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  • Writer's pictureChris

Sunday 11th April 2021

We have another bumper blog for the Cromer peregrines today, and for that we shall thank Kim, Peter, Andrew, Rachel and Brendon for spending time looking at these amazing birds

7.20 The falcon sits on the North East turret, the male flys into view and they copulate

7:27 Sadly, the overnight hopes of an egg have not been met, and the nest remains empty. No parent on show, and no egg. The second camera reveals a silhouette on the North East turret in the early sunshine:-

8:52 As I prepare for my shift, the empty platform is catching the early sun across the front. The second camera is pointing North East at a turret which is currently empty. The sea is relatively calm, but the sky is clouding up from the North, and looks like there may be showers in the distance.

9:00 There is enough breeze at height to rattle something about, and the clock strikes the hour (a little early?).

9:09 A possible peregrine call can be heard, faintly, so maybe not close by.

9:11 The sun has temporarily gone from the platform, although out to sea the sky is looking a bit less threatening. A jackdaw call is heard off in the distance.

9:17 Aside from the occasional call of various gulls, Cromer’s Sunday morning is currently relatively quiet.

9:23 Sudden cacophany from both birds, then the falcon arrives on platform. She does some scraping, then stands looking out. Tiercel can be heard off camera.

9:27 After standing in the scrape for a couple of minutes, the falcon lays down, head into the back of the platform, but she is restless and soon gets up again, and stands in the scrape facing out to the right of the platform as we see it. The clock strikes the half hour as I type this!

9:31 The sun has returned, and the falcon starts preening in the advancing sunlight.

9:33 Done with preening, the falcon has another brief scrape, then turns towards the back of the platform. Her partner can be heard calling nearby “Come on you eggs!”.

9:38 Further calls from the Tiercel. Perhaps an unwelcome visitor? The falcon pauses in her preening, and looks over her shoulder at the world outside.

9:41 Tiecel’s calls bring the falcon out to the front of the platform. She stands, looking around, but makes no sound.

9:48 The falcon stands with one eye shut, but is evidently still watching with the other eye, as she turns her head from side to side.

9:50 A bit of self pedicure from the falcon! Chorus of gulls in background, followed by the tiercel’s calls for a few seconds. Tiercel sounds as if he may be airborne around the church tower, or at least turning around whereever he is perched.

9:54 Falcon steps forward, calls, then hops from the platform. The two call repeatedly to one another very close by. The second camera shows a peregrine perched on the North East turret, then taking flight. One bird is still calling from close by, then joined by the other, judging by the twittering calls which follow. Seems like the two birds are somewhere on the roof, out of sight of either camera.

10:00 The church clock has just struck the hour.

10:13 A peregrine’s call can be heard a little way away.

10:18 The sun’s rays create a deep contrast between front and back of the empty platform. Currently a crucifix shaped shadow is cast at the front of the gravel – very appropriate for the day and location!

10:28 The church clock strikes the half hour!

10:30 A light aircraft can be heard in the background.

10:48 Some calls in the distance, then the falcon arrives back on the platform. She is working her beak, so perhaps has been feeding in the time she has been away. She scrapes around a little, then stands facing the left back corner of the platform. I am picking up some voices in the background, which sound like cross-talk from somewhere.

10:54 A light aircraft just flew over, either very close, or the microphone is VERY sensitive!

10:55 The falcon stands facing the front of the platform. The sun is temporarily behind cloud. She appears to be closing one eye again, or maybe both, after her elevenses!

10:58 The clock strikes the hour. The sun starts to emerge again, and the falcon remains standing.

11.00 Falcon standing in nest box scrape, eyes closed.

11.03 Falcon looking around.

11.05 Falcon preening.

11.15 no sign of Tiercel on other cam.

11.20 Falcon now sitting in scrape with eye closed.

11.30 Camera buffering and image blurring.

11.32 No sign of Tiercel on other cam.

11.34 Falcon sitting down in scrape.

11.36 Falcon pecking at gravel. Then she went for a wander a round the nest box, theN sat back down in scrape.

11.45 Tiercel appears in nest box. Both birds up and bowing to each other.

11.46 Tiercel left nest box.

11.48 Falcon preening.

11.57 Falcon looking round.

12.06 Falcon closing her eyes intermittently.

12.11 Falcon looking around

12.12 Falcon laying down in scrape for rest of shift, closing eyes intermittently.

13.00 it’s quite breezy again this afternoon, turret cam wobbling and focussed on an empty sunny crocket. As I take over the female (falcon) is sitting in the scrape awake, looking around and occasionally pecking at the gravel before standing and stretching and proceeding to settle herself sitting in the scrape and having her feathers being gently ruffled by the wind.

13.04 the female she had closed her eyes and appeared to be trying to doze off but something stirred her again

13.06 the female is alert, preening and occasionally pausing to looking about the sun keeps popping in and out and must be warming her a little

13.15 she is just sitting looking a little sleepy, occasionally closing her eyes then opening again watching her surroundings.

13.24 the female (falcon) continues to look calm, relaxed and closing her eyes on and off in the sun

13.25 Henry (tiercel) appears on the crocket the turret cam is focussed on at and is very alert looking all about calling occasionally

13.27 Poppy calls and moves to the front edge of the box and lots of calling and looking skyward this continues for 4 mins she is wandering about in the front / on the edge of the box she seems quite agitated

13.28 Henry flies off his crocket and out of sight

13.31 she exits the front of box but I can still hear her, she must be close by on the church tower roof

13.35 Poppy returns to the box and as yet hasn’t stopped calling she seems very agitated & distressed standing on the front of the box

13.36 after 9 mins of constant calling, she pauses for breath, calls once and is now just patrolling the nest box edge

13.37 Poppy flies away from the box, I can hear slightly more distant calling I think this is the peregrines

13.38 all gone quiet and no peregrines in sight

13.39 the male (tiercel) flies into the box, sits in the scrape and digs a little more, stands, calls and continues to try to settle, he is very alert

13.41 the male (tiercel) moves to the front of the box to sit and survey his domain and begin preening, things seem to have calmed down again

13.46 still on the nest box edge Henry does some gentle calling, sounds like the falcon makes a short call back to him but she’s out of sight for now

13.49 the crocket is still empty and the male is settled on the nest box edge trying to doze off

13.50 turret cam pans about to find Poppy sitting alert in the sun on a crocket, Henry has now dozed off

13.52 Poppy seems quite calm now so much so she is closing her eyes trying to doze off

13.56 both Poppy and Henry are calm again and having a lazy Sunday afternoon closing their eyes from time to time, her on a crocket, him on the front ledge of the nest box

14.00 the church bell strikes and Poppy calls a little from her crocket

14.01 Henry leaves the box and Poppy is calling from her crocket so loudly I can hear her on the nest box camera

14.05 Poppy alert and observing all about but has stopped calling now

14.07 Poppy turns 180 degrees on her crocket and now has her back to the camera

14.12 Poppy flies off and the nest box also remains empty

14.12 turret cam pans about but doesn’t locate them

14.15 after a fruitless search the camera settles on the turret with the sea in the background and a rain shower has suddenly started

14.22 the rain has stopped and no peregrines at home for the time being

14.30 the bells toll the half hour and neither Poppy or Henry are about

14.35 the sky has cleared again and the sun is back out bathing the nest box and turret in sunlight

14.38 turret cam panning about but no sign of them

14.45 still all is quiet no peregrines and the sun continues to shine

14.52 sounds like peregrine calling in the background

14.54 turret cam is again panning for peregrines

14.55 Henry is located preening high on crocket in the sun (pier side of the tower)

15.00 He remains on the crocket alert and observing around and the nest box empty as I hand over to Brendan 😊

15.10 The male, who is still sitting on the turret, has a scratch

15.11 The male takes flight and lands in the box, the female goes to the turret

15.27 Male chills on the platform

15.37 The female takes flight from her lofty position

15.56 The female joins the male in the box and they bond

15.58 Tiercel departs the box

16.01 The female preens on the platform

16.21 The male lands on the turret and is buffetted by the wind

16.39 The female lays in the scrape, making it larger

17.00 As I finish my shift both birds stay in put

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