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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

PEREGRINE Returns to Winter Roost

I had a text from Jim Middleton at 6.45pm saying that the PEREGRINE Falcon that has wintered on the BT building next to 'The Magic Roundabout' for the last 2 winters was back. Luckily I was in a car pulling onto the the roundabout (officially called The Plough Roundabout) at that moment, so I looked up at the 4 uprights on the N face of the building to see her sat at her usual roost, clearly visible even from the furthest mini roundabout closest the Kodak Tower. It was great to see that the ringed female had returned for a 3rd winter & this is the earliest recorded date that she has arrived at her winter residence.

Nice one Jim & thank you for the text.
I  will keep this blog updated with her activities over the coming months.

LOCATION:
The winter Peregrine roost is on the BT building next to 'The Magic Roundabout' or Plough Roundabout, on the E side. Not to be confused with the Kodak Tower (now 'Image' apartments) which is on the opposite side of the roundabout.
Below is an interactive map of where the Peregrine roost is, where to view it from, where to park, & which way to walk between the spots.
The 6 Figure OS Grid Ref. for the general area is TL 055 063, the 10 Figure OS Grid Ref. for the precise location of the roost is TL 05582 06377. You can use the interactive map > HERE < to find the location by Grid Ref, simply add the grid reference to the search to the left.
If you plan on using a SatNav to visit the site the postcode is HP2 4XD.
I'd say the best place to park without annoying residents or shop owners is at B&Q (HP3 9XX)  just down the road at Corner Hall, off of Lawn Lane from the E, or Two Waters Road from the W.
The roost area is on the N side of the building, facing on to the A414 dual carriageway, also called St. Albans Road. There is a section of the building that protrudes towards the main road which appears to be an internal staircase / lift shaft. On the front of this 'tower' are 4 beige uprights & there is a ledge linking the left-hand two, & another linking the right-hand two, just down from the top of the uprights. This is the Peregrine's pad.
The Pergrine is most often seen either in the morning until about 9.00am, or in the afternoon / evening usually after 4.00pm, sometimes returning to roost with a kill.
The Peregrine's favoured perches seem to be the top of the uprights 3rd & 4th from the left when alert, sat near the front looking down over the town, or the 1st & 2nd uprights from the left, when sat puffed up & resting, hidden at the back.

An interactive map of the Peregrine roost site.
View The BT Peregrine location guide on a larger map > HERE <.


In previous years I have seen the Peregrine leave the roost & travel NE away from the town & have heard records of one flying over the industrial estate & another frequently hunting Golden Plovers in the Redbournbury area, so it is possible that this is where it may spend the day on the hunt. I have also seen it flying from the Boxmoor direction though & even flying between the offices in Corner Hall, where I work.

I hope any Hemel birders that haven't yet seen her yet get a chance to this winter, don't miss the opportunity to see this rare & beautiful addition to our town.

For more information about this bird from winters '09/'10 & '10/'11, & to see photos I took at the time, visit the Hertfordshire Birding blog by Lee G R Evans.
Go straight to the posts about this bird by clicking > HERE < & > HERE <.

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