovered and released to prevent the possibility of damage in the storms.  Early on 7 June, PZ the single male of the brood fledged-ish onto the roof of nest box, leaving last hatched PY ‘home alone’.  At 08:50: Female PW was returned to nest box where she immediately helped herself to some cached food and reacquainted herself with sibling PY.  Around the same time, male PZ (now at 39 days from hatching) flew from St John’s, but despite extensive searches could not be located.  At this stage we had PW and PY in the nest box together, PX receiving care/R&R at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, and PZ AWOL in Bath.

Early on the morning of 8 June, a call was put in to the Hawk and Owl Trust to the effect that there was a young peregrine in a residential road near ‘The Rec’, the Bath Rugby ground.  On investigation, PZ was found to be standing up, bright as a button but clearly tired out as he put up only token resistance to being scooped up and settled in the warmth of a car (above) for the return journey to St John’s.  As there were now two juveniles in the nest box, the returned PW and the apparently extremely sensible PY who had sat back and observed this sibling kerfuffle from the safety of the nest box, it was decided that it was in the best interests of PZ for him to be returned to the nest box.

When PZ was quietly and slowly returned to the nest box his siblings took very little notice, and for some time he stood in isolation at the back of the box.

After a number of hours, he started engaging with his two larger sisters……..

….he stood on the edge of the patio preening….

….and then quite simply fell out of the nest.  We know the direction he subsequently flew in because it was clear that his sisters watched him flying off.  There’s not a lot more that can be said at this stage, so tune back in for the next episode.  In theory we should not need to intervene further.  The weather is set (reasonably) fair and this is around the time that PZ would have been expected to fledge.  Hopefully as in previous years he will find his way back to the safety of the church in pretty short order.

13 Responses to Bath Peregrine Season June 2017…so far!

  1. 11th June 0545 one juvenile being fed on the Abbey spire. 1 in the nest box another on top of it and a lot of noise at St Michaels with an adult vigilant on the spire… didn’t see a juvenile at St Michael’s but a lot of calling…..

  2. Hello we have got a falcon turned up in our garden in Bath. Just checking no one is missing it. Hard to see its tag but will let you know.

  3. I have only just discovered this input – what traumas the birds must go through. Thanks so much for all the work and information.
    Helena Carter, Sussex.

  4. Hamish – Many thanks for the update about PZ. I’ve copied and pasted it onto the Bath forum. Hope that’s OK.

  5. Many thanks JP.

    We’re pretty sure we know where PZ is currently holed out, and thankfully this time (if we’re right) he’s up in a convoluted roof complex where we have had fledglings hide from the gulls before until they’d worked out how to get back to the church buildings. Hopefully he’ll magically be on the church one morning having slunk back under the cover of darkness, as with GA’s brother GB in 2013.

    Back up to date: The falcon spent the whole morning keeping the weathercock company 200+ feet up, and she was initially scanning all points of the compass. Around 12:00 she stopped and headed out so hopefully she now knows where PZ’s hiding. Once we have the full story, hopefully in the next couple of days, we’ll get it posted.

    • To bring you right up to date, she was back up there at 1430ish when I arrived and still there when I left at about 1745. AA was on one of the pinnacles of the window to the right of the nest, he didn’t move much either but KP was pretty active and gave me some nice fly pasts and a great stoop to finish. Both chicks (PW & PY) still in the nest and quite vocal towards KP and no sign of the prodigal Son PZ.

  6. A great report of a very ‘interesting’ fledging season so far:)!
    Question – shortly before all the fledging activity I noticed a chick (not sure which) attempting to eat a ‘ringed’ leg. The green ring is still visible in the nest .. has anyone been able to identify what bird this belonged to? Also, had it managed to do so, would the consumption of the ring have been detrimental to the chick in any way (choking hazard etc) Thanks!

    • Thank you to everyone on the scene for the care and the reporting. For those of us who keep an eye on them when we can and otherwise look remotely (with doting interest) it’s great to get such clear reports and pictures. This is the best soap opera in town.

      Many thanks
      Michele O’Leary

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