I had a message on Tuesday night from Stuart of the London Peregrine Partnership that he’d picked up an injured Peregrine which might be Charlie. She’d been found in a garden North of Hyde Park, had a nasty wound on her back, was bleeding a lot and was very stressed. He’d brought her to the Royal Veterinary College and we’d know more the next day. On Wednesday morning they confirmed that it was indeed Charlie and said that she’d been put on fluids and painkillers somewhere on her own and she would be assessed later. On Wednesday afternoon they said they had euthanised her, the wounds were more severe than initially thought, very deep. She was also underweight and it was thought better not to put her through a lengthy and painful recovery, especially given her age. Today I heard that they found she had an infection around her spinal area, as well as the wounds.
We can only speculate at what happened. She might have been injured in the fight with Flame (Flame was), injuries which resulted in the infection, which weakened her and meant she couldn’t hunt as effectively and she got weaker. She may have brought down in a territorial battle with another Peregrine, mobbed down by Crows, and then attacked by a Fox.
At least she’s not in pain any more.
The next 2 photos are the first and last ones I have taken of her, in both cases I never knew this was to be… The first one was in the evening of the 11 October 2007, when I saw her for the first time still as a Juvenile. The second one was on 1st April this year when she was under attack from Flame.
11 1/2 years.
Follow a few shots from her taken on the nest ledge earlier this year.
She was such a beautiful Peregrine, so laid back, a great Mum.
19 January 2019 Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham, London
19 January 2019 Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham, London
Truly now the end of an era at Charing Cross Hospital.
You may wonder why I am sharing these photos now…
2 days ago I finished reading New Girl’s ring, that involved a lot of patience and luck but little by little I managed to piece it all together. I immediately submitted the number to Euring (https://euring.org/) and got an email back from the BTO this evening.
It turns out that I watched (and probably a few of you too) her grow up on a RSPB webcam and then I saw her take some of her first flights! She is no spring chicken, she was born in 2010 in Vauxhall, London, from the Parliament pair. What did she do in those nearly 9 years? We’ll never know as it doesn’t look like her ring was reported in those years.
So there you go, a London bird 🙂
And for those of you following the Nottingham Peregrines, it means she’s Archie’s big sister!
So, she is one of the 4 young on the first shot, at the nest site, could be one of the 2 on the second, and is in one of the circles on the 3rd shot, at Parliament.
I have been asked a few times already about a name for New Girl. Obviously, that name is good for now but wouldn’t quite fit if she’s around for years.
I have given it some thought over the weekend. Charlie was named Charlie as I wanted a name that could be both male and female and I based it on *Char*ing Cross Hospital. I couldn’t think of a name for her first mate and ended up calling him Mr C, which suited him very well. Tom’s name is based on the initials of The Other Male.
I have had a suggestion of Violet (because she screams a lot) but she doesn’t feel like a Violet to me, she is a BIG girl.
I have a habit when naming other things/pets to use deity names. Because of the breeding failure history in recent years and the hope that New Girl is bringing of success again I have been looking at deities linked to fertility. And so I am thinking of Damara, which is a British Goddess (and the initial D is after C). But there are others that could work such as Damona, Brigid, Turan…
Or we could call her Mrs T…
#atitlikeperegrines a hashtag we used for Tom and Charlie a few times over the years, and one that could be used for Tom and New Girl on Saturday: 7 times they did it on the ledge that day, including 3 within one hour (6.32, 6.49 and 7.09am)… ‘Only’ 4 times on Sunday 😉
Tom finally got his wish on Saturday when she joined him for a courtship display inside the nest box 🙂 He was so excited, bouncing all over the nest box, as she appeared on the wall by the nest box before jumping inside the box 🙂 She usually stays put where she is and doesn’t really join in.
Tom paid one of his night visits on Saturday, arriving and going inside the nest box at 3.38am and staying there until 4.51am.
Talking of night time, New Girl has been roosting on the ledge both nights but she gets fidgety at times and moves around a bit. She even spent a bit of time on top of the nest box.
She has been staying on the nest box a bit during the day as well. I spent a couple of hours on Saturday watching her and Tom. She disappeared from sight and we were wondering where she’d gone. Turns out she’d gone onto the nest box and we couldn’t see her from the old FledgeWatch spot.
Another distinguishing feature is some rather prominent ‘whiskers’.
Tom has kept her very well fed with a good stream of Feral Pigeons.
New Girl quickly figured out the location of the ledge cache.
She roosted on the ledge and spent pretty much the whole day there too, she is definitely seeing it as home now I think.
Tom has tried again without success to entice her for a courtship display inside the box. The only time he managed was by taking prey inside with him. Very cunning! But all she did was come in and grab…
He’s managed to mate with her more than once today today as they did it 4 times on the ledge…
One thing I have noticed is that New Girl appears to be a bit messy, Charlie would never have left remains of prey all over the ledge wall…
Tom has been trying to entice her in the nest box and only succeeded once but that was because he had a bit of food which she snatched off him and then she left 😉
He brought her a feral Pigeon which she ate for about an hour before putting the rest in the larder on the ledge.
She started to spend some time at the camera end of the ledge and she’s now used to the noise of the camera when it is moved so I have managed some close ups. I have managed to read the first 3 characters of her ring, I am now confident I should be able to get it all and then we’ll know where she comes from…
(On Tuesday, on her first visits to the ledge, she was flying away as soon as I would move the camera, which was one indication that this was neither Tom or Charlie – it’s not taken her long…)
They mated on the ledge for the first time at 3:30pm.
Will there be the patter of big feet after all this year…
She still has blood on the feathers on her right legs and she appears to be injured on her left bottom eyelid which gives her a bit of a funny look. Was that there before or is it a result of the fight…?
Look wise, she looks a lot more like Tom, her chest is white like him not honey like Charlie’s and her cheek patches go a lot higher than Charlie.
Monday 1st April at 2.14pm, this is the last capture on camera on the ledge that I have for Charlie…
I was walking from Hammersmith shortly before that and could see two Peregrines fighting over the skies around the Ark and Novotel. When I got to the hospital I could see 2 Peregrines on the hospital and 2 Peregrines up in the air. Unfortunately the sun shining right over the hospital prevented me to see much of what was happening and prevented me from taking any meaningful photos. It was enough for me to see that Tom was perched on the North Wing corner. There was a bird on the wall over the ledge but I couldn’t make out who it was, that bird was being dive bombed by one of the birds in the air. Then, there was a bird on the ledge, it went onto the ledge, the recording told me later that it was Charlie. She was there screaming for a couple of minutes then she took off and went around the North Wing and that’s the last I have seen of her.
Tom turned up on the ledge late afternoon with food, no one turned up, I started to wonder if something was wrong, but, occasionally, Charlie hasn’t heard Tom so he had to go and find her, it could be that.
Time to go to bed and Charlie had not turned up to roost. I checked the cctv as soon as I got up the next morning, no Charlie roosting on the ledge. I checked the hospital and there were 2 birds perched on corners. One is Tom, the other has its back turned so I couldn’t tell but something was telling me it wasn’t quite right. So, I went out with my camera. By then the birds had moved towards the front of the hospital. Again, one was Tom. The other was definitely not Charlie, the pattern on the head wasn’t right… Then they flew off and I managed a shot of the legs of the bird, no green ring but a metal ring on the right leg… A new girl…
She has blood on her right leg, I suspect from the fight with Charlie.
Since yesterday morning, she has been spending a fair amount of time on the ledge. Tom has brought her food which she has accepted. Tom has tried to entice her inside the nest box for a courtship display, she is happy to join in but from outside. I have seen them fly together and this morning they chased an intruder together. That intruder could have been Charlie, unfortunately the action was a bit too far for me to make out individual birds.
Early afternoon on Saturday 19th January Charlie arrived on the ledge and after a short while decided to pancake on the wall of the ledge. I find the following video interesting as it shows her settling, with a better angle than when she does this on top of the nest box as she tends to face the camera there.
She pancaked for a few minutes but got up quite quickly and moved to perch on top of the nest box instead.
There, she decided to pancake again and even have a bit of a snooze.
At 1.48pm, she suddenly got up and started bowing, I thought she was going to have a courtship display with Tom but no. Instead, Tom came and mated with her! This has to be the earliest mating on camera for this pair. I had been wondering a few times a few days before if it was about to happen, from the way Charlie was presenting herself…