CPP blog- Tuesday 23/05/2023
Updated: May 24
00.00 Falcon is in the box as usual with the two chicks tucked in behind her, obscured from the camera. Barely any movement other than feathers ruffling in the breeze.
01.02 One of the chicks decides it’s time to preen, mum then does the same.
02.53 Time to move around a bit. She turns from facing West to facing the open side of the box, south. Still a bit breezy. Chicks are awake, looking around and fidgeting. Mum turns back to the west and hides them from view.
03.27 she leaves the box. One of the chicks is awake, despite in moving around it is determined to stay asleep.
03.33 mum returns, no food.
04.11 starts moving around a bit more. A bit of housekeeping, then at 04.13 moves to front of box, drops down onto the roof for a few seconds then flies off.
04.20 ?dad arrives,
04.49 he drops down onto roof, flutters his wings a bit, calls and flies off.
04.52 the chicks are both awake now, lots of calling as mum returns, but no food. She has what looks like chick poop across her tail feathers.
05.02 she hops to the rail on the east side of the box. The chicks new feathers are much more prominent now.
05.26 mum returns, still no food.
05.30 she moves to sit on the front of the box, chicks calling for breakfast?
05.32 she jumps back on the side rail
05.46 with mum gone the chicks decide it’s time to wake up and explore. They are standing much better but not for long.
05.48 larger chick has a very undignified stretch of his wings and keeps tipping over. Hadn’t quite learned how to balance. They continue moving around for a while before settling down in the far left corner.
06.20 dad comes in with breakfast, a comparatively tiny bird, very quickly followed by mum who takes it from him. She starts to feed ignoring dad who leaves. Both chicks feeding, this did look more like starter than main course.
06.24 big chick steal the bit that is left and turns his back, hiding it up the corner. Mum tries and succeeds to get it back from the chick but it is barely more than a mouthful and is soon gone.
06.27 mum leaves. Chicks have a bit of exercise then settle down
06.59 mum arrives back on the roof with the main course. Chicks very eager to feed, both getting plenty.
07.07 mum takes leftovers onto roof, then hops out of sight on west side. Both chicks now have full crops and snuggle up against each other.
08.18 mum returns, with just a small scrap of meat. Large chick snatches it all, then turns into the corner so mum can’t see him. She turns as if to leave then thinks “I’m not having that behaviour” then tries to get it back. After a bit of arguing she takes it from him. He argues back, gets it back, goes to the opposite corner and back, mum recovers it again, repeat, repeat again, chick doesn’t want to give it up. Must have swapped hands/claws at least half a dozen times. Every time she put it down the chick would snatch it back. Eventually mum relents and with one foot on it proceeds to feed the older chick with it. Mum still thinks the left overs are too big, the little one gets some then she eats the rest. Chicks excuse “just learning to cache for later”!
8.22 - hilarious! The larger chick has taken the food and the adult is trying, unsuccessfully atm, to get it back!
08.40 lots more movement around the box. The chicks have noticed the world outside and are spending longer at the front of the box. They are looking to be a bit of a handful today.
08.53 they’ve calmed down now and seem content (just about) to have a snuggle with mum.
As at 09.00, two feeds (one very small bird, one pigeon) and a lot of chasing about at around 08.17 onwards.
3rd feed 09.52.
10:23 WP up and running, both adults on east side on view, preening.
10:34 Both birds flew off, circling the tower.
10:37 Male at the nest, female NE pinnacle preening.
11:45 Same as above.
12:23 The chicks stretches its wings revealing the pin feathers developing.
12:50 Food incoming,
12:50 The Falcon flies directly to the platform with food, and begins feeding both chicks, although the smaller of the two also has a tentative peck at the meal while the Falcon is pulling pieces off for them both.
12:56 The Falcon continues feeding the slightly smaller one of the chicks in the sunshine, while the other is in the shadows. It is getting its fair share though! The chick to the front has also been trying to help itself. The larger chick moves out of the shadows, and judging by its crop, it has had its fill!
13:02 The Falcon is working on the remnants, and not sharing so much. The chicks are no longer calling for food.
13:03 The Falcon takes up the remains and moves off the platform to the roof ridge, then after a few moments she drags the carcass along to the end of the ridge and flies off.
13:05 Female left the nest on to NE pinnacle above the male. Then flew round to the SW pinnacle.
13:07 The two chicks stand together in the sun, and the smaller of them nibbles at its siblings claw, while its owner goes about some serious preening
13:12 The larger chick stands staring fixedly off to its left, then settles back to the gravel, although still looking off to its left, then it struggles upright, and the two of them look to their right.
13:14 The larger chick shuffles toward the edge of the platform on its left, bends down and picks at the edge. It steps round toward the rear of the platform, giving a wing stretch as it does so, then takes a few quick steps behind the other chick, before turning back to resumes its position to its sibling’s left. It remains standing, and gives a couple of quiet squeaks.
13:18 The smaller chick stretches a wing out while lying down, probably a little hampered by its sibling standing close by.
13:19 The larger chick shuffles forward and begins to pay close attention to the upright feather that has been waving at the edge of the platform, for quite a while now, maybe even days. It first tries to grab it with its beak, then opts for the claw technique. By the time it has finished, the feather is down, so the chick returns to stand by the other one, who again tries to nibble its foot. The larger chick slumps down with its back to the camera, but it is currently the more restless and more inquisitive of the two.
13:25 Both chicks struggle upright, then begin to rotate about each other, ending up with the larger chick more in the shade.
13:27 The larger chick shuffles back out into the sunshine, standing in the shade of the crossbar before returning to sprawl on the gravel next to its sibling. They jiffle against one another, with the result that we now see a mound of fluff with random legs sticking out!
13:31 The Falcon returns to the roof ridge and walks up to the platform, where she walks round behind the chicks, and retrieves some remnant, which she then proceeds to clear up. Finished with the leftovers, she tries to cover the chicks, bringing some quiet squawks from the smaller chick.
13:34 The Falcon is still doing an inspection, occasionally picking at some fragment or other on the gravel, disturbing the smaller chick.
13:37 She remains in front of the chicks, and indulges in some preening of her own.
13:40 The Falcon remains standing in front of the chicks, but tracks something round to the left of screen, and presumably out of sight. She is quite alert, and even looks up beyond the edge of the platform roof.
13:40 Male leaves the turett flies around and returns to the same spot.
13:43 In the background, one of the chicks is heavily into preening. The Falcon turns more to the front and appears to be trying to regurgitate something, but only does this once. She is still quite alert, her eye being caught by something out of our view.
13:50 The chick which has been preening, bends forward and extends its wings, before briefly settling on the gravel. This would appear to be the smaller of the chicks, judging by the face, and then it gets up again to continue preening.
13:53 The Falcon is still giving those yawning gapes, but they are more frequent, so perhaps she will get rid of something soon.
13:59 She begins to move to the right of the platform, as we see it, and the larger chick stands beside her. She continues the gaping.
14:00 Off in the distance the Tiercel is calling. The Falcon stares intently towards, but not at the camera, then moves off right of screen.
14:01 The Falcon has hopped onto the rail just visible in the inset screen, and the larger chick seems to be looking where she went. It stretches its wings, then turns back to the shadow, before walking quickly across to the front of platform on our left. It then returns to lay in the sun with its beak ajar. It continues to look up to the right of screen; possibly the Falcon is still there just out of view to us. Then it stretches its wings and stands up to move partly into the shade, where it stands with its belly stuck out in the sun!
14:05 The smaller chick has also stood up, so now the larger one lays down but immediately gets up again. Both chicks are quite restless at the moment, not settling in one place for long before moving again.
14:07 Now it is the turn of the smaller chick to stand in the sun. Both of them still favour resting on their lower legs, although the larger chick does stand properly for moving around.
14:09 The smaller chick more or less nose dives onto the gravel again, and opens its beak trying to keep cool. That lasts about 10 seconds before it is up again, and moving back into partial shade with its sibling.
14:11 Both chicks suddenly look off screen to their left, but soon lose interest. The larger one resumes preening, with the smaller one watching. The smaller chick slumps across in front of the other, resting its beak on the larger chick’s foot. Then it gets up again, and shuffles across to look off screen to our right. In fact, the other one joins it, so they are on the gravel peering over the edge of the platform.
14:18 The Tiercel arrives on the platform, getting the chicks quite excited, but he is bringing no food. Great to get a size comparison between the chicks and the Tiercel.
14:19 Then movement in the inset screen and shadows on the platform announce the arrival of the Falcon, also without food, and the Tiercel leaves at once. The Falcon stands close by the larger chick, which had been prone on the gravel, but it struggles up to stand next to Mum.
14:20 Male flies around the tower then lands on NE pinnacle.
14:26 The larger chick moves forward, then quickly walks round the Falcon to left of screen, while the smaller chick moves forward to lay at her feet.
14:29 The prone chick extends its wings and stands up, moves around a little, then flops back on the gravel in pretty much the same place. These wing stretches show the rapid development of the wing feathers.
14:31 The larger chick shuffles its feet forward and disturbs its sibling, who now moves round behind Mum. The larger chick then works its way round between sibling and Mum, then slumps on the gravel too. The Falcon meanwhile has a little preen.
14:33 The larger chick stands up again, pushing the Falcon’s tail out of the way as it does so. It retreats into the shade and does some preening of its own.
14:39 One of the prone chicks begins to call, much more grown up sound now, and the Falcon turns and appears to consider covering the chick, but ultimately just remains standing in front.
14:49 After standing for several minutes directly in front of the chicks, the Falcon moves a couple of steps forward to stand on one leg and do some preening. She looks all around, sometimes at the sky, and over the roof of the platform.
14:52 She continues to scan the sky, watching other things in the air (possibly food, who knows!)
14:56 The Falcon is relaxed in the sun, enough to close one eye at least.
14:59 She is suddenly alert, looking around sharply, then she looks back at the (maybe) sleeping chicks.
15:00 The session ends with the Falcon front and centre of the platform, with chicks maybe asleep behind her.
15:15 The female is still on the nest
15:50 The male leaves his perch.
Thank you to today's volunteers- Bev, Jane, Roger R, Stella, Val, Peter D and Tim.