Bath Urban Peregrines Project 2014 – Update 03

February 2014

Throughout February, having weathered the recent storms, life for the Bath peregrines has progressed pretty much as normal for this time of the year; the breeding pair has begun posturing and calling to one another, and a few food passes have been witnessed. To date there have been no sightings of mating activity but the birds’ body language and the fact that the tiercel is roosting closer than normal to the falcon on the church indicates that mating has either started or is very close.

For the Bath and West Wilts Group (B&WWG), however, things have been a bit more hectic. Planning for the nest box camera system has progressed well, with the installation planned for 6 & 7 March, and the extension to the nest box [“Peregrine Patio”] has been constructed and installed.

The peregrines’ eye view from the nest box looking out over the newly installed “Peregrine Patio”
The peregrines’ eye view from the nest box looking out over the newly installed “Peregrine Patio”

The patio was designed and constructed by the box manufacturer and B&WWG Treasurer Andy Grant, and installed with the assistance of Group members Pete Davis and yours truly. Advice was sought from Jemima Parry-Jones, International Centre for Birds of Prey and Hawk and Owl Trust Trustee, on the shape and nature of the perch section which has subsequently received her seal of approval. B&WWG gave and delivered against an undertaking to St John’s that the visual impact of the nest box would not be increased by the extension.

The newly extended nest box viewed from South Parade.
The newly extended nest box viewed from South Parade.

Despite the best efforts of his father, 2013 tiercel GB has not yet moved on to pastures new, and he continues to be a fixture at St John’s where he can regularly be heard begging for food when one of the adults returns with a kill.

The view from the opposite side of the River Avon.
The view from the opposite side of the River Avon.
2013 tiercel GB resolutely perch hunting from St John’s.
2013 tiercel GB resolutely perch hunting from St John’s.

Only time will tell if we have a repeat at Bath this year of the ‘assistance’ with incubation and pre-fledging care provided by yearling tiercel CT, of Springwatch fame, in 2012.

Hamish Smith
Bath Peregrine Project Coordinator
HOT Bath and West Wilts Group

E: hamish.smith@volunteer.hawkandowl.org

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