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Predator Species Takes Up Residence In Woking: Watch Peregrins’ Nest Site Live On A Webcam

Published on: 27 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 27 Apr, 2016

Countryman Malcolm Fincham, whose regular Birdwatcher’s Diary reports in The Guildford Dragon NEWS are much enjoyed by our readers, writes about a pair of peregrins who have nested high up on Woking’s Export House building. You can even watch their progress via a webcam on a dedicated website.

A peregrin flies to the nest site at Export House in Woking. Click to enlrage in a new window.

A peregrin flies to the nest site at Export House in Woking. Click on all images to enlarge in a new window. All pictures by James Sellen.

A predator species has taken up residence in Woking. This time fortunately not of the Martian kind that landed on nearby on Horsell Common and featured in the novel The War of the Worlds by science fiction writer H. G. Wells.

In contrast, they are a welcomed guest to birdwatchers. And to many with an interest in nature too. Anyone can now tune in on the internet to a webcam that has been set up to monitor live 24-hour coverage of a pair of peregrines now residing at Export House in the centre of Woking.

Going to the nest site.

Going to the nest site.

I’ve saved it as a bookmark on my computer and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed, and neither will you. Go to:

A short interview with fellow keen wildlife photographer James Sellen reveals much of the work that has been going on behind the scenes.

He has also kindly provided some of the photos of the falcons he has taken while following their progress.

The nest site is here!

The nest site is here!

James said: ”The story so far is that the nest box CCTV installation was completed at the end of January 2016 and mating was seen late February to mid late March.

“Four eggs were laid between March 22 to 28. We are now anticipating and hoping hatching will occur between now and the end of April.

James also insisted I should mention the wonderful work and assistance and time donated by Nick Dixon .

James said: “He has been a tremendous help with our project. He wrote an excellent report which has enabled us to plan, site and install the nest box in time for this breeding season.

“There have been numerous people and organisations who have also helped and given their consent for this project. The partners section on the website shows the main supporters. Craig Denford has built and maintains the website. Top job!”

View from the webcam showing the eggs that have ben laid.

View from the webcam showing the eggs that have ben laid.

James also mentioned: ”I have been watching this pair of peregrines since February 2015. During the following months they have become inseparable and I kept a friend, John Bannister, updated with my sightings.

“John is a big peregrine fan and represents the Guildford Environmental Forum. In June 2015 he suggested we contact the owners of Export House to suggest the installation of the peregrine nest box.

“By chance, I met Martin Pooley (head of operations at Woking Shopping) a couple of months previous and he was very keen to learn more about the resident falcons.

One of the birds sitting on the eggs.

One of the parents sitting on the eggs while the other looks on.

“John and myself had our first meeting with Martin and this was followed with two meetings in September and October during which Nick Dixon helped with the planning and documentation of the proposed project.

“Thanks to Martin’s management of Export House, contacts with Woking Borough Council and good relationship with the building’s tenants, we got approval for the project and this was further supported by English Nature.

“In November 2015, Jason Fathers (Wildlife Windows) joined us at Export House to plan and quote for the work necessary to construct and install the nest box and supply and install the CCTV system which is now fully operational.

“The nest box and CCTV installation was completed at the end of January and mating was seen late February to mid and late March.

“Nest cam watching is now not an option! We have had offers of help from two local RSPB groups and the Surrey Bird Club. It is proposed they will show visitors to Woking town the peregrines from Jubilee Square and the Peacock’s car park. Permission for this has been granted by Woking Borough Council who are very keen to support our project.”

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Responses to Predator Species Takes Up Residence In Woking: Watch Peregrins’ Nest Site Live On A Webcam

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    May 6, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you to The Dragon and Malcolm Fincham for making me aware of this. I try to have a quick look every day. Two chicks being fed when I last checked – but you have to be lucky to pick a time when they are visible.

  2. Leon Shipping Reply

    May 13, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Two chicks looking well. Appears to be only one parent. Is that correct?

    • Harry Eve Reply

      May 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      If you are lucky you will catch a moment when both parents are at the nest.

  3. Pasky Maina Reply

    May 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    There are also red kites in the area too.

    They’ve been seen flying/hovering over various locations in Woking (and sometimes flying down at roof level over some gardens too), for the past few years.

    It would be interesting to know if they’re local as well, or do they cover a wide area when hunting for prey?

  4. Malcolm Fincham Reply

    May 20, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Interesting mention of red kites. There have been several pairs looking to take up residence in Surrey, although it is correct that they do cover a wide area for food.

    Although a bird of prey, and large, they are adapted to mainly feed on carrion, whereas the peregrine is a true predator.

    Although not top of its menu list, I have heard stories of them even taking a red kite out of the sky, so don’t be surprised if one turns up on the dinner table. Personally speaking, let’s hope not!

  5. Harry Eve Reply

    May 20, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Wisley Airfield is a great place to see red kites.

    I understand that one was seen by our councillors on their coach trip to view the site.

    I understand the kite had a very good look at the occupants – being more used to humans staring at it through binoculars.

    Apparently, the councillors did not leave the coach to experience all the delights of this wonderful place which is a shame.

    I have seen three flying together (red kites not councillors) over Ockham and this site which, sadly, is still in the draft Local Plan.

    My first local sighting was on June 17, 2002 in the Horsley s(at 19.50 hrs to be precise!). My next sighting was in East Clandon in 2004 and they have been increasing ever since – along with buzzards which are now seen and heard on most days.

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