31 May 23

Torness triplet rescued after failed flight

A peregrine falcon chick, being raised at Torness power station, has been rescued after a failed flight from its rooftop nest.

Peregrine falcons have been taking advantage of the safe environment at EDF’s East Lothian facility to nest and raise chicks for years. In total, 53 chicks have fledged from the rooftop site over the past 24 years.

This year the returning pair of peregrines are raising a brood of three chicks. Peregrines lay their eggs in late-March or April and chicks hatch around 30 days later. It takes a further five weeks for chicks to fledge with their parents teaching them to fly and hunt for a further two months.

Last week, an early flight for one of the Torness triplets went wrong and workers found it on a road inside the power station grounds.

Clare Galloway from the Environmental Safety Group said: “When some of our people came across the chick it was clearly struggling to take flight again. They could not leave it on the road as it was at risk from moving vehicles. After checking it was uninjured, they took it back to the rooftop nest-site to reunite it with the rest of the family.”

Since then the peregrine, nicknamed Percy, has been making great progress. All three chicks have been spotted via the web-cam that can be viewed on the internal network, feeding and taking flight.

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.

Acting Station Director, Jamie McKenzie said: “We have a rich variety of wildlife at Torness and it is wonderful to see the peregrines return year after year. We are used to following their progress, but rarely do they experience such drama. I am glad the chick seems to be doing well after its adventure.”

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.

For more information contact: Fiona McCall (Senior External Affairs Manager): fiona.mccall@edf-energy.com or contact the Media Office on 01452 65 22 33.