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  • Writer's pictureChris

Saturday 17th April 2021

Thank you to Nick, Rachel, Graham and Debbie for todays blog

9.00 No birds visible as shift begins on a bright sunny morning. The wind has dropped and a calm sea is visible behind the outdoor cam looking to the north east of the tower.

9.01 Bird heard calling out of view twice.

9.30 Falcon enters the nesting box, and scrabbles in the nest depression in the gravel. Moves to back left-hand corner of the box, before moving back to the depression, settling and using claws to scrape gravel out. Then stands facing left over the depression, just out of the sun.

9.36 Falcon cleans her claw.

9.37 She moves forward into the sun, facing forward, standing on the front of the nest depression.

9.39 She closes her eyes, until Tiercel heard calling. Then closes eyes again, on and off, dozing in sun.

9.42 Tiercel heard calling again. Falcon continues to doze.

9.50 Falcon commences a 10 minute preening session.

10.00 Just as church bells cease ringing out, Tiercel heard calling. Falcon calls back. Tiercel flies into back of box on right, making clucking noise. Both calling, then she flies out of box. Tiercel checks nest depression, squatting and fidgeting with gravel, then stands over scrape facing left.

10.02 Tiercel moves forward to stand on front edge of nest box in the sun. Starts preening.

10.15 Something catches his eye, and he moves back over the nest depression, calling. He stands facing right, head forward.

10.18 Tiercel moves forward again to stand on front edge of box.

10.19 Falcon heard calling, Tiercel watchful inbetween closing eyes.

10.31 Tiercel calls, sees something and swivels head to follow (Falcon?).

10.32 Tiercel calls again.

10.45 Sun has moved, so Tiercel is now in shadow. He continues to doze whilst stood on front edge of box.

10.47 Tiercel calls , then flies out from box. Calling heard out of view.

10.51 Calling of both birds continues out of view, then in falls silent, with neither bird visible on either of the cams, as clock chimes end of the shift.

11.00 I take over the watch as the clock strikes. The nest box is currently empty and parts of it are illuminated by the sun, the other camera is looking NE over a flat calm sea and huge blue Norfolk sky. Currently all quiet, no sign of either Poppy or Henry.

11.03 a small amount of calling can be heard I think it’s peregrine close by

11.07 the camera on the nest box is being panned and then appears to go offline, meanwhile the other camera remains unchanged.

11.13 although the visual feed has gone down, I can still hear the audio … it sounds as though someone is having a scrabble in the scrape…. a bit of housekeeping I’d guess.

11.16 phew the connection is restored and we are welcomed with a view of the female (falcon)..Poppy standing in and then soon sitting down settling in the scrape in the sun which now illuminates quite a bit of the box, she quite calm and relaxed.

11.21 you probably wont’ be surprised to learn Poppy is closing her eyes on and off, she’s seemingly enjoying the warmth of the sun in her comfy scrape.

11.23 a noise startles Poppy a little, she’s very alert, calling then begins and Henry (the male, tiercel) appears in the box, Poppy moves aside and her and Henry standing looking into each other’s eyes across the scrape, beaks almost touching, Henry chirping occasionally and Poppy sometimes joining in. This little chat …presumably discussing the lack of eggs?!

11.30 the church bell strikes half past the hour; the nest box meeting continues.

11.31 Henry makes a sharp exit and Poppy seems a bit surprised. She is left alone in the box and the Queen of Cromer comes to sit a little forward of the scrape showing us what a big lass she is and sitting in the sun casually looking around.

Henry has flown to sit on a crocket on the turret in the sun, handily in camera view and is sitting preening too.

11.34 Poppy now sits in the same position preening and giving herself a pedicure

11.43 Poppy turns, walks back to the scrape and settles herself in again this time facing the other way. Henry continues to have a good preening session on his sunny crocket

11.45 I wonder what Henry is thinking sitting up there just looking out to sea

11.48 Poppy is getting sleepy and increasingly closing her eyes…must be a nice warm spot there

11.52 Poppy is relatively alert again and looking around

11.55 Poppy suddenly hops up onto her feet and stands alert and looking predominantly to her left, quite alert. Whilst Henry is still staring out to sea while being warmed by the sun.

12.00 the church bells strikes noon, Henry remains up on his crocket and Poppy is still sitting in the nest box calmy looking all around her occasionally closing her eyes.

12.01 Poppy begins preening again her feathers are looking quite ruffled

12.02 Poppy has a bit of scrabble at the gravel in the scrape and settles herself there again

12.05 Poppy is dozing in the scrape, Henry still on sentry duty on his crocket.

12.08 Poppy appears to be fast asleep in the sunny scrape

12.11 Poppy stirs but has sleepy eyes

12.14 a faint chirping / calling sound has Poppy alert but still sitting in the scrape

12.20 Henry takes flight off his crocket in the general direction of the lighthouse and Poppy still sits dozing in the scrape.

12.26 Bless her, I wonder if she’s bored waiting?

12.30 the church bells tolls half past the hour, Henry is still away any Poppy continues to doze on and off in the sunny scrape

12.35 Poppy wakes and is pecking at the grave in front of her she’s rearranging some of it and seems determined to reach some stones but won’t get up!

12.38 something outside the box appears to have caught her eye

12.42 Poppy hops to her feet stands in the scrape alert and looking around

12.44 she’s focused on something to her right and walks to the edge of the box to seemingly take a closer look

12.47 with a loud call Poppy flies off of the edge of the nest box where she’s been perched leaving the box empty. She’s been in the box for 1.5 hours in total, the longest I’ve ever seen her there.

12.52 I can hear some distant calling but no sign of either bird on the cameras at the moment

13.00 as my shift ends the bell tolls and Kim and Chris will now be at Norwich cathedral imminently getting “ringed” under the watchful eyes of GA and Norm.

13.00 Taking over from the very knowledgeable Rachel

13.05 Henry arrives to the nest box, where he starts taking in stones to help with his digestion

13.07 Looking at Henry, he's had a good meal recently going by the blood that's he's spilled down his front

13.15 Henry still on the edge of the box, fast asleep with one eye closed

13.40 Henry eventually stirs and moves to the middle of his nest box, sits down with his back to the camera, you can hear him eating stones once again, he moves round facing the camera a few steps and he's back at the front of the box, where he starts cleaning up his blood stained front

14.00 The bell strikes 2pm with Henry still on the edge of the box fast asleep in the beautiful Cromer sun

14.13 with the sound of sea gulls in the back ground comes a familiar voice, Poppy calling out in the background, making Henry more observant on what's going on around him, but no sign of Poppy

14.27 Henry moves to the middle of the nest box, starts making a new scrape and taking in even more stones

14.34 Henry stops his stone eating and makes his way back to the from the box, the left hand side this time

14.36 Henry becomes aware of something going on outside on the church roof, nothing occurs so he starts manicuring his talons

14.40 the church bells start striking in memory of his Royal Highness Prince Phillip

14.47 Henry quickly wakes up, scampers to the middle of the box, bows down, like he would on the arrival of Poppy

14.51 Henry gives up waiting for Poppy's arrival and moves to the front of the nest box, in the middle this time.

15.00 that's all folks, handing over the very capable Debbie

15.00 Henry asleep on front edge of nest box following the 99 tolls of church bell for HRH / Poppy on fleur-de-lis in full sun, paraglider went by

15.15 Poppy flew off

15.25 Poppy returns but to a higher vantage point / Henry squeaks and goes to scrape

15.26 Poppy flew off and out of sight / Henry looking about while at the front edge of nest box

15.48 A fly crawls on Henry's chest, he quivers and snaps at it to get rid, then he preens

15.51 Henry returns to scrape to scrape and then goes to edge of nest box

16.20 Henry alert to low flying aircraft

16.35 Henry stretches and balances on one leg....he is still at front edge of nest box

16.37 Henry squeaks and goes to the scrape / Poppy reappeared on lower ledge of church

16.38 Henry calls

16.40 Henry flies off while calling and mates with Poppy.....then he flew away calling as he went

16.45 Henry calling off camera

16.46 Poppy flew away / Henry calling / Poppy landed into nest box with lots of squeaking / I think I saw Henry soar over the shore

16.49 Poppy stands in scrape and preens

16.54 Henry calls off camera

16.55 Poppy settles into scrape

17.00 Watch ends

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