Cromer Peregrine Activity Blog 10/05/2022
Unfortunately, the smallest chick died today, in the nest box. The chick was well fed so we are unsure of the cause of death. However, coupled with the pale unhatched egg this could be a reflection of the health of the wider ecosystem and highlights why it is so critically important to monitor this species in such detail as we do with the Cromer Peregrine Project. Graham, Richard, Julia (at the Watchpoint) and Debbie bring you the full story of today's activity.
09.00 Morning all with Poppy in attendance with her chicks nicely tucked away between her and the back wall.
09.05 She moves slightly clockwise settles down facing N/E
09.35 No change with Poppy in the same position.
09.36 Slight move, going back to her original position facing North.
09.49 Poppy stirs and starts taking in stones to help with her digestion.
10.00 One of her chicks (female) maybe appears from beneath poppy's left wing to have a look what's going on.
10.05 She shuffles anti clockwise covering up the chick as she does so, she finally settles down facing N/W
10.18 Poppy quickly gets up and disappears from the nest box. Henry arrives shortly afterwards with prey and starts feeding their young.
1027 He finishes feeding the chicks and disappears with the remains of the prey, reappears shortly afterwards, covering up the chicks as best as possible.
10.31 Poppy arrives, Henry quickly departs leaving her to get comfy looking after their young settles down facing West.
10.37 She finally managers to get the two chicks covered up beneath her, Well sort of.
11.00 Poppy is sitting trying to doze whilst brooding her ever faster growing offspring.
It’s a breezy morning at the coast as evidenced by her plumage being ruffled by the wind.
11.06 As Poppy adjusts her position she reveals that she is still has the failed egg underneath her alongside her successful chicks, which are briefly exposed. A very notable feature of the chicks at this point in their development is the huge size of their feet in comparison to their bodies. Very important tools for their top predator roles.
11.35 The male, Henry, appears with a ‘one I prepared earlier’ prey item. He immediately starts to tear small pieces off the carcass and try’s to feed the young, but Poppy hasn’t given way to him and demands to be given the food to pass on to the chicks. After a couple of goes at this the male decides to leave…..with the food!
11.36 Everyone settles back down.
12.05 The largest chick struggles out from under Poppy to get some air and takes a little wander, though not far from mum. We can see the developing wing feathers starting to appear.
12.09 The chick bends over and…..projectile pooh, though not in Poppy’s direction!
12.10 The smaller chick is partially exposed as Poppy leans out to move some gravel.
12.13 The larger chick has had enough freedom and decided it’s far warmer under mum and forces itself under her.
12.46 Both chicks are responding to mum by looking up at her the dozing off again.
13.00 The tiercel leaves SW pinnacle.
13.07 Tiercel comes back to SE pinnacle.
13.11 Tiercel moves to SW pinnacle.
13.15 - 14.30 it is between this time that the chick died.
13.25 Tiercel takes off chasing a pigeon away. Returned to NE pinnacle before moving to N side.
13.30 Tiercel flies round to SE pinnacle.
13.35 Tiercel takes off after 3 pigeons. After seeing them off he lands on N side.
13.45 Tiercel now on NW pinnacle/
14.30 A pigeon sits on the top of the Fleur de lis on W side then drops down onto the roof. Doesn’t seem to be any reaction from the adults.
14.50 4 swifts fly overhead. They will soon be collecting the feathers, freshly plucked by the peregrines, to line their nests. The tiercel enters the box without prey.
14.56 Falcon arrives with prey and feeds the larger chick. There is no movement from the smaller one.
15.00 Falcon is feeding the big chick, who feed eagerly but the smaller one isn't moving at all. 15.03 The big chicks turns away from mum and shows its bulging crop. 15.04 The feed is over and the falcon stands at the front edge of the box. 15.05 Big chick preens. 15.06 Falcon flies off leaving the chicks unattended. 15.08 The big chicks pecks at the small chick but arouses no reaction. 15.09 The falcon returns to the box and hunkers easily over her family. She uses her wing to shelter/ shade her chicks. She is facing right. 15.42 The falcon preens and then settles. 15.47 The big chick wiggles and then excretes. 16.12 The falcon preens. 16.13 The big chick stretches its wings and resettles. 16.17 The falcon preens followed by a bit of gravel pecking. 16.37 Falcon stops preening then big chick preens. 16.52 Falcon is alert, comes to front of the box and looks about. 17.00 Falcon returns to scrape.