EDF Energy Ltd.

06/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2024 09:38

High life for breeding birds at Teesside power plant

For decades Hartlepool Power Station's reactor building has been a distinctive sight for Teessiders.

Now a protected bird is making the most of the towering structure as the perfect isolated spot to rear young.

Peregrine Falcons, which just a few years ago were considered endangered across the country, have occasionally nested at the EDF power station with mixed results.

But this year a pair set up home right next to a tower, 60m above the ground, and reared three youngsters.

"My office has a window which looks right towards where these birds have been feeding," said Ross Nuttall, environment group head at the power station.

"And every day for the past few weeks we've been treated to amazing views of them as they take flight and learn to hunt. Sometimes you can hear them as well screeching at one another, looking like they are playing in the air, it's been a lovely sight for the past few weeks."

The area around the power station is home to a wide variety of birds with dozens of species nesting on land around the station every year and this year monitoring of the area has identified a gadwall duck breeding nearby, a first for the station.

But birdwatchers at the station have noted peregrines flocking to the station every year since 2015. Only one bird was spotted at the station in summer 2023 so when power station staff noted a pair nested on top of the reactor building earlier this year, hopes were high.

"About six weeks ago our security cameras, which occasionally, capture the birds' movements, spotted three chicks," said Ross.

"One of the three has sadly died and of course it was sad to see that it had died but knowing there are two more healthy youngsters and a pair of, presumably, happy parents too is a nice thing to see. "We'll certainly continue to keep a careful eye on the birds over the coming weeks."