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Hamish Smith has reported some promising activity at the Bath Peregrine site at St. Johns. Could this be a potential pairing for Bath’s 2021 season? 

St.Johns peering over the local rugby ground in Bath. 

I’ve been following the dynamic at the church since the apparent departure of AA, last sighted in late October 2020.  For the most part, the only birds I’ve seen on the church in the intervening period have been a single adult and a large immature, most likely one of last year’s non-ringed females, but there had been very few visits to the nest box.  Recently, nest box visits restarted on a regular basis and I was seeing what looked like a tiercel, but there was still no sign of the falcon. 

Bath Falcon visiting the nest box

Checks of recordings have revealed that this new visitor first entered the nest box on 1 January, and has been a regular visitor ever since, on occasion bringing his lunch with him. 

A good spot for lunch

On 11 January, for the first time, the falcon entered the box while the new tiercel was there.  He appeared a bit startled and left pretty sharpish, but there were no signs of aggression on the part of the falcon; so, while only time will tell, that’s beginning to look like a new pairing for 2021.  He’s quite a tidy little chap, not ringed with a pristine white-ish breast with no speckles, and interestingly he has a white spot on the left side of his moustache similar to that carried by AA, so it will be easy to tell them apart when they’re perched on the church.

Reaction to incoming female

Tiercel AA was hatched at St John’s church in Bath in 2007.  He stayed over into 2008, and when the breeding tiercel left he assisted with rearing that year’s brood.  From 2009 until 2020 he was the breeding tiercel at Bath, siring 33 fledgers in that time.  He was called AA because that was the ‘call sign’ on his blue ring, having the distinction of being the first bird ringed in Ed Drewitt’s Blue Ring Peregrine Project under which we have ringed in excess of 250 peregrine pulli in the west/southwest regions since 2007.  We wish him well wherever his adventures take him.

No aggression displayed from falcon

Author/Images: Hamish Smith


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