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  • Writer's pictureChris

Monday 18th May 2020

7.17 Very blustery day in Cromer, and the chicks are in a huddle. The sun is just starting to shine on the edge of the platform.

8.47 The chicks’ huddle has changed very little since the previous look.

8.49 There are signs of more activity, as a head appears from the fluffy mass. The chick at the rear has begun preening and looking around. This one seems more awake than its siblings.

8.52 A head (the chick at the rear) appears from the bottom edge of the mass of fluff, and begins picking at some fragment lying on the gravel in front of it.

8.55 As the front two chicks jostle to get comfortable, the rearmost chick gets busy tackling another fragment of food in the corner.

9.00 This session gets going with the chicks in a mass in the rear left corner of the platform. A certain amount of preening is going on, particularly the chick at the rear of the group.

9.02 The chick to the rear has been gaping a few times. Is this perhaps a juvenile version of trying to cast a pellet?

9.13 The chicks have all started looking out, and that’s because…..

…the Tiercel arrives with food. Seconds later the Falcon comes in, and she takes charge straight away, so the Tiercel withdraws and leaves the platform.

9.13 The Falcon is now attending to the waiting diners. With her back to the camera, it is difficult to see exactly who is getting fed, but certainly the one to the left is doing alright!

9.20 The chick at the front has something in the corner of its beak, which it eventually gets moved with its talons! It also has a quick grab at the bones lying in the foreground. The Falcon looks on. 9.23 The chicks are now much more active. The quick feed has got them all moving. The Falcon seems to be helping the one on the left to pick up some scrap of food, before gently trying to herd the chicks together in the corner.

9.26 The chick at the back is interested in moving out, just for a moment, before turning back into the corner behind Mum.

9:28 The Falcon looks round, as if tracking something briefly.

9.35 Falcon and chicks have all settled down for a snooze.

9.49 A brief look around, up and down, by the Falcon, but she soon closes her eye(s) again. She is not able to settle completely, as the chicks shift about under her.

9.54 The Falcon has to move back as the chicks start to shift about much more. The chick at the back has a quick preen, before laying its head back on top of a sibling. They are showing signs of becoming more active again. One now begins a serious bit of preening.

10.03 The Falcon wakes the chicks up with a bit of preening of her own. This encourages the one on the left to do the same.

10.04 The Falcon looks down at the chick lying in front, which seems to be calling for a few seconds. 10.14 The two chicks towards the back are more active again, looking around, preening, and looking at the Falcon. The chick at the back reaches up to pick at the beak of the Falcon. There is probably some calling to her for food.

10.23 The Falcon emerges to stretch in the sunshine. She then stands and preens, while checking the sky and surroundings.

10.28 Another good stretch! Tremendous balancing act.

10.31 A chick in the background is staring intently at something on the roof of the platform, holding its interest for long moments.

10.33 The Falcon is looking around, quite alert at the moment.

10.35 Lots of intense looks from the Falcon, in all directions. The chicks are oblivious in the background.

10.38 Then, just like that, she is gone!

11.00 All calm and quiet, apart from the occasional flitting of flies. Apart from the feeding just after 9 o’clock, it has been a relatively uneventful session.

11.10 1 chick standing up, alert and preening 11.17 All chicks suddenly up and alert. Wing of adult glimpse briefly in camera. 11.19 Falcon in with pigeon, who starts plucking and dismembering. Chicks shuffle up to Falcon for a feed. 11.27 1 chick separete from others, intent at picking at feathers from the pigeon. 11.30 Chicks quite spread out. Falcon continues to pluck and dismember. Feathers literally flying everywhere! 11.33 Chicks coming forward for feed. 11.34 One chick moving away from kill, fully upright and stretching wings. 11.39 Falcon still dismembering pigeon. On a couple of occasions, one chick will wander away having a stretch while other two are fed. 11.49 Falcon left with prey. Chicks spread around nest box, preening. In general, chicks are much more active, walking around nest box, stretching wings and preening. 11.54 Chicks huddled in corner, two upright and alert 11.57 Falcon back with head of prey item, looks like it’s off the pigeon from earlier. Feeding chicks. One seems more on the ball than the other two, going in first for a feed. 12.12 Chicks now huddled in corner with Falcon standing over them. 12.25 Falcon preening. 12.30 Falcon calling. 12.31 Falcon flown off, then back with prey a couple of minutes later. Small bird, light coloured wings, and feeding chick. Two of the chicks alert just before Falcon came back, third seemed slower on the uptake. 12.42 Falcon left with carcass. 12.46 Chicks left on their own, huddled in corner, occasionally stretching. 13.00 end of shift.

13.03 A pillow of white huddled in the left hand corner, feathers from earlier feed blowing everywhere. 13.08 Female brings in food, chicks not responding. She takes the food over to them, they sit up and take what is given. 13.12 A chick picks up a remnant from the ground. The Female tries to take it back, results in a tug of war - the chick wins. 13.21 All chicks asleep, 2 to the left, 1 to the right. Female stands between them and gets some shut eye. 13.24  2 chicks standing preening. 13.27 Female leaves. 13.39 2 chicks more active, preening each other. 13.43 All laying down. 13.56 Group shuffle and lots of preening. 14.05 Back to sleep 14.45 A group stretch and preening. 14.55 A chick stretches its wings which cover the other two as they rest and then lays down.

15.00 hours chicks in a huddle in the corner of the nesting box looking fairly forlorn.

15.05 pm transmission of live stream went off.

16.01 pm transmission resumed chicks now huddled in the corner of nest box. Up til

16.10 pm chicks barely moved.

16.12 pm left hand check moving and stretching and it was clear that the bird had been Ringed. I now realise the reason for the loss of transmission. It appears that the ring number on the far left cheek is number 48 but I am not sure. Over the period of the last hour the chicks were fairly docile hardly moving occasionally one stood up. But during that period there was no sign of the parents returning. New

17.00 End of shift birds did seem a little more active and all three had stood up at over this short period.

Thank you to Julia Ivison, Andrew Gorton, Peter Ducker and James Ramshaw for todays blog

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