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  • Writer's pictureChris

Thursday 25th March 2021

Many thanks to Mike, Julia, Julian, Stephen, Barbera, Sue and Chris for todays blog

8:41 In the glistening spring morning sunshine, the falcon (the female) busily preenes herself at the front of the nestbox. In the nestbox itself there remains no eggs but a very deep and predominant scrape which at 8:44 she moves back to and makes even deeper.

After remaining stationary for over 10 minutes she frantically pecks at the gravel in front of her. This is exciting because it is usually a sign that laying is imminent.

8:56 She stands up and does a 360o and we can clearly see - no egg. Now facing the camera head-on could this be the time?

9:11 She stretches her right leg and moves around the scrape and still no egg but she is clearly uncomfortable.

9:22 After more pecking through the gravel, she heads to the far back left-hand corner of the box, pecks more gravel and promptly returns to the scrape.

9:29 Once again she steps out of the scrape to the front of the box and still no egg has been laid.

9:36 Facing the camera she raises her tail to the roof of the box and sits upright over the scrape. Is now the time for the first egg? If it is she looks relaxed as her eyes close and she starts to doze.

All morning you can clearly see the falcon's belly and cloaca (the single vent from which the egg will emerge) pulsating whilst she is standing still. She must be very close to laying now...

10:14 After remaining upright over the scrape, dozing for nearly half an hour the falcon stands up, turns to face the back of the box and pecks at the gravel for several minutes but still no egg.

10:20 After returning to the scrape briefly, the falcon now comes to the front right-hand side of the box. A peregrine calls but we can not see if it is her calling to her mate or vice versa. she turns around to face the scrape before chipping and moving along the front of the box to peck at more gravel.

10;25 Being more vocal than the rest of the morning she leaves the nestbox and is replaced by the tiercel who is making a lot of chirping noises, he settles on the scrape at 10:27. He is now facing the back of the box

10:29 He comes to the front of the box again, staring right at the camera and sits there, dozing off and on until I finish my shift at 11.

10.55 tiercel on nest box looking out

11.05 tiercel stretches wings and departs

11.47 One bird on NE turret calling, other bird out of view calling,

probably the falcon but too distant to be sure.

11.53 bird flew down from turret

11.58 much screaming and clucking from both birds, frustratingly both

out of view

12.05 camera switched to view of roof revealing falcon on roof

feeding, then flew off with remains of kill, which was a fairly small

dark bird, possibly a starling

12.20 After lots of clucking noises the tiercel flew into nest box,

then after standing in nest scrape crouched in in and pushed gravel

back with feet.

12.30 Tiercel busy preening.

12.30 Falcon on SE turret, where she remained until 13.00

12.30-12.58 Tiercel dozing with eyes shut, but intermittently looking

around. At 12.51 head bobbing and watching intently,

12.58 Tiercel departed nest box and mates with the falcon who is sitting on the south east turret

13:00 As I start my shift I am watching both livestreams. The falcon (Poppy) is ‘resting’ on the SE turret after just mating, again. The platform is empty.

13:20 Falcon remains on the turret sheltering from the wind while the platform remains empty.

13:36 Falcon is preening her feathers whilst the breeze is rustling her downy feathers where she stays until

14:10 When she goes one step up the turret out of view. Still no sign of life on the platform.

14:20 Falcon arrives at the platform and stands in the scrape looking around for a few minutes before opening her mouth, what looks like a big yawn.

14:23 She turns to the right and preens her back then turns round to face the left, scratches around in the scrape and call. A call from outside the box can be heard, presumably the Tiercel (Henry).

14:25 Another call from outside the box, assume this is the Male as she seems unperturbed. She spins round in the scrape then faces forward to look around.

14:38 Falcon stands and turns round to face the right.

14:41 A call from outside the box can be heard. She turns to the left and scratches in the gravel. She spends the next ten minutes sitting in the sun closing one eye occasionally.

14:54 There is a call from outside the box, she replies with a ‘Chuck’ sound.

14:59 As the church clock rings the hour the Falcon is calmly sitting and dozing.

15.00 Church Clock just chimed, she does not seem perturbed by it, having a nap at the

moment. She isnow standing over the depression of the scrape, looking as if she might lay an egg, hope so. The falcon Is now tidying up the shingle ! and looking a bit sleepy still.

Not sure who is calling, it does not seem to be her, so perhaps the male is outside the box


15.33 very quiet again, having a nap.

15:40 some strange noises outside the box, sounds like an animal, but that is not likely, not

sure what it can be, possibly the wind.

15:44 just stretched her right leg and wing then both wings

15:50 standing on the edge of the box looking out and calling

16:00 no change from above, now signing off.

16:00 Female sitting on edge of box looking out. Looking up and around and behind. Ruffled feathers. Constantly looking round.

16:04 Male screeching briefly out of view. Female moves to the dip when she hears him.

Continuing to be alert, looking around.

16:07 Looking excited. Still in dip. Then moves out of dip but not back to the edge. Looks out in anticipation.

16:11 Closes right eye intermittently. Continues to look round. Still sitting just outside the dip.

16:21 Still in same position, alert and looking around

16:25 Moves to the right ( her right) of the box and to the edge. Male gave a screech out of view.

16:26 Female leaves the box. Intermittent screeching outside.BOX IS EMPTY for the rest of the hour with the occasional screeching outside so bird(s) still around. Great to be able to hear the clock chiming and gulls sounding off etc.

16:26 She departs the platform

16:36 The tiercel is perched on the south east turret

16:38 As the camera is moved we see the falcon sitting on the North fleur de lis in front of the pier

16:45 The male lands next to the female but departs almost instantly

17:14 The peregrines copulate

17:16 The tiercel lands in the box and is calling, the falcon moves and settles on the hand rails beside the box

18:15 As the rain starts to fall, the falcon takes cover in the platform

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