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  • Peregrinator

The first chick has hatched! CPP blog- Tuesday 02/05/2023

The chick emerged at around 06.30am. The Falcon consumed the egg shell to regain some calcium.

07.30 The tiercel entered the nest to inspect the chick.

08.30 There was a better view of the chick

0900: shift starts with the first chick of the season! Female incubating with a large section of egg shell in foreground.

0907: female occasionally shuffling about. A couple of glimpses of the chick.

0910: can hear calling, not sure where from.

0915: female alternating snoozing and being alert

0928: there is a lot of calling and female leaves eggs and chick.

0930: female returns to nest and settles down, then does a little scraping/rearranging.

0932: a lot of chirping-female scrapes around eggs.

0934: she half-stands and shuffles eggs.

0937: she again half-stands and scrapes nest.

0941: she shuffles eggs again and settle down facing north.

0955: calling heard.

0957: female alert and looking around.

10.01 Tiercel flies to SW water spout without food.

1003: calling from out of shot. Female alert.

1015: a lot of calling from outside of box. Tiercel on SE pinnacle.

1016: female gets up and flies from nest box, leaving eggs and chick. Both birds in flight female on NE ledge feeding.

1017: male enters box and settles down on eggs - he has the usual difficult of trying to cover everything.

1021: female enters with prey. Male leaves and female feeds chick.

1026: female leaves with prey. Male enters and settles on eggs.

1028: male chirping.

1032: male chirping as female enters. There is a quick changeover. After a bit of shuffling she settle down facing north then get up to rearrange nest again.

1037: she has been shuffling around a lot and is now eating egg shell segment.

1049: She preens wing. Chick just visible poking out from under her breast as she resettles.

1056: female snoozing.

1100: shift ends with female alert.

12:28 This morning has been very exciting, as the first chick finally hatched at around 6:30am. There had been noises during yesterday evening, as the chick called from within the egg. Soon after the hatching, one major section of eggshell was seen on the gravel just in front of the Falcon, and has remained nearby, presumably to be consumed by the Falcon at some point soon. The Falcon is on the chick and eggs at the moment, and has just shuffled around giving us a brief glimpse of the chick. For its part, the chick calls a few times.

12:32 There are some long, drawn out sounds off camera, but it is not clear if they are natural or manmade. The Falcon occasionally rises up over the chick and eggs, but is largely relaxed and dozing.

12:39 The Falcon is alert as there is another of the sounds off camera. She begins to pick at stones, drawing a chirp from the chick.

12:42 She has moved far enough forward that the chick is visible under her wing. She is being quite industrial with her mining, but then stops, stands and re-settles over her brood, nearly standing on one of the eggs! She resumes with the stone picking, but facing right at this point.

12:45 Loud calls from the Tiercel off camera, to which the Falcon gives one brief response.

12:47 The Falcon stands up, drawing some chirps from the chick, then settles back, facing to the right of the platform. She remains in the half-crouched position to provide space for the chick, and occasionally rises up a little

12:50 Further calls from the Tiercel off camera. By the sound and volume, he must be very close by!

12:57 The Falcon is still quite alert, and with good reason, as the Tiercel arrives, and amid chirrups, HE begins to munch on the shell! A whole succession of chirrups including those of the chick, who is trying to hide behind the eggs.

13:00 The conversation continues between the two of them, with the Tiercel not trying to force the issue at this point. In the end, the Falcon convinces him to go. She then stands for some moments preening, before she settles onto the chick, who is calling. She faces the left rear corner for the moment. Just incidentally, the half shell has been moved right to the front of the platform, so out of reach of the Falcon unless she actively goes to get at it!

13:05 The Falcon shuffles round a little, to be facing almost West, to the left of our view.

13:13 The Falcon begins picking at stones again. She picks up a small feather and nibbles on it.

13:29 Reported by the Watchpoint, the Tiercel is on the West parapet, next to the North West pinnacle. The Falcon is on her feet, looking down at the chick, which gives a couple of chirps. Then she settles back again.

13:32 The Falcon is alert again, looking around, and gently rising up a little, possibly as the chick is moving underneath her.

13:34 The chick gives several distinct chirps, and the Falcon shuffles to give it some space. She is now facing South West after that move.

13:39 The sun has started to shine through thin cloud, so the shadows come and go. The Falcon continues to doze.

13:42 The chick gives a couple of loud chirps, and the Falcon looks down for a few seconds, but is then distracted by something else, possibly off the platform.

13:48 Another drawn out call, which causes the Falcon to look up briefly.

13:52 The Falcon looks around for a particular stone to pick at. She then starts to work her way across the gravel, then stands briefly, to turn and reach others. The chick and the eggs seem to be forgotten, as the inset view shows the other darker egg actually out from the cover of her wing. She has almost moved enough to uncover the other egg and the chick, causing it to call out for attention.

14:00 Eventually she returns to cover the chick and eggs, now facing into the back of the platform. She stands over them, but it is apparent that she would still like to pick at stones, and begins to work towards the rear right corner now. Chick is calling quite loudly now, so she settles back down for the time being.

14.03 A Red kite flies over the church.

14:04 The Falcon leaves the platform, and flies off.

14:05 The Tiercel can be heard calling, then he appears on platform and takes over. As usual, he has the problem of settling comfortably over the chick and eggs.

14:08 The Tiercel starts to chirp, then the Falcon arrives with lunch!

14:10 After only a couple of minutes, the chick has collapsed, presumably already full, but the Falcon continues to call, and persuades the chick to take a few more beakfuls.

14:13 The Falcon takes up the remnant, and leaves.

14:14 A minute later, the Tiercel returns and quietly settles on the brood. I’m not sure if it’s the right term to use at the moment, but it’s quicker than “chick and eggs”! What’s worse, as and when the next egg hatches, it will be “egg and chicks”, which might be misread!

14:21 The Falcon returns, and takes over again.

The Tiercel leaves with almost no sound, and she settles facing the rear of the platform, but in a half-standing position and wings on the ground.

14:27 There is some evidence of feeding on the Falcon’s beak, just onto the yellow cere between the nostrils. She tracks a fly which is zipping about near her head.

14:36 The Falcon stands up and indulges in some preening

14:47 The Falcon stands to re-position, and seems to pick up a fragment of shell. She settles again briefly, but then has another shuffle as the chick calls out. She finds the fragment and has further nibbles at it.

14:51 Another shuffle round, so now she is facing more or less into the left rear corner, but that does not last long, and she has another shuffle into facing North East, the right rear corner. The Tiercel seems to be calling from somewhere close by.

14:54 Yet more shuffling has the Falcon facing directly at the camera, so unihemispheric slow wave sleeping can be clearly seen, as one eye is shut.

15:00 Session ends with the Falcon on the chick and eggs, trying to get some shuteye.

509. It is very quiet at the moment and the falcon is taking this opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

1516. The peace is disturbed by the tiercel calling. She lifts her head and watches out across the roof.

1519. With her head still up she relaxes. Her head slowly starts to drop.

1521. The tiercel appears in the box startling the falcon. There is a quick exchange of chirrups and he turns and flies away.

1522. She sits up and preens her back. The darker egg is underneath the left side of her and the chick to the right. The Tiercel calls. She settles down.

1526. The chick is wriggling as the falcon lifts herself up a little. She looks down at her brood. Lined up in a row are the dark egg, the chick and the lighter egg. She shuffles clockwise and is now looking to the right, east.

1529. She has moved, facing the back of the box, north. She preens her back feathers and underneath her right wing then settles facing left.

1543. She spends a few minutes pecking at gravel and swallowing some selected pieces. Having finished that she turns herself round scratching into the hole and then settles.

1615 - 1620 She lifts her chest upwards giving a good view of the chick and the dark egg. She sits over them keeping them in the shade while looking down.

1631. Tiercel is calling.

1635. Tiercel arrives in the box. Changeover. The chick sits up and he chirps to it before taking his place over the chick and eggs.

1647. The falcon arrives with food. It looks like the same as prey last time, possibly pigeon. The tiercel leaves.

1651. Feed over. The falcon leaves with the remaining prey. The Tiercel returns and resumes his duties.

1700. The tiercel is relaxed and dozing, catching up on sleep. It’s been a busy day.

20.13 The falcon leaves the nest box and the tiercel arrives and starts brooding.

Thank you to to day's volunteers- Andrew, Bev, Richard and Roger, Peter, Tim , Val, Julia and Mick.

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