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Kestrel family nest by M25 roadworks

PUBLISHED: 09:47 14 July 2011 | UPDATED: 10:23 14 July 2011

The chicks that have set up home on the M25 near Upminster

The chicks that have set up home on the M25 near Upminster

Archant

»A family of kestrels have made their home alongside a stretch of road-widening works in Upminster.

The two birds and their seven chicks have set up their home on the M25 next to junction 29 near Upminster.

Workers spotted the protected birds within their building site and made a nesting box for them.

Since then they have been following the family’s progress on a webcam set up to monitor the nest.

The birds were spotted by Brett Erwin, a plant supervisor for concrete supplier Lafarge, who is working on site. He said: “I think the kestrels were attracted to the plant by the warmth from the heaters that are used in the concrete production process.

“It looked like they were searching for somewhere to nest and I thought that maybe I could help.”

He made the box and fixed it on the side of the concrete silo. The nest box will be moved to a nearby tree in the winter in the hope the birds will use them in future years.

He added: “I was really excited when I saw the kestrels using the box – it provides a safe place for them to set up home and means that, when the plant is removed at the end of the project, we can move them to nearby countryside while disturbing them as little as possible.”

He put the camera inside the box which provides a continuous feed from the nest.

Kestrels are familiar along UK motorways and big roads.

The RSPB estimates there are about 38,000 breeding pairs of kestrels in the country. The M25 is being widened by Connect Plus on behalf of the Highways Agency, under a 30 year contract to maintain and improve the whole M25. Discovery of the kestrels has not disrupted progress on the scheme in any way.


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