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Cromer Peregrines Activity Blog- 02/05/2022

06:38 On scrolling back on the live stream, I can see that there was a changeover and feed at 06:38

08:53 We start the live blog with the Falcon sitting on the two chicks facing the camera. Two chick beaks and some fluff are just visible under her breast feathers. She looks up intermittently.

08:58 She starts some preening and the chicks are more visible.

09:00 She settles again and one of the chicks struggles to turn round. They are all eye and beak

09:03 She stands to allow the chicks to move about under her and the remaining egg is partially visible and what I can see of it is intact.

09:05 She appears to follow a flying object travelling to her left.

09:15 She sits up and starts more preening, then settles down and does some pebble pecking quite actively.

09:17 She stands up and rotates anticlockwise and settles looking to the east and the chicks move round with her.

09:22 There is more fidgeting and repositioning the chicks.

09:31 The Falcon starts calling incessantly and then the Tiercel arrives with prey, Pigeon, I think and shows it off to the Falcon and chicks and then departs with the prey to prepare it leaving the falcon and chicks waiting expectantly.

09:34 The falcon calls and looks intently out to the East as though the plucking the prey.

09:36 The Falcon gets impatient and leaves the nest and chicks alone. They jiggle around for a bit on their own.

09:40 The Tiercel arrives without the prey but with a feathery beak and blood stained talons and settles for a few seconds. Then the Falcon arrives with the prey and settles down to feed both chicks equally and he leaves the nest.

09:45 She has a piece of food herself!

09:47 The chicks look stuffed and the Falcon feeds herself. Then she leaves with remains of the prey and soon after the Tiercel arrives still with the feathers stuck to his beak! He settles on the chicks to brood them facing east. He struggles to fully cover them.

10:01 He continues to brood the chicks with intermittent wriggling.

10:13 He shelters the chicks with a loose wing style and looks round intermittently. One of the chicks has its head poking out.

10:24 The pesky fly appears and he watches it intently as it walks nonchalantly across the front of the box and then flies around!

10:28 The Tiercel suddenly looks out intently and the Falcon arrives to take over brooding. She settles over the chicks and egg with her back to the camera with her wings slightly splayed.

10:33 She rotates anticlockwise and points west.

10:36 She stands briefly and we catch a glimpse of the single egg.

10:39 She rotates further anticlockwise and looks out of the box, the egg is visible as is one chick.

10:44 Now one chick pokes its head out and rests on the egg.

10:50 The Falcon starts to peck the gravel again after a brief standup.

10:53 She pecks over to the side of the box, exposing the chicks and then turns round and settles on her brood facing east.

11:00 No change, Falcon brooding with the fly in attendance and a chick head and egg visible

11.00, Now taking over from James with Poppy in residence.

11.06, preening time, with one chick and the one remaining egg in view, still haven't seen any evidence of any pipping.

11.24, Poppy sits there preening herself and one of her chicks, she slowly lowers herself down and gets comfy facing West.

11.41, Poppy starts taking in stones to help with her digestion.

12.01, More intake of stones by Poppy, she gradually moves away from the chicks whilst doing so, giving us another look of one of her chicks and the egg.

12.24, She sits preening and cleaning one of her chicks, she gradually lowers herself down and gets comfy facing West.

12.41, Poppy begins taking in stones to help with her digestion.

12.07, In comes Henry with prey, she's soon takes it from him and starts feeding her young, whilst Henry disappears in the distance.

12.18, Poppy eventually finishes feeding and sits down facing East.

12.20, Time for a change of scenery, she shuffles clockwise, settles down facing S/W.

12.43, Poppy sits up and starts more preening with her chicks and egg in view beneath her.

13.00, That's it for me today, now handing over to Val.

13.00 As I start my first shift since the eggs hatched, the Falcon is upright in the box, with one chick and the remaining egg visible beneath her. She has her right eye shut. 13.01 And now the left eye is shut and the right one open. 13.02 The Falcon now has both her eyes shut. 13.05 There is a fly crawling about on the gravel. The Falcon watches it intently. 13.06 One of the chicks is moving, while the Falcon continues to watch the fly. 13.07 That fly is driving her crazy but then she yawns. The visible chick wriggles a little.

13.10 The adult bird is getting really sleepy, with both eyes shut on and off. The chick has another wriggle. 13.11 The fly is back, and the Falcon follows its every move with her head. 13.12 She has a brief preen, revealing the second chick's face. She rearranges the egg and the chicks, nearly treading on them with her great yellow talons.

13.13 The largest chick tries to make a break for it but the Falcon pokes it back under her and settles down to brood.

13.19 Both chicks are visible now. The Falcon preens her chest. 13.20 She is happily brooding her new family. The chicks fidget.

13.22 She is dozing, with both eyes shut on and off. One of the chicks waves its tiny wing. 13.25 Both chicks are asleep - one of them is literally flat out 13.26 She turns her head to preen her back beneath her wing.

13.28 That fly is back again, and the Falcon appears mesmerised. 13.29 She preens under her right wing and then under her left wing. The chicks are wriggling beneath her.

13.30 The Falcon tucks the egg and chicks under her brood patch and settles facing south east out of the box. 13.31 She is asleep, but disturbed by that wretched fly. One of the chicks is sticking out from beneath her. 13.32 She looks as though she should be getting dizzy watching the fly buzz around. Then she shuts one eye to get a spot of unihemispheric sleep, and then both eyes are closed. She keeps trying to open her eye, but the urge to sleep is too strong and it keeps closing.

13.34 One of the chicks is wriggling and sits up for a few seconds, before slumping back behind the egg.

13.38 The fly is buzzing round and round and she doesn't take her eye off it. But it is losing its entertainment value and she yawns. She preens her chest and her back, under her wing. She looks down at the chicks before preening the feathers at the base of her back. 13.39 One of the chicks pops its head out from among her feathers as she continues to preen, starting with a quick rearrangement of her chest plumage before moving on to her mantle. 13.40 Now there are two flies! She ignores them and goes back to preening her mantle. 13.41 One of the chicks wriggles so vigorously that it makes the egg move - for a brief moment I am fooled into thinking it is going to hatch. The Falcon preens under the back of her left wing and her breast. 13.42 One of the chicks has its eyes open. The female continues her grooming regime, preening her wing coverts and under her wing. 13.45 She picks at the gravel. She becomes more alert and appears to be chirruping - I can see her tongue as she opens her mouth. She continues like this for the next few minutes. 13.49 She pushes the egg back beneath her. 13.50 One of the youngsters appears to be calling. 13.52 She mantles her wings over the chicks. She has her head on one side as though she is listening 13.54 One of the chicks is very alert, with its eyes wide open.

13.56 The Falcon is awake and watchful. 13.57 One of the chicks is awake and appears to be making little peeping noises. 13.58 The Falcon is unsettled and calling. She is on her feet and suddenly Tiercel arrives with a kill, which he drops in front of her and the chicks. They are excited and ready to eat, but he takes the carcass and leaves again.

14.00 The chicks and the Falcon are unsettled: the chicks are moving around across the scrape, calling, and she too is calling. The arrival of a fly does not make any impact - not a substitute for a good lunch. Finally she hunkers back down, turning the egg and settling herself over the chicks. 14.01 She relaxes more. 14.02 She is alert again but settles back down facing north, tucking the egg under her. 14.04 The fly is crawling on her wing but she seems oblivious. 14.14 She sits there stoically, looking around occasionally. 14.16 She preens her breast and her back.

14.17 After preening her chest, she has a white fluffy feather caught on her face. 14.19 She is very alert, and looking up, focused.

14.20 She yawns - all this sitting around is tiring!

14.22 She preens her breast. 14.24 She pecks at the gravel. 14.27 She stretches her wings and settles down onto the chicks.

14.28 She preens her mantle and under the back of her wing. The chicks are both visible, with one wriggling and calling. She appears to be calling to them. 14.29 The Falcon snuggles them down into the scrape, but a head immediately pops out from underneath her. Suddenly she raises her head and appears to give a very loud call, followed by another and another. This continues for 15 minutes - she seems quite desperate. Maybe there was an intruder, or she could have been demanding her lunch.

As the minutes go by, she begins to doze off between calls. 14.45 One of the chicks is calling, with both its disproportionately large feet sticking out in front of it. The Falcon looks down at the chicks, and then snuggles them back down under her. Once again, a head immediately pops back out, but she pulls it back in again. 14.50 All three now very sleepy.

15.00 I finish my shift and hand over to Debbie with the Falcon still sporting her extra feather on her cheek and the chicks sound asleep.

15.00 Falcon facing right and awake. The two chicks are under her and asleep

15.01 She calls once

15.03 She preens

15.08 She huddles over her chicks, is alert and looking about

15.09 A fly buzzes by

15.11 A fly disturbs her and she resettles facing the camera

15.19 She preens while the chicks sleep

15.21 She reshuffles and faces right

15.31 She sits up with her eyes closed and the chicks sleep

15.45 She stretches and almost treads on her offspring. She resettles over them

15.58 She shuffles and carefully huddles over them facing away

15.59 Falcon has white, downy feathers stuck, one on her tail and the other on her forehead

16.02 She pecks at gravel so that her brood is exposed under her tail

16.05 She resettles over her chicks facing to the right

16.32 She stretches both wings (and I wonder If she is going to fly off) but she stays put

16.37 She gets up and flies off. The chicks are unattended, they wake and wiggle

16.38 One chick preens

16.39 Both chicks cry out

16.40 Falcon returns and nestles over the chicks facing away

16.44 She is unsettled and flies off again leaving the chicks unattended

16.45 One chick calls

16.46 Both chicks call then snuggle and snooze

16.47 One chick calls persistently

16.48 Tiercel lands into the box (no prey) and attempts to cover the chicks

16.57 He is well settled and still

Thank you to todays volunteers- James, Val, Debbie and Graham

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