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Post Info TOPIC: Rochdale Town Hall Peregrines


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RE: Rochdale Town Hall Peregrines


In a pattern I've seen before when the scrape has been modified, one of the birds has returned after several days away. I think it's the male which has been perching on the edge of the box for most of the morning. Makes a change from the last couple of days when a couple of pigeons were sniffing around. I bet they're keeping a wide berth now.



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Been away for a few days, so not been checking the stream. Have looked today and noticed that they have made some changes to the scrape, adding more gravel and higher sides. No sign of any activity though.



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Maybe a chance of a second attempt, fingers crossed.



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Looks like hopes were too high. No sign of eggs hatching and well past the due date. Logged onto camera today and only one unhatched egg on the tray. Presume the female has abandoned and eaten the other eggs. Ah well maybe better next year.

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Looking good for this year so far. 4 eggs on the nest tray. Just witnessed male and female switch over incubating duties. Live cam is available to watch via Rochdale local authority web site.

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12th aug.

Adult female & 2 juveniles were watched on & around the town hall. The juveniles took me a while at first to see them as they were perched in trees behind the town hall, funny to watch them as woodpigeons & squirrels came close to them. A juvenile was also seen flying with prey & much later on a juvenile was being fed on the town hall by the female.



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saburke


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This year the Rochdale town hall peregrine site has been the subject of controversy. Many people have reported to me their disgust at the wiring/netting up of the nest tray.

The site is regarded as a building site requiring anyone going onto the site to comply with all the necessary protocols.

I visited the site many times and kept an eye on the observations made by others and was constantly asked questions about what was going on and why the birds were not allowed to nest at this, now, traditional site. I could not answer the questions because I am no longer a member of the local raptor group. I resigned from the group because I was far from happy with the way it operated and it failure to operate at all at times when it should have.

As far as I am aware the site was closed off to the peregrines because of building operations. This was, I believe, indicated by the council on a facebook page or the enthusiasts page. I think they said a world renowned ecologist had been employed or some similar wording which was intended to impress.

A member of the local raptor group or council (I cannot recall now) stated on Facebook that a new nest tray had been installed for the birds to nest in. The birds never took to the new nest tray and I doubted they ever would. We were told it had been approved by the BTO, the local Raptor group and the Ecology Unit. I never realised so many had to be consulted! If they were consulted then I would like to know why a peregrine tray was placed so that if juveniles hatched they would bake to death because the tray would get the full sun all day long. The positioning was less than optimal because it did not account for the way birds fly up to nests. The location was fairly low for a peregrine nest: it was very close to a dual carriageway with speeding motorists. Juvenile Peregrines often fly close to the ground and come to ground when tired or laden with a newly passed meal from a food pass. The chance that there would be a juvenile peregrine road kill was, in my view unacceptably high. Finally, the tray was a little close to office windows some of which were open a lot. This may put some birds off nesting. 

I have to say I laughed when they said they put the grit from the previous tray in the new tray to encourage the peregrines to nest! With that sort budgerigar mentality I'm surprised they didn't stick in a mirror and a swing and have the local Mayor shouting "pretty boy" with the loud hailer! In all seriousness and putting aside blame for closing the tray area up, it is my view that the placing of the new tray resulted from utter incompetance and a lack of basic knowledge of peregrine behaviour and ecology which in my view is unforgivable when with a bit of effort they could have found somewhere much more suitable.

In my humble opinion there was no safety issue for the Peregrines and there was no issue for site workers at the town hall site. The noise or vibration would not have been a problem. If the birds had been left alone I am confident they would have bred. Sadly the site was only netted or wired off. This induced the birds to hang around much longer than they need have. It was heart breaking to see the adults trying to make out what was happening for so long before they deserted. The access should have been boarded up so that there was no visual stimulous to keep the birds there.

Whilst no law was broken I intend investigating who made the vital decisions that resulted in a failure for the birds to breed.

Image attached of a pair optimistic Peregrine Falcons and a further image taken at about 4.45pm 16th April. You may note the shadow indicating that any bird using the tray would get no relief from the sun until around 5.00pm





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Male showing nicely at 11:05, perched on one of the grotesques just above the clock face.

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Late post for Thu 20-Jan-22:

1 Peregrine perched on the Town Hall Tower (14:30-15:00)

also nearby
1 Dipper on River Roch between Touchstones and Rochdale Police Station

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I visited Rochdale last Saturday. I was able to get some close views of the male. I previously reported a bill abnormality. The lower right side of the bird's upper mandible is now missing and lacks the cutting edge/tooth. The ridge line is complete.
First image is a full framer of the adult male taking off. The second image shows the bird seemingly observing me when in fact its attention was drawn to a barking dog. The third image is of the juvenile male in the evening sun.



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1 adult and 1 young Peregrine Falcon on Rochdale Town Hall.

Dave Ousey. 



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Short visit to Rochdale this morning, clear view of juvenile perching very high up on clock tower, male just beneath. He circled the clock tower a few times with prey but juvenile not taking the bait.



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It would appear that the juvenile JAC (male) fledged yesterday 16th June.
On examining photographs in detail, it is clear the adult male's bill is not in a good physical condition. If the defect/injury gets worse then the prognosis, in my view, will not be good. Fingers crossed. The second image (close-up) is of the male but you will not see the bill defect in this image.

For the final image forgive my leaving out the letter 'r' in the word probably.



-- Edited by Adrian Dancy on Thursday 17th of June 2021 12:26:20 AM

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Both Juveniles clearly visible on the scrape doing a bit of wing stretching and preening, don't appear to be venturing onto the balustrade yet (or not during my visit)

Both adults visited around 11am 2 very vocal chicks! didn't seem to have food but so quick I wouldn't honestly know. They hung around for around 20 min then flew off in opposite directions.



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Just over an hours visit from 5.30pm on my back from a trip out.
No adults on view on my arrival, one chick moving on the nest but soon sat down so not enough time for me to get a photo of them. Both parents eventually came in, male first, he landed on the town hall for a short while before deciding to go to the church, no food with him !
Female came in shortly after, a brief visit to the chicks but no food with her, then flew up onto the town hall. Photo attached of male on the church & female on town hall.


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saburke


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That's great news Steven, thanks for the update. Hoping to have a ride to Rochdale one evening this week fingers crossed get some pictures of parents.



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2 chicks were ringed here on the 21st May.

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saburke


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A 3rd peregrine was also seen this afternoon but was soon seen off by both adults.
2 feeds were seen by myself today in over 4 hours watching.

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saburke


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Both adults visiting nest site & bringing food in so definitely feeding youngsmile Photo attached of male on the church.

-- Edited by steven burke on Tuesday 11th of May 2021 12:41:19 PM

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saburke


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Had a ride out to Rochdale this morning, Peregrine on church spire which was used as a vantage point last and previous years, looked like a female but flew off before I could get a really good look. 

No signs of activity around scrape site.

According to the website Rochdale have employed a renowned ecologist to monitor site so hopefully there will be an update if there is any activity.



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Friday 19th March - female peregrine perched on town hall just above clock face, she then did a fly around and landed on the ballustrade and then onto I assume the scrape. I have seen both male and female flying around but didn't have camera with me (did have binoculars) will take camera at next opportunity and hopefully upload some images. Female looks in really good shape.



-- Edited by RachelLiBrabin on Wednesday 24th of March 2021 08:52:54 AM

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I think we have all the information necessary with the current situation with the webcam, so now we can get back to sightings and discussion about the birds themselves please.

It might be fruitful though, for those clearly angered/concerned by the current situation to contact the council for clarification on the matter and perhaps some assurances given the importance of it for some?



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We all know what will happen . Rochdale council will , quietly , forget about this project . When somebody asks about it , after refurbishment , they will play the health and safety card , or the budget cuts argument .
Do not let them get away with it !

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Miss management ?....not really Mike Berry as you've already been informed the building is undergoing major refurbishment which I assume includes disruption possible removal of some or all of the electrical services including data, to try and maintaining a webcam to me wouldn't seem feasible. 



-- Edited by Paul Samuels on Monday 22nd of March 2021 09:58:33 PM

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I find this a deplorable situation.
Surely the camera could have been tested prior to the birds showing renewed interest.
When so many people are reliant on wildlife in any shape or form in the current situation, it is total mismanagement on someones part.


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Thats unfortunate Craig, but just a thought, and this is only my opinion...

Irregular still images would provide some kind of regular protection if you like for the birds and the nest, in the sense that various stages of the breeding cycle would at least be seen as a kind of snapshot diary both by those who like to watch the cameras from home as well as those who should be watching the cameras as part of their job.
And lets hope that now it is known that the cameras are off for the foreseeable, that nobody decides to interfere with the birds or the nest!
For me personally, since you know its the camera at fault, I wouldve got a new camera up and running ASAP. But I could be totally wrong in not knowing the ins and outs, and maybe just judging it on how long would it take to unwire the old camera and reconnect the wires to a new one?

Sorry Craig it may sound harsh but thats my view, some protection is better than none, for a species that has overcome prolonged persecution in the past, one that still has its problems, and one that even many non-birders are fully aware of and hold quite dear in their hearts!




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Bad news re the live nest camera this season...
Due to there being extensive interior building work being carried out throughout the town hall this year a livestream of the nest was going to be nearly impossible due to regular interruptions in the power supply to the whole building.  The plan seemed to be that still pictures of the nest tray would have been taken as often as possible, when the power was on to the camera, these then being shown on the council website giving some sort of coverage... ( not ideal but slightly better than nothing..!) Unfortunately when the camera was activated for this seasons coverage there was a problem with the camera, and the problem being at the camera end of the wire. A new camera is required..  Due to confusion between different people, council staff, contractors and us etc time has moved on, and with the camera in situ right by the side of the nest tray, the Peregrines regularly on the tray and the first eggs due to be laid we have made the correct decision not to risk disturbing the birds and the nest site for the sake of what would be at best irregular still pictures. We know a lot of people take great pleasure in watching the live feed but unfortunately there wont be one this year. Apologies..

 

 



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There is a technical problem with the camera at the moment hence it not working. It will hopefully be rectified very soon.



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Have contacted Rochdale about opening up the webcam but had no response yet.

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Both adults flying around tower and out towards Falinge flats and back. Courtship or just playing out? Some chasing of pigeons but half hearted so maybe just playing out. The time was 8:55 and seen from my bus while waiting for a tram to clear the junction.



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Peregrine from his morning....

 

 



-- Edited by Paul Samuels on Saturday 6th of March 2021 11:36:09 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 7th of March 2021 06:08:34 AM

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1-Mar-2021 (15:30 - 15:45):

Both resident birds briefly on the Twon Hall Tower before calling and flying together around the Town Hall. They then both left the area and headed in different directions.

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Passed town hall this morning after getting the Covid jab, a single bird high up calling



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I spent quite a bit of time with the Rochdale peregrines and was rewarded with some rare close shots of the adults and one of the juveniles. Remember that the female has begun her moult from juvenile to adult plumage.



-- Edited by Adrian Dancy on Monday 13th of July 2020 08:53:22 PM

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8pm - 1 of the juveniles visible high up on the town hall, both adults on usual perches not too far away.  



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9pm - Both juveniles flying and landing very well and never far away from each other, very vocal as always. Dad spent quite a while in nest tray probably having a well earned rest. 



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an early afternoon visit to try again in better weather than my last visit. both adults & juveniles were showing well, at one point I moved at the wrong time & missed some action when the female brought in some food, but I did manage to get her almost hovering right above my head with food which she then dropped to a juvenile.




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saburke


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Tiercel sitting preening on the edge of the nest tray at 12.00. No sign of the youngsters.



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Agree! Think yesterdays adventure was enough.



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Both sheltering beneath the nest tray - sensible in this weather!



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08:30  The juveniles are back.

JP



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Both juveniles fledged today. The one with the Darvic ring being the bolder of the two. Both parents did quite a bit of enticing. 9F ventured to the distal part of the town hall (Registry Office) and the adult male came looking for her, checking out cavities etc, only to realise she was on a ridge. For me, it was fortunate because the male offered me some beautiful full framers whilst searching for the juvenile. I was amused to see a song thrush feeding on the lawns opposite flew directly at the juvenile to mob and startle it then returned to carry on its business. The juvenile attempted to fly onto the roof of a structure and did not get good lift and banged itself on a wall missing some protruding nails. It recovered quickly. Lucky escape.

Yesterday one of the adults carried out a full vertical stoop. Always spectacular to watch:)



-- Edited by Adrian Dancy on Friday 3rd of July 2020 12:58:07 AM

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Just had a ride out to Rochdale, All 4 birds seen, the younger 2 making lots of noise (not sure if just hungry or unsure of their new perches!) Mum & Dad keeping a watchful eye.

Looks like at least 1 made it back to nest 21.35



-- Edited by RachelLiBrabin on Thursday 2nd of July 2020 09:35:46 PM

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Only seen one chick today, dad just came in with a kill at 10.25 flew off immediately. Thought if other chick underneath it might have come up for food but nothing as yet.



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Ben Taylor wrote:

It was the dad feeding one of the chicks, he's now currently in a food coma face down on the ledge, mum was about for a bit too but she's gone again. No sign of the 2nd chick


Two chicks were present when I was watching just after 7pm, with the adult bird looking on.



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It was the dad feeding one of the chicks, he's now currently in a food coma face down on the ledge, mum was about for a bit too but she's gone again. No sign of the 2nd chick



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Nice watching the two chicks feeding with each other on the parapet wall outside the nest tray being watched over by one of the adults 7.10 pm biggrin



-- Edited by sid ashton on Thursday 2nd of July 2020 03:09:41 PM

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Further to my previous post here are some images of the adult female peregrine falcon, notice the moult. Apologies for IQ....low light and white sky washout:(

 

AD



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No fledging or maiden flights yesterday unless you consider a walk up a gable parapet fledging. Both adults brought food in within the vicinity of the nest tray. No attempts were made by the adults to entice either of the young out.
I have attached a few images. The first two images are of the juveniles and the third of the male. I will show some images of the female (showing degree of moult) in the next post since I fear the file sizes and numbers may not allow me to show them here all together.



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Both present at 15.30 - feeding on parapet in front of nest tray



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