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  • Writer's pictureChris

Monday 25th May 2020

6.42 Tiercel feeding, 47 getting first go. Clear view of prey, a starling, when Falcon arrives. 

6.44 All 3 chicks getting some breakfast.

7.00 All still being fed. 49 gets the most

7.02 Falcon left. Sun creeping in to the edge of the box. 47 standing on the edge and the other two are shuffling around. 49 especially doing lots of wing-flapping. All alert.

7.22 Gradually subsiding

7.29 2 are quite dozy but one (48?) is still awake, pecks at siblings, pecks at debris.

7.48 That chick (48?) staring at something outside the box.

7.45 Still alert, why?  Not as well fed perhaps? Can see it’s number 48.

7.50 It goes to a sibling and

7.51 All 3 now alert, 47 and 48 at the front of the box with their sister behind.

8.02 Tiercel comes in with prey but keeps back to camera so I can’t see what it is.  47 gets second dibs, one behind (48) not getting anything.

8.05 Middle chick still getting all the food.

8.09 Tiercel flies off with remains of prey. 48 and 49 calling.

8.11 Tiercel comes in with what looks like remains of last prey.  48 gets fed then Tiercel flies off again.

8.23 All awake and preening.

8.30 2 lying down but eyes open. 48 still preening.

8.37 What was that?  It looked as though several black feathers suddenly flew in to the back of the box, no owner attached.  Got the chicks excited for a moment.  How did the feathers arrive?  Sudden gust of wind?  Adult plucking something just outside?

8.44 49 muscles her way to the front of the box in the sunshine.

8.55 It goes to a sibling andicks (48 and 49) at the front of the box follow a movement outside.

9.00 Right on the hour, two chicks are avidly watching something, probably food on its way! They are both gaping a little in the early sunshine, but there was also a suggestion of one calling. One chick stands and produces a squirt of white liquid, but then over-balances on top of its sibling, which had been lying quietly in the shade. The guilty chick then shuffled off into the back of the platform in shame! The disturbed chick then sets about some preening before settling back down again. Third chick remains squatting in the sun.

9.05 The third chick, having had enough sun, retires to the back of the platform to lie down behind its sibling. The chick most recently disturbed is now watching as a large fly zooms around the platform. 9.12 One of the chicks at the back stretches out its leg, but the angle of the sunlight makes it impossible to identify which chick it is. The chick from the corner has moved round in front of its grooming sibling, and is now lying at the front of the group.

9.20 Having preened for several minutes, the middle chick turns around, stretches its wings, and settles back between the other two. Still awake and watching the flies.

9.27 A leg stretch by the nearest chick, which then starts to close its eyes for a moment.

9.29 The front chick rises up to look around, before indulging in some more grooming. Its leg ring is just visible but not enough for identification at this point.

9.32 The chicks are still small enough to be unstable while grooming, so this same chick has to correct its balance when its grooming of tail feathers gets too vigorous!

9.35 Grooming is hard work! The chick has had enough for now, so settles down for a doze.

9.57 The front chick suddenly lifts its head and looks around, but then settles back again, still watching for now at least. The middle chick also stretches out one leg, but not the leg with the Darvic ring on it.

10.16 The temperature is evidently rising, such that the front chick is gaping, despite being mostly in the shade.

10.19 A sort of Mexican wave of shuffles goes through the chicks from the back to the front.

10.22 Now two chicks, front and back have roused up for a spot of grooming, while the middle one remains supine.

10.23 The chick at the front may well be 48.

10.24 …and now the third chick is up and about again, while 48 lies back down again.

10.26 Chick 48 has picked up a fragment and proceeds to try and eat it, watched by its sibling.

10.29 It looks like the one on the left is calling. The chick standing on the right is definitely 48.

10.33 By the looks of things, there may be food shortly! Two of the chicks seem to be calling, and they are all watching intently.

10.35 47 comes to the front after 49, which was calling most, came round and flopped at the front, now facing into the shade.

10.39 They stand in a line, 47, 48 and 49, left to right.

10.44 48 gets up for a stretch in the background, while 49 moves round to the left and lays in the sun. This does not last, and it soon heads into the shade at the back. It begins grooming, as does 47 sitting in front

10.47 All three chicks now have a move around, with 48 looking round the edge of the platform. This one also begins calling while standing at the right of the platform.

10.49 48 and 49 are now grooming, while 47 sits and looks around to the left

10.50 47 and 48 stand together at the front for a moment, before 48 moves off to the rear, and eventually settles again in the back of the platform. 47 is now grooming at the front.

10.58 47 remains the sole upright chick, the other two collapsed at the back. Then even he flops to the floor, although keeping an eye on the outside world.

11.00 The session comes to and end with the three chicks lying together on the floor, 47 in the sun, the other two back in the shade.

11.07 Chicks up and alert, stretching wings.

11.16 One chick standing up and calling.

11.19 Second chick up, both preening. Third chick still lying down. Rings not visible. Always ems to be one chick less active and alert compared to the other two, and slower on the uptake when food is delivered.

11.25 Chicks now down and huddling together.

11.42 One chick alert and calling.

11.52 One chick briefly up and preening.

11.58 Same chick back up and calling.

12.03 Two chicks up and alert.

12.06 All chicks alert and shifting about stretching wings.

12.31 One chick sitttng up and preening chick next to it, which is lying down.

12.35 All chicks sitting up and stretching. One chick having a real flap.

12.40 Chick 48 standing up fully and having a real flap of its wings

12.52 Two chicks sitting and one chick lying down.

12.58 Chick 47 up and walking towards camera, having a serious flap. Keen to fly the nest perhaps?

13.01 47 standing looking around and exercising wings while the other two are in opposite corners.

13.07 47 lays down still looking around.

13.15 47 stands up then settles in the right hand corner.

13.16 47 again wanders around going over to the left hand corner.

13.28 47 up and shuffling about leans against 49 who gets up and moves away to the right corner.

13.26 48 & 49 spend time alternating between preening and lying down

13.38 48 walks over to left side and leans against 47.

13.52 All line up and are focussed on the same point. They all turn their heads to the left in unison. Gradually lose interest except 48 who sits calling.

13.56 All still calling, 49 moves across to the right.

14.06 49 still calling, gives up and pushes between 48/47.

14.11 All facing forward and calling.

14.17 49 is still calling, the other two have given up and are dozing.

14.21 All quiet and dozing.

14.32 49 calling again.

14.44 49 stops calling, leans forward and pecks at a lower leg which is on the gravel, leaves it and lays down in front of the other two.

14.55 Adult arrives with prey.

15.00 Falcon was present feeding chicks. She was tearing off flesh off and distributing it to each of the chicks. She also gave some larger morsels which she allowed one of the chicks to self feed. One of the chicks consumed a whole leg allowing the claw to slide in last.

15.02 Nearly all the carcass had been consumed. One chick was in the corner tearing off a larger piece of meat.

15.04 Falcon appeared to find a new carcass from the corner of the nest box. She proceeded to feed the chicks this was consumed in a very short time.

15.06 Falcon stood on the edge of the box and flew off.

15.07 The two males were standing and number 48 was flapping wings vigourously.

15.10 Female was laying and down both male standing up and wandering about.

15.11 The males 47 and 48 with both exercising their wings. At this point the female 49 rose and walked behind the males, it was evident that she is now gaining size on them both.

15.13 The female 49 sat back down and the two males carried on wondering about.

15.18 From observations during the period between this time and about 15.34 After the three birds had had a short rest. The males were much more active than the female.

15.39 After periods of dozing and moving around number 48 stood up and walked to the back of the box going into the shade the other two continued to sunbathe.

15.47 Both 48 and 47 were sitting down at this time the female was prone, she appeared to be calling.

16.01 All 3 were stood up and became more active wandering, stretching and exercising wings . During this period it was apparent that the males tended to stand up on their feet more than the female who tended to move on her ankle joint but at one point did get up and walked wobbly to the back off the box.

16.12 All the chicks were settled and sitting in the Sun.

16.14 Number 48 male went to the corner into the shade and appeared to be picking at some remaining carcass he had found.

16.29 There was a scramble into the corner by all chicks and number 47 fell over the female as he raced towards the corner.

16.30 All the chicks sitting up and looking out expectantly.

16.33 Tiercel flew in with prey stayed a short while and flew out again at 16.34 Chicks looked bemused at this number 48 was in the corner and appeared to be eating so the prey that had been dropped for.

16.44 Two of the chicks were now pulling on the carcass.

16.45 Falcon now flew in with prey and started feeding the chicks.

16.46 Tiercel left and the falcon carried on feeding chicks to end of my watch.

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

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