CPP blog - Tuesday 16th May 2023
0449 hrs the male brought the first feed of the day into the box (it may have been a Nuthatch)
0459 hrs there’s nothing left of the prey other than feathers, the female left the box and was quickly replaced by the male
0502 hrs the female returned to the box and the male made a very rapid exit
0551 hrs the females stretches and then leaves the box
0602 hrs the female returned having left the chicks were alone in the box for just over 10 mins
0659 hrs the female leaves
0705 hrs the female has returned with a perfectly plucked pigeon for another feed
0849 hrs the pigeon foot left from the earlier feed proved just too tempting and mum ate it after a bit of a struggle
1020 hrs the watchpoint opens with no birds in their view and the female with the chicks in the nest box
1130 hrs notable that there’s be no visible activity for the watchpoint yet today!
1152 hrs the male finally appears from the South with prey which he seemingly dropped
1154 hrs more prey is brought into the box for the growing chicks
1200 hrs the male can be seen on the North West pinnacle
1203 hrs both the male and the female are heard calling by the watchpoint and are now both on the South West pinnacle
1205 hrs the male is seen to fly off inland chasing a Jackdaw
1215 hrs the male has returned and is on the North West pinnacle
1223 hrs the chicks are pancaked in the sun
1227 hrs the male flew around quite high before heading off West
1235 hrs our very own Zoe & Chris are on BBC Radio Norfolk talking to Edd Smith about the project.
1257 hrs This session starts with the Falcon fastidiously cleaning her talons, and have a general spruce up. The chicks are almost obscured behind her, but stubby feathers can be seen sprouting from a wingtip. The falcon is also working her beak as if finishing a last mouthful of something. As is often the case on the roof of the church, there is a gusty breeze which is waving discarded feathers strewn in the foreground.
1305 hrs The Falcon has found some tiny titbit which she has cleared up, and now at least one of the chicks is squeaking but has not had a share. She carries on preening completely unconcerned.
1310 hrs One of the chicks has become more voluble in its calls for food. In the inset camera, one can be made out looking up at Mum.
1313 hrs There is another bout of squeaking from one of the chicks, as the Falcon makes her way across the gravel picking stones as she goes. Then she turns and attempts to cover the chicks, drawing some more peregrine-like noises from either or both of them. The reality now is that they are both big enough to make it impractical for either parent to give more than partial cover.
1319 hrs The Falcon bends down and delicately retrieves a food scrap from under one of the chicks. She holds it for a moment or two, but then loses her grip and it falls to the floor. It is evidently not tasty enough for her to feel inclined to try again!
1329 hrs The Falcon has one eye closed and one open as she stands guard.
1330 hrs One chick, head out in the sun, suddenly opens its eyes and lifts its head up to stare off to the right of screen. However, it soon subsides back onto the gravel, eyes closed.
1333 hrs The Falcon is looking around at something possibly in the air, but makes no other movement or sound.
1337 hrs She tracks something across in front of her going from her left to right, then turns to stand with her back to the sun, beginning a further session of preening. There is a minor squeak from one of the chicks.
1340 hrs The Falcon gives a call, which is answered by the Tiercel off camera, reported by the watchpoint as the male has returned to the South West pinnacle. One of the chicks rouses itself and stands upright for a moment, before subsiding onto the gravel. Calls continue and the chick stands up again, then it too has a quick preen.
1342 hrs Both chicks are now upright and preening, before one turns away, then back again as its sibling slumps onto the gravel again. That is only momentary, as that chick is up again doing further preening, including an early comic attempt to scratch at its head. The Falcon continues to give occasional calls, although the Tiercel does not respond for the moment.
1345 hrs the larger chick, has a stretch of its wings, showing that its crop is still pretty full.
1350 hrs The Falcon calls again, answered by the Tiercel, and this time she moves to the front of the platform, then flies off. It sounds like the Tiercel is still perched somewhere off camera, and one of the chicks echoes his calls. The calling chick stands up and begins a bit of preening.
1352 hrs Both chicks are on their feet and moving around one another. The larger one finds a scrap, traps it under its foot, and begins to nibble, as the Falcon returns. She moves to stand over them again, but the larger one is now more inclined to explore by itself, and still has a food fragment in its beak!
1355 hrs There is another sustained period of calling between the parents, then the Tiercel lands on the roof ridge with food and brings it to the platform. The Falcon takes it from him, and returns to feed the chicks. From the inset view it appears that the smaller chick is being fed, while the larger one stands off for the moment.
1358 hrs In the meantime, the larger chick wobbles its way to the corner, then comes back to join the feeding. It appears that this one may be physically taking food from the Falcon’s beak as she tries to feed the other one.
1401 hrs The Falcon picks up the remains, turns and leaves the platform. The Tiercel can be heard calling in the background. For a moment, the two chicks are face to face, and the larger one spends several seconds picking at bits on the other’s beak.
1403 hrs The Falcon returns and forces herself over the chicks to cover them. However, one of the chicks is not too keen, and tries to wriggle out from under Mum’s wing. She does manage to cover the chick, but it is a challenge!
1406 hrs In due course the chick breaks free again, but the Falcon persists, and eventually the chick settles, at least temporarily.
1410 hrs There is a series of calls coming from under the Falcon’s right wing, as the more restless chick again puts its head forward to look out. It does quieten down in due course, and the three of them relax.
1442 hrs The Falcon pulls her right wing back, half uncovering the chick on that side, OR, the chick had a stretch of its wing, dislodging its mother. Not entirely clear which it might be.
1445 hrs the chick under the Falcon’s right wing tries to struggle upright, and gives a quick flap of its wings before sinking back down again.
1456 hrs The Falcon stirs and rises up a little, which may just be the chick under her left wing getting restless. The one on the right is lying with its eyes open for the moment, although after some seconds
1500 hrs This session comes to an end with the Falcon quietly covering (mostly!) the two chicks. As I say that, the Tiercel is just calling somewhere, then comes in with some more food! It seems like the Falcon eats most of it herself, to a cacophony of squawks from the chicks! She does give one large piece to the larger chick, which manages to swallow it.
Thanks to Peter, Bev & Mick for their blog entries today & to our watchpoint volunteers today were Stella, Roger F and Tim and they engaged with over 100 visitors.