November 24, 2011 - Nanticoke OPG
Tracy Simpson Reports:
This week I have been delivering Project School Visit to students throughout the Haldimand area and have been having a fabulous time. Yesterday, I was joined at Walpole North Elementary by Jacob Clements from OPG Nanticoke, the sponsor for the school, where we enjoyed the morning sharing the story of the Peregrine falcon with almost 100 students. Afterwards, Jacob took me down to the plant for a check in with the territorial female residing there. It was just this past June that the CPF and OMNR were at the site banding the three young hatchlings; the first hatch in the plant’s history. At the time, there was no territoial male to speak of and according to our on-site eyes, Ulrich Waterman, there had been a fierce battle between two males that most likely left Marla with no male at all. My goal was to check in and see if anything had changed for the resident female as available males migrating through may have stopped and stayed.
After checking in with security, Jacob and I toured the grounds of the plant looking for signs of peregrines. As we were coming around to the lake side, I caught sight of a male and female peregrine moving west towards the stacks and then, out of nowhere, another female peregrine came at them in hot pursuit. The male circled one of the stacks and landed on the light while the two females were having it out. One female landed on the lower elevation of the plant after launching a stoop attack on the other female. The female on the roof turned out to be Marla, the red tape over her UPFW band apparent in the pictures I was able to take. The other female took off from our view leaving the resident female to sit, very agitated and alarm calling, on the plant roof. Moments later, Marla took off again in pursuit of what we now knew was a challenging adult female in her territory. The pursuit took them around the plant and out of our view for a few moments until Marla returned and made her way up to the light on the stack opposite her new male. As we came around the west side of the plant, the interloper took off from a low position and flew a very low and very powered flight around the plant and off towards the lake. As Jacob drove me back to my vehicle, both Marla and her male were kiting above the stacks together and then headed off to the north.
While I was unable to identify either the new male or the rogue today, it is exciting to see that Marla now has a mate. As the OPG Nanticoke plant is not a facility that is open to visitors, the CPF, Ulrich Waterman from BC International and Jacob Clements from OPG are going to continue to be your eyes and ears on your local pair of peregrines. We will post all of the news and pictures on our website so that you can stay in touch with Ms. Marla and her new mate. A huge thank you to Ontario Power Generation Nanticoke for sponsoring the Haldimand area schools this week and a special thank you to Jacob Clements for attending the presentation and taking time with me at the plant for a check in. Your support of the peregrines at the plant and our education program is so greatly appreciated!!