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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Kestrel mystery solved.

Regent's Park (Kestrel switch)

After the new nest boxes were erected in late February the pair almost immediately showed that they the thought of a new home within the same group of Poplar trees was just what the relationship needed. They took over a month to decide which one they favoured with mating taking place frequently. I did notice the female chase off another female at the end of April but that was the only time I saw her. Since mid May I have spent more time in Bushy Park than Regent's and just presumed that everything was progressing normally. I didn't know when incubation started but as time went on I did start to worry that maybe the eggs weren't fertile, eventually the tell tale signs of droppings on the rear of the nest box meant that the egg(s) had hatched. I did see the female taking prey and as she flew away thought she looked quite dark, possibly due to her being dirty. Today's images prove that I was wrong and she isn't a grubby female and it is a very unusual plumage colour. I have know idea if there were more eggs in the box and they failed, eggs got broken in a fight in the box or maybe the  abundant Magpies in the area took advantage when there were know adults around and dropped into the box and broke the eggs or stole the chicks. I did witness a Magpie carry away a Rat from inside the box that hadn't been eaten. Well as you will see from the photos below the new female is very different, the chick is growing well, though I can't see how worms are provideing enough nutrition. 

The photos below were taken today:

The female on 27th April looked like this, today's female is below

The male Kestrel high over area 32 followed a short time later by a juvenile female Peregrine Falcon. I am not sure where she was reared, there are none close to the park.

Reed Warbler juvs in the Wetland Pen

Stock Dove's may have bred in the Kestrel box or they're eyeing it up for the future.

Stock Dove's in the garden, taken as relaxed on a sunbed


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