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  • Writer's pictureChris

Thursday 21st May 2020

8.37 It's a warm day and all three chicks are huddled in the shade at the back of the box - two are sparko, with the third upright and alert. Their feathers are beginning to show beneath the down and their faces are looking much more Peregrine-like than last week

9.00 All three awake now. The one on the left is preening the middle one

9.01 Now all three are preening themselves

9.04 The middle chick has keeled over and is having a good sleep

9.05 The right hand chick has joined it

9.07 The left hand chick is having a good preen

9.08 Sleep time for all three

9.10 The middle and right chick are both looking up

9.12 Eyes shut now

9.15 The right hand chick stretches its wing, and then it's back to slumber-time

9.17  The middle chick is awake and seems to be calling gently

9.19 The left hand chick sits up for a moment before settling down again

9.20 Th left hand chick stretches its wings and is sitting at the back looking out of the front of the box

9.21 Everyon'es awake and calling. Tiercel arrives - minus breakfast

9.23 The Tiercel is sitting on the edge of the platform suveying the scenery

9.24 The Tiercel flies off

9.25 The disappointed chicks settle down again, but two are soon standing again, preening

9.27 Only the right hand chick is still awake

9.29 A bit of repositioning - right hand chick has moved forward and the left hand chick has now moved behind it into the back corner 

9.30 They have all spread out along the back of he box.

9.32 They are all preening, giving us tantalising glimpses of their rings -, but impossible to see the numbers

9.34 Aha, the middle chick stands up, defecates, and shows us its number ring - 48. He staggers off to the right and finally snuggles down behind the right hand chick

9.37 The left hand chick (49) waddles over to join its siblings and does some serious wing-flapping

9.42 No 49 is sitting very upright - what enormous feet!

9.46 She is preening

9.47 She settles down next to her brothers

9.48 What a fidget - she is preening again, I wonder if it is itchy as their feathers come through?

9.50 She rejoins the huddle

9.51 But now she has turned her back on the others

The boys are suddenly both awake and looking at the front of the box

9.53 No 48 turns his back to us and we can see his flight feathers beginning to come through.

He defecates.

9.54 The three chicks are lying across the back of the box, 49 on the left, 48 in the middle and 47 on the right

9.55 The two males are preeeing 

9.57 No 47 is looking intently at the front of the box

9.59 No 47 is now in the mddile with 48 on the right

10.00 A number of flies are congregaiting on the leftovers of the previous meal in the front left of the platform

10.02 No 47 has his eye on something - he is very focused

10.03 No 47 is sittting up, quickly followed by 48

10.05 They are both preening

10.06 The Falcon arrives with a small prey item 48 gets first dibs but 47 soon steps forward for his share; 49 waits patiently

10.09 No 49 starts to look unsetted and moves round so that she can be fed. She manages to foce her way betwwen the other two to make sure she get her fair share

10.12 No 49 manages to pinch a bit from one of her siblings

10.16 Feeding time continues, No 48 has had enought and is having a good flap of his wings.

10.17 No 48 dashes into the right hand corner while the other two have some more to eat

10.18 The Falcon leaves the nest

10.20 The chicks wander about a bit (so I now have no idea who is who!) and then settle down for a post-prandial snooze

10.22 Two chicks are sitting up again

10.23 The one that is lying down nibbles at the gravel, picking up titbits 10.24 No 48 has a good chin scratch 10.25 One of the chicks defecates

10.27 And another one follows suit

10.29 No 48 gets hold of a bit of bone and pecks at it before having a little wander about 

10.31 No 48 is pecking at its bone which it is holding firmly in its talons

10.32 All three chicks are huddled in the right corner of the back of the box

10.37 Two of the chicks are sound asleep, the thrid is preening and looking around

10.38 Two wide awake, one comatose, but the one that has been most active is now getting drowsy

10.39 And now it's asleep. The one at the back is preening

10.44 All quiet now

10.49 One of the chicks raises its head - it's the one that went to sleep first

10.50 A second chick is awake 

10.51 And now the third one stirs. They all have a good stretch, but the first two soon doze off, leaving the third one preening 

10.56 After a quick catnap the chick a the back does a bit more preening

10.59 The alert chick is calling, the other two are oblivious

11.00 The 3 chicks are at the back right-hand corner of the box. 47 and 49 are lying down. 48 is sat at the back of the box looking out.

11.01 48 wanders to back left. It tries to settle, but moves back to the right-hand corner and settles behind the other 2. Not for long.

11.04 48 sits up at back again. Then settles down again with the other 2. Then up again.

11.07 48 stretches wings and moves to centre back, then to left-hand corner.

11.09 48 moves back to the others in the right-hand corner. 47 and 49 then sit up as well.

11.10 48 lies down at back. 49 settles down on the right.

11.14 All 3 get up. 47 moves back centre, 48 stays on the right, 49 moves between them at the back.

11.15 48 moves to back left corner lies down. 49 defecates to the front and stays back centre. 47 moves across left in front of 48.

11.16 49 stretching and flapping wings. Stood up back right.

11.19 47 turns around and defecates, then moves to join 49 centre back.

11.20 47 back to left in front of 48 which is still lying down sleeping.

11.21 47 moves back to 49.

11.22 47 moves to front of box in sun and looks out. 49 is at back right-hand corner. 47 moves back centre and lies down.

11.25 48 stretches leg and kicks 47 which gets up and sits back centre.

11.26 49 lies down back right-hand corner.

11.28 49 sits up again, then down again. 47 moves left and huddles with 48.

11.30 49 sits up again. 47 sits up.

11.35 47 moves back next to 48 lying down back left. 49 lies down centre back. Both on their fronts.

11.36 49 sitting up again grooming.

11.40 49 moves into back right-hand corner and lies down, then sits up grooming.

11.43 49 lies down but then back up again grooming. Then sits slumped against back wall watching out front for over 10 minutes.

11.55 49 moves forward and sits leaning against the right-hand wall, head just in sun.

12.00 49 lies down on front facing forward, head in sun.

12.06 48 sits up back left.

12.10 47 sits up next to 48.

12.12 48 crosses to join 49 on right, sitting behind. 49 sits up. 48 moves back behind 47 in right-hand corner. 49 follows and moves to centre back.

12.14 Tiercel flies in with prey which he plucks. Looks like Sanderling.

12.15 Falcon comes in, takes prey and Tiercel leaves. She continues to pluck bird and feed chicks.

12.23 Falcon leaves with what very little of bird remains. 47 and 49 are in back left corner. 48 is in right-hand corner. Feathers are blowing all around box.47 moves from left to centre back.

12.30 47 lies down, as does 48. 49 is sat back left. 48 moves centre to join 47 both sitting up.

12.34 49 moves to back-left hand corner.

12.39 49 lies down.

12.40 47 & 48 move across and join 49, lying down. 49 gets up and moves across to back right-hand corner. Sat up.

12.41 47 defecates to left side and moves centre back.

12.43 48 moves from corner to join 47, lying down.

12.46 49 crosses to left-hand corner and lies down. All doze.

12.59 49 sits up grooms, then settles back lying down.

13.00 As I take over all 3 chicks are slumbering at the back of the box.  Their tails, which are pointing towards camera, quiver as the pant. Occasionally the chick on the left looks over’s shoulder and out of the box.

13.11 A fly buzzes around.  Discarded feathers flutter in the wind.

13.12 The chick on the right shuffles causing a ripple effect and all 3 chicks wriggle before settling down again. I can see one orange leg ring on the left hand chick and a silver ring on the middle chick.  But can’t read their numbers.

13.16 They rest.

13.17 The right hand chick stands and looks out  The chick on the left then stands followed by the middle chick. They all preen a the back of the box looking particularly perky!

13.23 They all preen.

13.26 They are all looking to of the box towards camera opening their beaks and panting occasionally.

13.27 The middle chick defecates towards camera. It then turns full circle, somewhat unsteadily, using it’s wing to help stabilise itself.  

13.29 The two chicks on there right settle down but then stand again.  

13.30 the left hand chick marches R to join the other two.  All are still standing.

13.31 One of the chicks has a wing stretch.

13.31 Another chick defecates and another one marches back to the left hand side of the box.

13.32 There are two chicks on the right of frame lying in a bundle.  The third chick preens and sits upright on the left of frame.

13.36 All the chicks are lying down facing left.

13.45 The right hand chick stands, wobbles a bit to balance and then preen.

13.55 All the chicks are lying down.

14.08 The chicks sleep on.

14.10 The left chick opens it’s eyes wide to look around.

14.13 The middle chick stirs, stands and preens.

14.19 The two chicks on the right stand and then quickly lie down again.

14.20 The middle chick stands with it’s back to camera and turns to defecate before taking a slow wobbly walk to the left.  It picks up a feather and bites it and then pecks at some old prey, small bits break off which it spits out.  It then does a small wing stretch before sitting back looking left to right.

14.25 All three go back to sleeping.  

14.26 The middle chick stands before lying down with the other two.

14.27 I notice a leg stretch from the chick on the right.

14.28 The chick on the right stands and preens.  A few flies flutter past.

14.30 the two chicks on the left do a synchronised leg stretch. Quite funny to see but very quick!

14.32 The chick on the right stands and stretches and walks towards the other two.  It then turns and walks back to the right before sitting back and preening some more.  It scratches it’s head and looks out of the box. There is more wing stretching and a bit of running - all out of balance (no 48), it then barges into the other two who shuffle to one side.  It faces into the corner back left.

14.38 No48 pecks at feathers on left hand side of the box before wing stretching again.

14.40 Now 2 chicks stand and preen and survey and stretch.

14.46 The middle chick also stands.  so they are all standing and looking out of the box.

14.47 Suddenly the tiercel arrives without food.

14.48 Then just as suddenly the female arrives.  She too has no prey.  The tiercel leaves.  She appears to clean meat from the bones and feathers of discarded old prey in the box.

14.50 The falcon leaves.  The 3 chicks are still standing.  the middle chick then pads about, picks up some debris and appears to clean scraps of meat off the remains like the female had just done.  (I wonder if this is learned behaviour???)

14.53 A comedy moment as all 3 chicks heads follow a passing fly.  The middle chick then lays down briefly before standing again.  It then walks to the back left of the box.  

14.56 The chick camera left stands.

15.00 3 chicks in the back of the box in the shade.

15.06 2 chicks seem asleep, one is preening.

15.11 All 3 are awake and you can clearly see the wing feathers in pin.

16.05 There’s been very little movement.  I guess they had a good lunch and it’s also very hot.

16.13 All 3 now busily preening, maybe it’s tea-time?

16.17 A lot of preening and wing-flapping going on, especially by number 47 who is bouncing about the box and getting a lot of exercise.

16.45 They’re getting very restless and are all panting.  Is this because they’re hot, or are they calling?

16.47 Tiercel comes in with no prey, looks around at various bits of debris then leaves again.  Chicks left in the corner, very alert and still looking around.

17.00 All chicks are sitting down again, and had still not been fed by 17.15

Thank you to Valerie Stubbs, Nick Kimber, Roger Bunting and Stephen Green for todays blog

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