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Cromer Peregrine Activity Blog- 24/05/2022

Updated: May 26, 2022

Thank you to todays volunteers- Graham, Richard E, Peter and Andrew

09.00, Start of another shift with the chick home alone since 07.10 when she was feed last.

09.13, She must be getting hungry, as she's starts rummaging for remains of prey to eat.

09.16, Nice to see she's doing her wing exercises.

09.37, Henry comes in with a very small morsel of food, it gets rejected by the chick, so he soon departs.

09.39, He arrives back with a bigger piece of food, where there's a tug of war between him and the chick. Only going to be one winner the chick.

09.45, Henry leaves with the remains of the prey.

09.46, Poppy now comes in, with even more food, leaves a minute later.

10.15, All quiet after a hectic 10 mins earlier, she's now fast asleep in the back right hand corner of the nest box.

10.50, No change with the chick still in the same position.

11.00, Now handing over to Richard with the chick still in the back right hand corner.

11.00 As I take over the rain is falling past the camera in Cromer. Our chick is standing alone at the edge of the box.

We can see that he is sporting his brand new and still emerging plumage, which is replacing his natal white down.

11.12 He’s stretching both legs and wings. He’s still not quite in charge of his balance as he topples over.

11.20 He retreats to the back of box and starts dozing on and off out of the wind.

13:00 The chick had been sprawled in the right corner for some time, as I understand it, but wakes and stands in the corner, and appears to be calling. It moves towards the front of the platform and has a good stretch of one wing and leg. It then sets about some preening. It still struggles with balance when trying to scratch at its head - not quite got the confidence yet.

13:10 The chick stops preening abruptly and looks out for a few seconds, then resumes under one wing. The creamy colour of the breast feathers is now very evident.

13:15 For a moment, it looked like the chick was calling again, but it was probably just getting rid of fluff it’s picked out from between the feathers, as it quickly resumes its work.

13:17 Another slightly wobbly wing and leg stretch.

13:21 Yet another stretch of left leg and wing, although limited by the chick’s being close to the right wall (as we look at it) of the platform.

13:23 The chick bends well forward and stretches both wings out, then moves first to the left, then the right of the platform. Then it jumps across to the left side to attack some piece of debris lying on the gravel. It then turns its rear to the left of view and ejects a white stream.

13:25 Some energetic wing flaps, and the chick dances round the platform to repeat the exercise, then jumps on some piece of debris it has spotted. Now it is calling while standing near the middle of the platform. Its head goes up and down as it watches, perhaps a parent, out of view of the camera.

13:33 Having stood in the shade for a while, the chick moves to the front edge of the platform. It is looking around and appears to be tracking something in the sky, then stares intently off to its right (our left).

13:36 The chick is craning its neck to stare upwards, then retreats to the rear of the platform into the right corner, where it stands looking out for a moment, then turns into the corner. Moments later, it has moved to the left side before returning to the front and almost centre to peck at some small piece of debris.

13:40 The chick has another attempt to stand on one leg, puts a wing down for balance as it scratches briefly at its head. It stands looking to our left, then begins calling again, but stops after a few moments. Its gaze gets fixed on something up above. Perhaps it sees swifts.

13:43 It gapes several times, evidently trying to regurgitate waste material. It repeats this exercise several times.

13:45 The chick starts calling again, then the Falcon comes in with food, which the chick takes and keeps away from the Falcon, literally running back and forth at the back of the platform. The Falcon watches as the chick comes to the front, then goes back again to the back right, just as the Tiercel arrives with another piece of food. The Falcon takes it from him, and chick abandons the first piece to grab the second piece, which it also takes away into the right corner. The Tiercel leaves, so now the Falcon also has a piece of prey which it picks at, but the chick is busy with its own piece. This situation lasts for several seconds, until the Falcon goes to try and retrieve the food that the chick is holding. There is a tug of war which the chick is not prepared to lose, so the Falcon goes back to the other remnant until the chick becomes aware of this, and comes and grabs that away, leaving the Falcon to recover the second piece. They both pick at their respective meals for some moments, then the chick picks up its food and brings it forward, so they are picking at their food side by side. At this point the chick then starts to take food offered by the Falcon, allowing Mum to take control of both pieces, and ensure that the chick actually gets some food. For its part, the chick now stands and waits for offerings from the Falcon. The chick walks round in front of the Falcon to get better service.

13:53 As the Falcon continues to work on one piece, the chick again picks up the other small piece and brings it towards the front of the platform, before returning to wait for food from the Falcon. It watches with interest, even trying to pick some for itself, until the Falcon picks up the remains and leaves the platform.

13:56 The chick continues with occasional calls, and appears to track something out of our view. Then the Falcon returns and the chick makes another grab for the food, repeating the shielding action it did before. The Falcon retrieves the food, then feeds more to the chick.

14:00 The chick can just be seen tackling a larger piece in the background. It gets its claw on to the fragment and picks at it. Then the Falcon has her own go at swallowing a big lump, and with just what looks like a wingtip left, the Falcon leaves again. The chick comes forward to the front right of the platform and starts to pick at something on the gravel. It continues to look round and may be calling still, but that stops and the chick stands and watches.

14:07 The chick stretches each wing in turn, with a tentative stretch of leg, although not well balanced yet. It persists with its attempts to scratch its head.

14:13 It has had enough preening for now, and settles onto the gravel in the sunshine, although looking like it might get up again at any moment.

14:15 The Falcon returns and clears up another leg which was lying around, then finds another scrap and sets about clearing that up too. The chick stands by her, hoping for a titbit or two, but the Falcon has finished up and flies away.

14:21 The chick settles down in the sun after having stood for a few minutes near the middle of the platform.

14:30 Although settled in the sun, the chick is watching all around, and again fixes on something up in the sky.

14:32 When not watching the sky, the chick is diverted by the ever-present flies. Now it gets up and stands right of centre, and has another go at standing on one leg to scratch. It cannot manage it, so it sits back on its haunches, back to camera. After a minute of sitting still, it begins to preen some more.

14:37 The chick is actively calling again, although still sitting more or less in the middle of the platform. It shuffles round and stands up, stretches its wings, then sits down again, now facing roughly South-East. It still appears to be calling a little.

14:42 The chick settles down onto the gravel, now facing into the rear right corner of the platform.

14:44 From looking relaxed, the chick’s head is suddenly up, and it looks around apparently tracking something. That persists for several minutes, but does not disturb it. In fact it seems to have one eye closed!

14:51 the chick appeared to be almost asleep, but then it was disturbed by a big fly, so stood up for a few seconds, then settled back down again. It nuzzles its beak into the feathers on its back, then its head flops to the gravel as it goes off again.

14:55 A sleepy head lifts up for a half-hearted pick at its back, before flopping back again with eyes closed.

15:00 The session ends with chick almost asleep on centre right of the gravel, disturbed only by flies.

1500: Chick lying down in nest box. Really big now, with wing feathers coming through.

1512: Poppy on on SW according to watchpoint.

1522: hick calls and stretches wings. Stands up to preen.

1523: One of the adults calling from out of shot.

1535: Henry come in with prey, and almost immediately leaves, while the chick scoffs it down.

1536: Quite a lot of calling from one or both adults from out of shot. Chick feeding on prey. Sound dropped out for a bit. Watchpoint reported both adults on south west pinnacle.

1541: Chick flaps wings and defecates. Still picking at prey.

1544: Chick has a really good flap.

1546: Chick standing up, facing camera. More adult plumage visible in breast. Both rings visible.

1551: Chick has a quick wander about then sits down and starts pecking at gravel.

1555: Chick preens.

1609: Chick lying down for snooze.

1628: Chick stretches wings then settles down.

1646: Chick fidgeting about and preening.

1647: Chick gets up and stretches right wing.

1649: Having a good preen. Tail feathers are coming along nicely as well.

1657: Chick calling away. It’s developing a good pair of lungs as well.

1659: Chick has a good stretch of legs. Looks like it was about to do aerobics or something. Now calling away.

1700: The church bell tolls the end of the shift.

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