CPP blog – Thursday 1st June 2023
0610 hrs the female arrives with first snack of the day. It is immediately grabbed by VXN and taken into a corner where she starts feeding herself. The adult female tries to get it back but then finds another scrap and feeds VZN. It doesn’t look that appetising as VZN loses interest, so mum finishes it off. VXN is still pecking away on her bit, which to be honest didn’t look much fresher.
0616 hrs the adult female has a couple of attempts to get the food from VXN, very gently, although there was only ever going to be one winner. Both chicks have some but VXN does seem to get more. VZN loses interest and goes into NE corner.
0622 hrs VZN changes her mind and comes back for a few mouthfuls.
0625 hrs with it nearly all gone the adult female gives VXN a foot which she swallows with ease. The adult female has a bit of a peck round at other remnants
0630 hrs the adult female leaves the box on East side, looks like she was aiming to sit on rail but changed mind and went onto roof instead. VXN watching.
0641 hrs both chicks settling down in the corner.
0950 hrs the male flew East at high speed
0952 hrs chicks preening, VZN looking much more like a peregrine now
0955 hrs the male returns to the NE pinnacle
1000 hrs both juveniles calling loudly & the watchpoint report the male flying West at high speed / in a stoop
1024 hrs the female is calling and lands on SE pinnacle
1030 hrs there is plucking occurring on top of the tower
1050 hrs the male flew out with prey, joined in the air by the female, there’s a food pass, the female flew into the roof area and the male perched on the NE pinnacle
1111 hrs the female is flying with remains of prey
1113 hrs the female dislodged the male from his perch
1120 hrs both adults on Fleur De Lis, the female flew away and the male returned to the NE pinnacle, seemingly flying off to the air Ambulance flying over
1201 hrs the male is back on the NE pinnacle
1243 hrs a Hobby is spotted by the watchpoint to the West down the High Street
1248 hrs What a good start to my shift! Just getting set up, and a fly wanders across the camera housing!
1251 hrs When I can see round the fly again, I find the two chicks huddled together in the back left corner of the platform. Their last feed was just under two hours ago, when the Falcon flew in with prey. No attempt was made to lure the chicks off the platform on this occasion.
1300 hrs The chick in the corner has its head on top of the heap, and keeps gaping. Judging by the relative level of fluff, this is probably VXN.
1307 hrs If my previous assessment is right, VZN is looking much closer to being a beautiful young peregrine.
1308 hrs VXN was mid–stretch when it suddenly ran forward to the front of the platform, calling loudly. VZN has stood up, but remains silent for now. VXN is looking off to the right of screen, while VZN stares intently down to the other side.
1309 hrs Amidst all the calling, VXN stands on a bone and is distracted enough to bend down to pick at it.
1312 hrs VXN concludes its wing and leg stretches while standing at the front, and continues to call in long bursts. There is also another gape in between calling.
1314 hrs Both chicks are calling, VXN looking skyward and staring intently all around.
1316 hrs VXN is definitely intent on something – maybe a parent on the South East pinnacle, then begins squeaking, not quite bursting into full calling mode.
1320 hrs VZN has a vigorous flap of its wings in the background, while VXN continues to squawk off to the East.
1322 hrs The breeze picks up fluff from VZN’s preening, as VXN continues calling, looking straight up into the sky. There is a “radar” moment as both their heads go on one side.
1325 hrs VXN repeats the wing-stretch exercise and moves into the platform, then reverses up to the edge to eject a white stream out onto the roof. Then it’s back to the rear of the platform to scavenge up some scrap to chew on. VZN continues the patient process of preening, no longer wearing so much of the white gaiters that VXN still sports.
1330 hrs VZN suddenly runs into the rear right corner of the platform, and gives some chirrups which sound more grown up. Then it moves over to the more usual left side and stands facing the corner. VXN is being quite active, grabbing and pouncing on remnants on the gravel. VXN has some more wing flaps, and VZN moves up alongside. Like a pair of radars, they stand bobbing their heads in unison, although VZN looks away and starts to stare up at the sky.
1336 hrs VXN is looking down at the roof below the platform, then up at the sky, calling for a few moments before retreating into the rear right corner of the platform. Meanwhile VZN is showing an improved sense of balance, standing on one leg to preen its head, and also on its raised leg.
1349 hrs Two headless bodies preening!
1355 hrs Once again VXN goes over to the front edge of the platform and looks down onto the roof. It has been stretching and flapping its wings a lot just recently.
1357 hrs VXN looks up and begins calling, then moves into the back of the platform and goes quiet. Both chicks are fairly restless. Perhaps an invitation to feed on the roof would draw both of them off the platform together.
1401 hrs They retreat into the rear left (NW) corner and huddle in the shadows on this overcast and breezy day.
1411 hrs the male is still on the NE pinnacle
1422 hrs VZN stirs and looks up from its prone position, but VXN is apparently asleep, and oblivious to anything. Meanwhile the female is flying around the tower entertaining watchpoint visitors and volunteers alike she then settled out of sight
1426 hrs Completely unannounced, the Falcon arrives with food, waking both chicks and getting them on their feet in a hurry! Their manners are appalling, as they continue to squawk even when it is audibly obvious that they have their mouths full!
1428 hrs the female was seen briefly with prey and has flown into the next box
1441 hrs Ultimately it is VXN who breaks away having had enough food. VZN continues to accept feeding, but eventually the Falcon has a few moments to take some for herself.
1443 hrs VZN returns to the table to collect a few more beakfuls.
1448 hrs The Falcon finishes up the last scraps, as the chicks begin to lose interest. VZN stands at the front edge of the platform again, flapping like mad, as VXN grabs the remnants from the Falcon and heads off into the back left corner with it.
1452 hrs As the Falcon is moving to leave, VZN comes round and tries to nibble at her wing, then again at her claw for one last titbit.
1452 hrs The Falcon hops onto the rail just out of picture, and there are calls, maybe from the Tiercel a little way off.
1453 hrs VZN stands looking off to the right of screen, where the Falcon went moments before. VXN comes over and they both look in that direction.
1457 hrs VZN is on the edge of the left side of the platform, and stands looking down the ramp for several seconds before moving back again.
1500 hrs This session ends with VXN standing front and centre, VZN in the background after having looked ready to hop down onto the ramp, left of screen. Meanwhile the male flew SSE at speed and returned to perch on the far side of the tower from the watchpoint.
1514 hrs the male flew to the East
1526 the male returns, flies around the tower and perches on the NE pinnacle
1540 hrs the male takes flight again, seemingly inspects some cached prey (pigeon) on the South ledge above the church clock then moves to the base of the SW pinnacle and fed.
1600 hrs the hour begins with the two juveniles huddled in the back right hand corner of the box.
1610 hrs both chicks stand up, alert, one preens then walks to the edge of the box and both return to the corner - both preening.
1615 hrs one chick is exercising its wings.
1617 hrs one chick is settled down in the nest box scrape towards back - right (NE) side. Other one still preening.
1624 hrs One continues to preen while the other lies down but then a sudden squawk from one or is it an adult outside??
1628 hrs both very alert, oops one nodded off.
1630 hrs Still in the back right (NE) corner. Still a lot of preening going on by the one same bird who is still quite alert.
1641 hrs both now huddled up together in same spot.
1643 hrs livelier one pecking at the other then settles. Both still.
1648 hrs both continue to be very still.
1649 hrs loud calling from an adult bird outside.
1650 hrs lying down in corner facing out of box with the occasional look into the sky.
1653 hrs calling adult birds outside? No I think it’s the juveniles.
1656 hrs Getting louder.
1657 hrs nodding off again
1700 I end my blog with the juveniles still tucked up in the back right hand (NE) corner of the box. No visits from the adults.
1823 hrs the male has prey
1838 hrs VZN is out of the box … but camera shy
But our cameraman captures him exploring his new world a little:
Thanks to all our volunteers today, Ann C, Bev, Chris, Jane, Julian, Peter, Sue, Tim they’ve helped with blogging and those on the watchpoint had 207 visitors.