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  • Writer's pictureChris

Sunday 25th April 2021

A massive thank you to Peter, Andrew, Rachel and Brendon for todays blog

8:46 Our first view today is of the tail (!) of a peregrine in the left of the picture, likely the falcon, as she was in the platform earlier according to WhatsApp comments.

8:51 A quick camera zoom out confirms.

8:55 The falcon begins calling. She is facing away to the left of our view.

8:59 As the church clock strikes the hour, the falcon calls again. She is perched on the left side of the platform in our view, and facing away to the West. There is some sunshine, but also a certain amount of breeze.

9:02 The second camera view to the North East shows a relatively calm sea with light cloud moving reasonably quickly on the breeze. The falcon seems asleep at the moment.

9:04 She opens her eyes as a helicopter can be heard in the background, but resumes the resting pose quite soon. The breeze is enough to ruffle her feathers and rock her from time to time.

9:10 Time for a spot of grooming. Pre-flight checks perhaps?

9:12 The falcon heads in to the scrape, has a quick rake around, then rotates and repeats the process before settling, facing left. Currently she is just out of the sunlight.

9:20 The falcon has settled into full snooze mode, with her head tucked under her wing.

9:23 The tiercel can be heard calling briefly, but the falcon makes no move.

9:27 The teircel arrives, and after a brief exchange of calls, the falcon leaves. The tiercel goes through the ritual of scraping and rotating, then settles in facing the back of the platform. That doesn’t last, and he comes to perch on one leg, onthe front of the platform.

9:30 Not entirely clear if there are traces of his breakfast low down on his front.

9:31 The falcon has gone to perch on the North East turret.

She is quite difficult to see but a flash of white feathers at her throat puts her on what would be the South West side of the North East turret (if that makes any sense!), although she is facing away from the camera at this point.

9:40 The tiercel continues to doze, although the cry of a gull has him open both eyes.

9:44 Tiercel is suddenly alert, looking around in response to noises out of view. The falcon remains on the turret at the moment.

9:49 The tiercel keeps working his beak, as if he has the taste of his last meal in his mouth! An emergency vehicle can be heard, which makes him look around. He seems quite alert, as if there is something flying about which interests him. The falcon has not moved from the turret. She blends in very well, unfortunately for us watching! In the distance, a small vessel is aking its way along the coast from the East.

9:57 The tiercel continues to perch on one leg, which means that he rocks about in the breeze. His feathers are fluffed out, giving him an almost triangular shape as he sits there! He is looking into the back of the platform, then looks quickly front again.

9:59 The clock strikes the hour.

10:01 Another loud noise from down below the church has the tiercel looking around, but he soon resumes his doze mode.

10:03 The tiercel is alert again, looking skywards at times, but not for long. He returns to resting state.

10:09 A brief gust of wind forces the tiercel to put his other foot down to steady himself. Then he goes back into the platform to inspect the scrape. He sits into it briefly, then stands and turns to pick at some stones.

10:12 He finally returns to the fron of the platform, and resumes his one-legged pose on the front edge.

10:14 The teircel begins giving some little squeaking calls. He is looking around and calling as the falcon comes back to the platform.

After another exchange of calls, the tiercel leaves, and the falcon stands inspecting stones at her feet, near the front of the platform.

10:19 The falcon moves into the scrape, where she does a little dance, stamping her feet in the scrape, before settlling down to face forward and to the right as we view her.

10:29 As the church clock strikes the half hour, the falcon is settled in the scrape, still facing forward and to our right of view. The tiercel is out of sight, although possible calls can be heard in the distance.

10:35 Main camera is zoomed into the platform again, with the falcon again resting with her head tucked under her left wing, away from us.

10:38 Although she seems to be resting, the falcon’s head emerges from time to time, as if preening has been interrupted! Then she nuzzles back in.

10:54 A quick look at camera 2 shows that the tiercel is perched on the North East turret and may have been there for some minutess unnoticed by me! He is a little more visible at the very top of the picture as he is facing toward the camera.

11:00 My session ends with both birds visible on a camera. The falcon is resting in the scrape, while the tiercel is preening on the North East turret.

11.00 Clock strikes 11. Female sitting in nest box scrape with head under wing. Male on perched on North East pinnacle.

11.03 Peregrine on pinnacle calling.

11.30 Clock strikes half-hour. Peregrine in nest box has been occasionally looking around but has had its head under its wing for a while.

11.33 Female stands up briefly and scratches with talon, before settling back down.

11.49 Female walks to edge of nest box and has a scratch. Male calls.

11.55 Female in nest box preening.

12.00 Clock strikes midday. Female in nest box preening. Male still on pinnacle.

12.25 Female standing in nest box and closing eye for a nap.

12.35 Male gone from pinnacle.

12.52 Female has eyes closed. Male back on pinnacle.

12.57 Both birds calling. Female alert in nest box.

13.00 as I take over the watch on the strike of 1, Poppy (the female, falcon) is perched on the front left corner of the box with her back to us. No sign of Henry (the male, tiercel) at present. The external camera is on one of the seawards facing turrets, facing the general direction of East Runton. It’s a dull but dry day with waves gently crashing on the beach, the tide just turned to start coming in.

13.04 Poppy performs some minor preening in the aforementioned position looking around occasionally.

13.15 no change

13.23 Poppy continuing to preen her chest and wings

13.27 Poppy having a stretch

13.30 half hour bell toll strikes and all is calm and as before

13.49 no change, hard to tell If Poppy is sleeping or just looking constantly to her left as she rests.

14.00 the bell tolls two and nothing has changed, has to be the quietest hour I’ve had on watch so far!

14.03 some calling commences possibly Henry a little away from the box.

14.04 finally a view of our lovely Poppy’s face

14.08 a mutual exchange of calling can be heard and Poppy turns in her spot now with her back to the box, this ends with Poppy calling for a few mins and Henry cam occasionally be heard returning the calls

14.09 a paraglider appears from stage left on the external camera, calling continues periodically

14.15 the sun has got his hat on and is starting to shine in the nest box and on Poppy

14.17 Poppy seems calm but is alert and still periodic calls are being exchanged

14.19 Poppy hops to the nest box ledge and flies off

14.20 peregrine calling between the two can be heard a short way off, this continues for a few mins with some seagulls occasionally joining in!

14.24 all quiet again and no sign of our two

14.27 I spoke to soon, calling and clucking from both birds can be heard very loudly near the box but no one to be seen

14.30 the bells tolls half past the hour, calling is still ongoing from time to time

14.36 period calling ongoing, the sun is behind the clouds again, the external camera is panned looking for our resident pair as we can still hear calls

14.37 the external camera was not successful and now rests facing the other seaward turret, the nest box remains empty

14.42 it’s all gone quiet again, the sun is peeking out from the clouds again

14.49 no change, no calling and no Peregrines!

15.00 the bells chime three and over to Brendan for the last shift of the day.

15.06 No peregrines are visible on the cameras

15.13 Female returns to the box

15.20 Female stands in her scrape

15.23 Female preens

15.39 Female stays put and looks around

16.01 Female repositions herself to sit in the sun

16.32 Female preening again

16.52 Female has a stretch, the male can be heard calling in the background

17.00 as I sign off the female stays on the edge of the box

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