Friday 30th April 2021
A huge thanks to Valerie, Rachel, Sean and Stephanie for todays wonderful blog
8.58 As I switch on the livestream, the clock strikes nine, and the Tiercel is in the box, chirruping. Seconds later, the Falcon arrives. They greet each other briefly then the Tiercel flies off. The Falcon has her back to me.
8.59 She wanders into the scrape and stands facing south, looking around from time to time.
9.00 She turns to face the camera.
She is alert and seems a little unsettled, constantly looking around. Meanwhile, the Tiercel is on the turret looking out to sea. It is a gloomy morning, with dark clouds lowering and the sea is gunmetal grey.
9.05 In the box the female is standing near the front doing her one-eye-open-one-eye-shut routine. The wind is ruffling her feathers.
9.21 After 15 minutes of shut-eye, the Falcon decides it's time to do a bit of preening, starting with her primaries, reaching over her back and rearranging the barbs of the feathers on her left.
9.22 Now she is sorting out the other wing, and then moves on to her chest feathers.
9.23 She tucks her right foot into her plumage and looks up intently for a second, but then it’s back to dozing.
9.24 She looks behind her and does a bit more preening. Then she turns to face south and heads into the scrape where she turns around to face north. She looks like she is going to settle into the scrape but then sits up a little more erect.
9.29 The Tiercel is now facing away from the sea.
9.31 He flies off.
9.34 The Falcon gets up and starts to clean her left talon, stretching the claws. She is now facing the camera directly again. She preens her back and wings, and then cleans up the other talon.
9.39 Back to dozing, sometimes one eye shut, sometimes both, but looking around intermittently.
9.45 A siren and dogs barking have no impact on her beauty sleep.
9.48 Something attracts her attention and she looks up alertly, but it’s clearly not worth the effort and she’s soon back to snoozing.
9.51 She is wide awake and looking around intently, looks up, and then more looking around.
9.53 Getting sleepy again.
9.58 The clock strikes ten and the Falcon sits very erect, looking bemused. And then it’s back to sleep.
10.07 Dog barking
10.08 The Falcon has a quick yawn and then sets to preening her back. She stands up and turns to face south, stretching out her wings and her tail feathers.
10.09 She is facing south west, with her back to me, but her head is turned towards me and she preens her tertiaries and then under her wing.
10.10 The sun is shining on her back, highlighting the patterns on her feathers. She is now preening under her other wing and then her chest before turning her attention back to the left side.
10.11 Another go at the tertiaries on her left, and her mantle.
10.13 Same on the right side, followed by a good bit of attention under her wing.
10.14 She turns slightly so that she is now facing south. She preens her back, and her chest. Then walks to the far left of the screen.
10.19 She is sitting erect, but is fast asleep.
10.22 She wakes up and has a preen of her tertiaries again.
10.23 She preens her chest, back and wing briefly.
10.24 She stretches her neck and preens her neck feathers before moving onto the back. The Tiercel can be heard screeching off camera.
10.25 The Falcon stretches her right talon. She preens her back, with her talon in the air and then moves on to her wing. Again, the Tiercel is calling.
10.26 She raises her talon and cleans it. She preens her leg feathers while she’s at it. The Tiercel calls again.
10.27. The Falcon turns around and waddles into the scrape. She looks like she’s going to settle into it but then turns again to face the front, as the church chimes the half hour.
10.28 All this sitting around is really exhausting, so she starts to doze, but then does a 360 degree turn and finally settles into the scrape.
10.29 She pecks at a bit of gravel, but is very sleepy, and both eyes soon shut, though she opens one every now and again.
10.31 Her head starts to droop.
10.36 Now wide awake, she is pecking at the gravel, possibly eating it.
10.37 Still pecking the gravel, then she stands up and walks towards the right of the screen, still pecking away.
10.38 She is standing on the right of the screen, erect, quick preen.
10.39 Gulls heard calling in the background. She turns to face the front on the box and preens her right wing. The Tiercel is screeching.
10.40 She moves towards the front of the box, and dozes off.
10.46 A very distant call from the Tiercel.
10.51 The Falcon has another preening session.
10.55 She goes into the scrape and settles, facing north east.
10.58 The clock strikes ten, but she just sits there unperturbed.
11.00 as I take over the watch on the bell tolls of the hour the nest box camera reveals Poppy (the female, falcon) settled in the scrape alert but calm, the external camera is facing NW on this sunny day with a turret and the calm sea in the background. All very quiet not a sound to be heard.
11.04 Poppy now has her head tucked under her wing seemingly sleeping.
11.07 the external camera is panned around presumably looking for Henry (the male, tiercel) but to no avail, we can now see another turret this time with the Cromer lighthouse in view in the distance
11.09 Poppy stirs at the same time a dog starts barking, surely this can’t bother her up where she is
11.10 Quick as a flash Poppy stands and moves to stand on the front left of the box with her back to the scrape, calls and Henry flies into the box, they appear to be calling gently to each other as he moves to stand in the scrape.
11.12 Gentle chirruping from Poppy and she turns to face Henry now who is still standing in the scrape with his head bowed in a subservient pose
11.14 more gentle mutual chirping / chatting, Poppy walks across the front of the box to the opposite outside corner, again she turns to face Henry.
11.17 they are just now silently looking at each other…..maybe they too wonder what’s happening, Poppy starts to preen while Henry still standing in the scrape looks on
11.19 more very gentle swapping of chirrups between the two as Henry turns around in the scrape periodically picking at gravel
11.21 Henry trots of to the box edge and flies off leaving Poppy on sentry duty on the front right of the box and still gently chirruping
11.27 Poppy begins preening still standing on the front right of the box as the bell tolls half past the hour
11.36 Poppy continues to treat herself to a good preen
11.44 Poppy continues her vigil on the front right corner of the box, standing calmly and occasionally looking around, sometimes closing her eyes
12.00 the church bells strikes noon and Poppy remains on the front of the nest box, all is quiet and no sign of Henry
12.08 Poppy moves to sit herself in the scrape facing the back of the box
12.14 Poppy stands shuffles about stands and turns, she sits again in the scrape facing out of the nest box
12.16 the external camera pans about and now faces the other seaward facing turret, still no sign of Henry
12.25 Poppy remains alert but settled, occasionally closing her eyes most of her is now in the sun
12.30 the bell strikes half past the hour Poppy remains settled in her scrape, the external camera shows no change
12.45 I hand over to Sean leaving Poppy settled and dozing in the scrape.
12.45 Poppy sitting in the gravel scrape, basking in the bright sunshine.
12.47 Up on her feet, preening.
12.48 Back in the scrape again, head cocked to one side as she listens to a dog barking loudly in the street below.
13.27 Henry appears on the left-hand side of the pinnacle, remaining there for two minutes before flying off.
13.29 Henry reappears on lower level of pinnacle, looking resplendent in the sun.
13.44 Henry flies off and then appears in the box where Poppy has been all this time. Poppy moves to the edge of the box and flies off.
13.45 Henry settles into the scrape and spends some time pecking gravel and deepening the scrape with his talons.
13.59 Henry moves to edge of box.
13.59-14.14 Henry dozing with one eye shut on occasions.
14.14 Henry flies off and appears on right hand side of pinnacle, alert, keeping a good eye on activity below him.
14.39 Henry flies off.
14.41 Henry back on one of the pinnacles where he remains until 1500.
14.41 Poppy back in box. Immediately settles in scrape, deepening it a little as she sits into it.
14.47 Back on her feet, erect posture.
14.48-15.00 On her feet, occasionally preening as wind gently ruffles her feathers.
15.00 Tiercel only half in view looking out of the left hand side of the nest box. Female outside on the church
15.15 Nobody's moved
15.22 Tiercel preening, still at the front left of box
15.30 Both still in the same positions
15.40 Tiercel turns more towards the front and preens again
15.41 Has a good scratch and preens again
16.00 Both still in their places
16.08 Tiercel dozing, one closed eye in view!
16.09 Tiercel calls from front of box and leaves. Female no longer sitting where she was
16.11 Calling heard from outside, competing with a passing ice cream van
16.30 Neither bird has come back into view yet.
16.45 Still no sign of either bird
17.00 The sun is shining on a still empty nest box