Bumper brood for Torness peregrines
Torness power station’s visiting pair of peregrine falcons have a bumper brood to raise this year.
Four chicks have hatched at the nest site at EDF’s East Lothian facility, making this the largest clutch for nearly a decade. In total, forty-five chicks have fledged from the power station over the past 22 years.
Workers are able to monitor the family’s progress on EDF’s internal network via a web-cam installed in 2009 giving a fascinating insight into how the adults care for their young.
In the initial days, the female carries out most of the brooding and feeding of the small young, while the male hunts to supply the food. After the first couple of weeks, the female shares the hunting.
The young fledge after five or six weeks and are independent around two months later. Until then, the adult peregrines teach the young to hunt and handle prey in flight.
Clare Galloway, from the Environmental Safety Group, said: “It has been a while since we’ve seen such a large clutch of eggs and it has been delightful watching them grow since they hatched. Favourable weather conditions have been making the job of feeding and protecting such a large family slightly easier but the parents have certainly been busy trying to meet the demands of four hungry mouths.”
According to the RSPB, peregrines are comparatively rare and recent estimates by the Scottish Raptor Study Group indicate that around a quarter of peregrine nests in southern and eastern parts of Scotland are subject to interference and killing.
The grounds of the power station offer a safe haven for the birds where they can nest undisturbed each year and have previously attracted birds from as far away as London, an unusually long journey for a peregrine falcon.
Station Director, Tam Albishawi said: “We have a rich variety of wildlife at Torness and it is wonderful to see the peregrines return year after year. I’m delighted another four chicks look set to fledge from this successful nesting site bringing the total for the past 22 years to 49 chicks.”
Torness has held the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark award since 2015; one of four sites in Scotland and the only one in East Lothian to do so.
Fiona McCall (07813232347) for further information.