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Cromer Peregrines Activity Blog- 20/05/2022

Thank you to todays volunteers- Graham and Peter

09.00, Chick home alone.

09.30, Still home alone.

09.36, Henry comes in with prey, shortly followed in by Poppy she takes the food from him. Henry quickly departs leaving Poppy to do the feeding.

09.45, Feeding finished, she leaves with the remains of the prey.

10.15, Home alone once again.

10.46, Poppy pops in to check on her chick. Feeds on some remains of prey then leaves shortly after.

11.00, Shift finished.

14:53 Starting this session a few minutes early, not that it makes much difference as the chick is slumped in its favorite corner , back left of the platform and apparently fast asleep. The recent rains seem to have passed, with some brighter time ahead.

14:57 It is very difficult to make out the chick’s position from the amorphous mass in the corner. It may be that the chick’s head is pointing right at the moment. As if to confirm, an eye opens and the head nods!

15:00 It is useful that a feather is being moved up and down in the middle of the platform, or else one might wonder if the picture is frozen!

15:03 The chick lifts its left wing to demonstrate that there is life on the platform after all!

15:09 A wing is waved from the top of the mass, the eye opens, then closes again.

15:14 The sun comes out, putting the back left corner into deep shadow, so the chick is quite difficult to see. Perhaps the sunshine will entice it out to the light.

15:30 The chick wakes up, stands and stretches a bit, then walks towards the middle of the platform, on the edge of the sunlight. It leans forward and squirts a white stream to the left, then runs across to the right side of the platform to stand more in the sun. It preens the front edge of its right wing, then moves on to other areas.

15:34 The chick tries to scratch at its head with one claw, but overbalances with a flap of its wings. It sits back on its rear end for stability.

15:36 It snags a stone with its beak, holding it in one claw for a few moments, then sprawls in the sun, but only for a second or two before resuming the upright stance again. The chick also gapes its beak two or three times, perhaps in an attempt at regurgitation.

15:40 The chick continues its preening in the sun, together with another attempt to scratch at its head, before slumping in the sun with its claw round the same stone as before. At this point, the chick can peer round the edge of the platform wall to the right.

15:43 It works its beak a few times at the same time as it appears to watch perhaps a parent. With a flap of its wings for stability, it comes upright again, albeit not fully standing, and picks up the stone again, then drops it and moves to the back of the platform. It stands at the back for a few seconds then moves quite quickly to the front edge of the platform.

15:47 The chick seemed to be expecting a visit from a parent, but when none appears, it goes to the rear again, then comes to stand more or less centrally on the platform. At the moment it is inquisitive about everything, and picks at fragments of remains, almost pouncing on them with wings outspread. However, it is still unable to scratch its head in the full standing position, lurching around and losing its balance. To its credit, it keeps trying.

15:52 The chick continues its investigation of small pieces of debris, whether food or not, along the foot of the wall. It stops and looks round, then seems to give a few squawks, so maybe a parent is nearby. A brief display of an outstretched wing shows the development of the feathers to good effect.

15:57 Preening continues along the right wing, followed by more towards the tail.

15:59 Preening finished for now, the chick settles against the right wall in the sunshine.

16:12 The head lifts up a little, but goes no further, then settles back again.

16:30 Having had several minutes sleeping in the sun, the chick wakes up, stands up and immediately begins preening. It pays particular attention to its right wing going over it quite extensively, sometimes concentrating on an individual feather. After that burst of activity, it settles back into the half-crouch position, then resumes preening around its tail.

16:34 As it continues to preen, the chick has moved forward and is standing level with the front wall edge. It begins some serious calling, but doesn’t get any company, so subsides onto the gravel again. That lasts only a few seconds and the chick sits up again, watching and rocking its head from side to side. Then it resumes preening somewhere on its back.

16:39 As the chick is preening its neck, its crop does appear relatively empty, showing only a slight bulge. The usual flesh that is visible on a full crop is not evident.

16:42 The chick is calling almost continuously, so perhaps a parent is nearby with food. It is staring out to the front of the roof. However, after several more seconds, it resumes preening, giving us its headless chicken impression!

16:48 The chick slowly rises to full standing position, and stretches its wings out. It stands centrally on the platform, and after another wing stretch, it bends forward and ejects another white stream. Then, it walks back to the rear left corner and settles face in to the corner of the platform.

16:56 The Tiercel arrives with food, and begins to feed the chick. If it stood up fully, it would be the same size as he is, even now. The Falcon comes in to take over, and the Tiercel hops clear immediately and leaves them to it. The Falcon does some more plucking of the prey, while the chick watches close by, then it takes the morsels being offered. Interesting how quickly the Tiercel left when the Falcon arrived.

17:00 The session ends with the Falcon feeding the chick in the early evening sunshine.

17:04 Witness the difference in the crop now!

17:05 The chick is full, refuses another mouthful, then walks away to the back of the platform, as the falcon finishes up what’s left.

17:08 Food finished, the Falcon leaves the platform, and one full chick.

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