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CPP blog - Thursday 11th May 2023

Updated: May 13, 2023

Cromer Peregrines blog – Thursday 11th May 2023

1000 hrs the watchpoint can see the Falcon on the South West pinnacle

1005 hrs she flies away

1015 hrs the falcon returns to the South East pinnacle with prey

1022 hrs after a short flight she lands on the Fleur De Lis on the South side of the tower

1025 hrs the Falcon now arrives in the nest box with prey

1045hrs my shift starts with the female half standing over chicks, who are just visible.

1051 hrs the female is pecking at the gravel while the chicks are shuffling about

1053 hrs one chick defecates. Female fully upright, alert and occasionally preening.

1055 hrs Female having a good look around. Male arrives in box. There is a lot of chirping, and after a couple of minutes, he flies out.

1100 hrs the Tiercel can be seen form the watchpoint on the South East pinnacle

1104 hrs Calling from outside box.

1108 hrs One chick shuffling about while the other sleeps.

1118 hrs Calling heard from outside box.

1119 hrs One chick defecates.

1127 hrs One chick becomes briefly active before female settles slight further down on both chicks

1130 hrs Female stands fully up.

1135 hrs Female has quick preen

1136 hrs One chick appears to be trying to stand, then settles back down.

1137 hrs Female preening

1139 hrs Female looks around then goes back to preening.

1140 hrs One chick seems generally more active than the other, standing up and stretching wings. Other chick is now upright.

1142 hrs Female comes round to other side of chicks. 2nd chick upright again. Egg fragment visible to right of picture.

1146 hrs 2nd chick stretches wings then settles down under it’s mother.

1154 hrs 2nd chick fidgeting

1155 hrs Female shuffles at gravel then settles down more on chicks.

1159 hrs Female pecks at gravel then preens.

1206 hrs Female preening herself, and apparently the chicks. She has a white feather stuck on her beak. Very fetching! This continues for a few minutes.

1214 hrs She settles down more on chicks.

1221 hrs She changes position on chicks.

1231 hrs One chick stretches it’s wings.

1233 hrs One chick preens and shuffles about.

1234 hrs The Female shuffles around, scraping at gravel. She now has back to camera, obscuring chicks who can be heard chirruping.

1240 hrs The Tiercel is seen arriving from the South

1242 hrs A lot of loud calling from female, and from male outside. The male is seen by the watchpoint landing on the Fleur de Lis

1244 hrs The female walks to edge of box. Male appears on edge of box to drop off prey item, then leaves. The female feeds chicks.

1252 hrs Female flies away with prey. Male comes into box and cuddles up with chicks. Looks as though he’s having a playful wrestle with one. ‘Hi kids! Did you miss me?’

1255 hrs A nice moment just before my session starts, when one of the chicks has a few shaky steps away from the Tiercel.

1257 hrs The Falcon had just left the platform with the straggly remnants of some prey, and Tiercel came straight in to stand guard, as that is about all he can manage now, with the chicks growing fast.

1259 hrs The Tiercel has his eyes on a large fly which is zipping about the platform. It seems that the Falcon left a small fragment behind, but as soon as she returns with a few chirps, the Tiercel heads off again, and she sets about clearing it up.

1301 hrs The Falcon nearly completes the clear-up of the food fragment, and then settles down over the chicks with her back to the camera. As she moves round, her foot moves the small remaining piece, and it drops on the gravel, getting covered by her tail.

1305 hrs the male is seen on the Fleur De Lis neat to the South East pinnacle

1316 hrs Seems like there’s nothing to do but sleep now!

1317 hrs Just as I say that, the Falcon opens her eye, and looks round sharply, but does not change position. She then starts to preen, and a little feather drifts away on the breeze. Her nose adornment is still in place for now.

1322 hrs The Falcon is still standing with her back to the camera, and now sets about some extensive preening.

1326 hrs Still standing in the same position, she begins some stone picking over the top of the chicks. She settles down over them while she continues picking. She reaches far enough forward that the chicks appear from under her tail. Then she stands and moves into the corner for more picking, leaving the chicks asleep on the gravel.

1335 hrs There is a strange call, seemingly from off camera, but it draws no reaction from the Falcon.

1338 hrs One of the chicks suddenly stirs and begins chirping. The Falcon moves over to provide some cover, and stands close to them both. The other chick remains stubbornly asleep.

1341 hrs The chick which had been asleep, suddenly wakes up, stands, backs up and ejects a white stream, then collapses back into a huddle with its sibling. The complexion of their skin is changing fast, as feathers begin to show up under the skin.

1355 hrs The Falcon stands away from the chicks, and walks over to the right front of the platform as seen in the inset. She remains there until one of the chicks begins to call, so she returns to cover them, settling in a half-standing position. and facing into the right rear corner as we see it.

1359 hrs The Falcon begins staring intently over her back, clearly focussed on something. She continues to look around, then stands to enable some preening of leg feathers.

1404 hrs She gives two or three brief calls, while staring out from the platform.

1420 hrs the watchpoint remains in his 1305 hrs position

1423 hrs The Falcon is looking around, although without any great intensity. Her vigil continues.

1424 hrs She moves off from the chicks, picking at that remaining fragment on her way to the front of the platform, begins calling, and flies off across the roof, leaving the chicks in a huddle. Feathers around the platform are stirring in the breeze. Calls from just off camera, and one of the chicks has picked up a little feather, which is stuck to its beak. It tries to shake it loose, but without much success at this point. Sadly, the screen shot doesn’t show it very clearly. The calls from off camera have stirred the chicks, who now start calling.

1425 hrs the male flies around the church and the watchpoint are afforded a good view of him on top of the South East pinnacle

1428 hrs The Falcon returns and settles over the chicks in the half standing pose, facing into the rear left corner of the platform. The feather has gone from her beak, so perhaps she went off for a snack!

1438 hrs She has been indulging in some serious preening for some minutes, and is well fluffed up as a result.

1439 hrs She gives a single squawk, then resumes preening.

1446 hrs The Falcon is suddenly more alert, and she raise her head up higher as she sees something.

1448 hrs She tries to catch a fly in mid-flight as it passes in front of her!

The watchpoint see the male take a series of flights and landings including on the south East water spout then the South West one, during this time he stoops at a pigeon and misses.

1449 hrs She gives a brief call, which is answered by the Tiercel nearby. She stares out from the platform and calls some more. While she does that, one of the chicks backs out from under her and squirts a white stream onto the wall of the platform. Meanwhile the male is reported to be on the Fleur de Lis to the South side of the tower and then moves out of sight.

1455 hrs the male arrives back with prey and perches on the South side Fleur De lis and the female can be heard calling.

1457 hrs The Falcon begins a series of loud calls, answered by the Tiercel off camera. She over-balances as she disentangles herself from the chicks. She stands toward the front of the platform stretching one leg and wing. There are continued calls by both, and the Falcon hops down onto the roof ridge. The Tiercel brings food down to the ridge, then onto the platform. The Falcon follows in and takes it from him, as seen in the inset view, and begins to feed the chicks. The Tiercel flies away again.

1500 hrs Session ends with the feed in progress. The male took prey in to the falcon who is feeding the chicks, Tiercel has flown off.

1503 hrs the Falcon is sitting on the Fleur De Lis on the South side of the tower near to the South West pinnacle

1512 hrs she has finished feeding chicks and has flown off with carcase, the Tiercel comes into the box and is covering chicks as much as he can

1515 hrs the watchpoint have good views of the falcon sitting on the East ledge before she moved out of sight a few mins later.

1600 hrs Adult (female) partially covering chicks and alert. Looking out of box. Chicks fidgeting and chirping.

1603 hrs The chicks are still. Adult still alert and standing.

1608 hrs One chick’s head very visible with eyes shut. Now open and trying to call. In and out of sleep and fidgeting.

1611 hrs It’s quite calm now. Still only partially covered chicks. Discarded shell still in the right-hand side of box.

1618 hrs Eyes now open but only for a short while.

1620 hrs The adult is now alert and looking out as if it’s heard something.

1623 hrs the other adult bird is calling. The chicks are fidgeting.

1625 hrs Calling from outside the box again

1629 hrs The chicks are fidgeting more making the adult shift around.

1631 hrs Other adult squawks.

1635 hrs The other chick’s head visible and it blinked. The other adult squawked again.

1640 hrs Noisy chicks and now adult covering chicks completely. Barbara has just confirmed that it was the female in the box at the end of her shift. There has not been a changeover since 1600 hrs then it has continued to be the female all through this watch until now.

1647 hrs One chick now slightly visible. Female has closed eyes.

1652 hrs Movement from the chicks

1656 hrs The female very alert looking out of box. Then settled again. One chick partially visible. one chicks head visible.

1700 hrs no change over during this last hour and no feeding. Now signing off.

Thank you to Andrew, Peter & Sue for their blogs today, the watchpoint was open today with Julian, Jonathan and Julia engaging with 122 visitors and blogging too.

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