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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

7th & 8th July

Richmond Park

I popped over to Pen Ponds on the way to work just as the mist was clearing. It really is the best time to be in the parks.

Common Tern: the 3 pairs were busy looking for food for their young, which were still on their rafts. There was a sudden commotion and lots of chasing, 2 more pairs had dropped in. They didn’t hang around and may have been following a westerly movement of BH Gulls.

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The mist is slowly lifting from Pen Ponds

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It soon cleared to show the terns in the best possible light.

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Bushy Park today

Common Buzzard: Great news 3 birds (1 juvenile) were seen feeding in the Brew House Field this morning. Is this the first breeding record in the London area?

Kestrel: a juvenile was looking for food near Upper Lodge Road.

Swallow:family groups can be seen hawking insects over the grass in the paddocks, near Upper Lodge Road and near Hampton Wick Cricket Club.

Chiffchaff: I seemed to here birds calling in from areas I haven’t heard them for a couple of months. They may be birds that are already on the move having finished breeding.

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The Royal Peregrine Falcons.

I had given permission for work to take place in the lift rooms of the building that the birds had nested successfully on. The juveniles have rarely been of late, so there was no way that the work was going to disturb them. With the help of Paul, one of the security team we went up to see what the birds had been feeding on. It might also allow me to solve the mystery of why a female Kestrel (photo posted 17th June) followed the falcon back to the nest. I thought that it might have been because she had just lost one of her young. Well on the 4th I saw 3 juv Kestrel in the Bushy Park that were not that long out of the nest but who’s mum was the one that had chased the falcon. It didn’t take us long to find the carcass, Paul saying “I have found a Kestrel”. At first glance it did look like a Kestrel but I soon pointed out features that meant that it wasn’t. What the Peregrine had taken was a juvenile Cuckoo, maybe the female Kestrels eyes are failing and she thought it was one of her young.

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The Kestrel follows the falcon in 17th June and what we found 21 days later.

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