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  • Peregrinator

Cromer Peregrines Activity Blog- 03/05/2022

09.00, Morning all with Poppy in residence, having evidence of an earlier feed stuck on her beak, facing South. Henry perched on the N/W turret.

09.30, All very quiet with Poppy in the same position facing South.

10.03, She sits up and starts preening giving us a look of her chicks. In the Cromer sunshine.

10.16, Time for some more preening, then turns and settles down facing North.

10.36, Poppy sits up, looking out from the box.

10.38, In comes Henry but Poppy was declining to move for a bit, Then gets up still not wanting to depart.

10.41, Thanks for Jane at the Cromer W/P, Poppy now sitting on the S/E ledge plucking prey.

10.49, Poppy returns with her prey, Henry stays for a second then departs, leaving Poppy to feed her chicks.

10.58, Poppy leaves with the remains of the prey.

10.59, Henry arrives to take over.

11.00, That's been a hectic few minutes, now handing over to Richard.

11.00 As I take over the webcast watch our Poppy has just finished feeding her two fluffy white chicks and leaves to remove the remains of the carcass. The Tiercel, Henry, takes over briefly

11.07 Mum’s back and Henry knows when he’s not wanted!

11.28 All this work means Poppy’s plumage is in need of some attention. Whilst mum preens a sleepy chick, with eyes tight shut comes clearly into view. We can see the second chick being revealed from under Poppy’s wing

11.34 A behaviour we have noted previously is the picking up/ pushing around of gravel association with long periods of brooding

11.38 Something outside is troubling her and you can see she is tracking something flying past. She decides whatever it is poses a threat to her young and goes out to deal with it, leaving the chicks unattended.

(Our watch point observers reported that a Red Kite had flown over and both male and female Peregrines gave chase)

11.39 ‘Seeing off’ done Poppy returns

11.51 Poppy is calmer and preens herself again

11.56 The chicks are fidgety so Poppy is constantly shifting her position to cover the chicks

12.12 Things are quiet enough for a grabbed snooze, though with one eye open at times!

12.50 Male arrives with prepared carcass, and Poppy takes it for him and starts to feed her hungry brood. The male departs

12:55 The Tiercel brought in a well stripped carcass a minute or two ago, and the Falcon took it and began feeding the chicks. The Tiercel left, and was reported by the WatchPoint as perched on the South side of the tower.

13:00 The Falcon has been feeding the chicks for a few minutes, so is now taking some for herself. She still occasionally offers little pieces, but the chicks appear well satisfied.

13:05 She has her back to the camera, but her body movements suggest that she is still eating. Then she settles over the chicks, facing East. During all this, it is not obvious where the egg is.

13:18 The aerial antics of a fly continue to distract the Falcon, as she relaxes with some afternoon sun on her wing. Her right eye drifts shut at intervals.

13:25 The chicks must be restless underneath her, as the Falcon rises up a little, presumably to allow them some room to move.

13:33 The Falcon appears to be in a half-crouched position, with the beak of one chick peeking out in front of her wing. She shuffles round, now facing more North, and now suddenly both chicks have their heads out! So she rotates again, now facing South-East (out of the platform to her left), and one has its head out under her wing. She raise one foot, and stands precariously on one leg for several seconds, as she tries to find a safe place to put it down again.

13:39 It looks like the chicks both have their heads under the Falcon, their rear ends facing the camera.

The Tiercel is perched near the box.

13:47 The Falcon seems quite alert, standing over the chicks, but looking around. Of course it could just be another fly!

13:50 The Tiercel arrives, and after a few seconds of chirps, she gets up from the chicks, and leaves. He then has the same struggle to find somewhere to put his feet as he tries to cover the chicks. As he does this, there is a brief view of the egg under his wing. However, he hardly gets settled before the Falcon returns, so he leaves the platform, and she resumes standing over the egg and chicks.

14:03 The Falcon is standing over the egg and chicks, and takes some time for preening. That done, she settles onto her little family, facing into the far left corner (North-West), keeping an eye on the world over her shoulder.

14:08 She is forced to stand up by the chicks fidgeting about underneath her. She stands for a few moments watching one of them as it preens, then settles back down. Interesting to see the technique she uses to sort of shovel under the chicks into the gravel to get them where she wants them. Rapid shuffles of her feet get her into position.

14:25 The Falcon has gradually been standing up over several minutes, as the chicks move about beneath her, until she decides to shuffle them back into position again. However, she still has to stand with her wings hanging down to give the chicks some shade.

14:42 One little pink foot, which had been stretched out on the stones, is drawn back under the chick, but then gradually extends again into the sunshine. A fly catches the attention of the Falcon again.

14:50 The Falcon seems to be panting a little, her beak slightly open. She lifts her wing up to give a brief flash of chick underneath it, then lowers it again almost to the gravel.

14:55 The owner of the little pink foot pokes its head out to the sun, and it appears to be more upright in front of its mother. It turns and directs a squirt of white away to the side, then turns back again.

14:58 A flurry of wing activity as the Falcon repositions herself to provide more cover from the sun. Now facing almost directly away from the camera.

15:00 The Falcon remains standing, shading the chicks.

15.00 Falcon is in the nest shading her chicks, She faces away. Most of her back and tail is in full sun while her head is very shaded and difficult to see. She is still and relaxed

15.32 She changes position and ends up facing right. The chicks are looking good and the egg is in the hollow of the scrape.

15.33 She stretches her wings and settles facing away from the camera. Her chicks are mostly in the sun and uncovered by mum.

15.35 She pecks at gravel. She repositioned the egg tenderly with her beak but it rolled back where it was.

15.39 She pecks at the gravel and her chicks are close by

15.42 She has resettled and is now facing to the right. Her chicks are covered now.

15.49 She is gravel pecking

15.51 She preens

15.53 She again moves the egg and tucks her chicks under her

15.55 More preening

16.05 She sits and watches upwards.

16.14 She calls and look upwards.

16.15 Tiercel lands in the box with prey

She accepts it and starts feeding the chicks. He flies off.

16.16 She feeds the chicks but she blocks my view

16.23 She has stopped feeding them and herself, covers the chicks facing away

16.24 She resettles facing right

16.45 She stretches, walks to front of box and flies off leaving chicks unattended

16.48 Tiercel lands into the nest box and works hard to settle over his chicks facing left. He is now in the shade

Thank you to todays volunteers- Graham, Richard, Peter and Debbie.

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