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  • Writer's pictureChris

Thursday 28th May 2020

7.44 The chick on the right at the front gets something in its claw and then keels over - I couldn't help laughing

8.19 All asleep at the front of the platform, the wind ruffling their fluffy down

9.00 One lying at the front looking at the camera, second one sitting up preening, with the third one (49) prone behind. They are really starting to show their feathers.

9.01 The one at the back (49) stomps out to the front left, and resumes her sleep

9.02 Now she starts to preen. She is opening her beak a lot - calling or panting?

9.04 She has another rest, but is then up again for another bit of feather re-arranging

9.06 The sleepy one (48) has a stretch of his wings and is now sitting looking very alert, while number 47 on the right has moved to the front. 49 is resting with her beak at the edge of the platform

9.08 48 stands erect, looking very Peregrine-like, has a stretch and then settles for a rest.

9.10 48 moves behind 47

9.12 48 wakes with a start

9.13 48 preens itself and has a good look around

9.15 47 rocks back and forth, looking intently at something in the distance. He stretches his wings. 

9.18 47 settles for a rest

9.19 47 moves into the right back corner, next to 48, they both have their backs to the camera

9.21 48 does some serious wing-flapping

9.23 48 is looking up, 47 is also looking around. 48 is picking at bits in the scrape.

9.24 48 is behind 47 but then rushes out into the open again

9.26 49 is still resting but looking up

9.27 47 is sitting down

9.28 48 preens

9.30 47 stands up and stretches his wings over the other two 

9.31 All three chicks standing. 47 heads to the left and settles down  

9.33 We can see all three chicks clearly. 49 is much less marked than the others, and still quite downy. She is much less active than the boys

9.35 47 picks up a bit of prey remains and pulls at it with his beak - nothing to eat there though, so he settles down for a doze.

9.37-9.40 48 preens his feathers

9.41 49 and 48 both loook up 

9.42 49 appears to be calling

9.43 48 is preening his chest, 49 stretches her wings. A butterfly flies past, watched by number 49

9.44 49 looks up 

9.45 48 is sitll preening

9.46 49 turns her back to the camera

9.47 49 moves to the back at the left and stretches her wings. She defecates

9.48 She stretches her wings and has a flap

9.49 She is wandering about, flapping her wings, but is quite unsteady on her feet

9.51 More flapping. She is standing at the back lokjing quite imperious

9.53 She moves closer to the front and sits behind 47 who is still asleep. She preens her back.

9.56 48 is calling, 49 is sitll busy preening

10.01 48 stretches his wings

10.02 Now he settles down 

10.03-10.11 49 does some more preening

10.11 49 is calling

10.12 49 and 48 look up

10.13 49 is calling again

10.14 48 stands and stretches and then settles back down again

10.15 49 is alert and keeps looking up

10.17 49 rests her head on 47, who objects and flaps his wing

10.18 All sleeping now

10.20 48 wakes up, walks around in a circle and then snuggles back down.

10.21 47 fidgets and sits up 

10.22 He flaps his wings. He has his back to us and we get a good view of his growing tail, and then he defecates right into the camera. Both the males have a little stroll before returning to the fluffy heap.

10.27 48 is awake and looking round

10.32 48 stands up. He is looking up. 49 is also awake and looking up, but still resting

10.34 48 has settled down again

10.36 48 yawns

10.39 47 stretches his wing over 48 - the two males are snuggled next to each other

10.40 49 sits up

10.41 She settles over her two brothers, but they soon wriggle out

10.43 47 is sitting tall, and 48 stretches his wings

10.44 48 is calling. He stretches his wings and walks to the front of the box before settling down to the right of the other two

10.46 49 stands up, and is straight back down again

10.56 All three have a little fidget, then it's back for some more sleep.

11.00 All three chicks lying in sun at front right of the box. They are dozing, occasionally stretching.

11.15 48 on the right sits up. The other two are awake and alert but still lying down. 48 moves and sits behind them as they doze. 47 gets up as well and they both move around the box preening before they both move and lie down with 49 again.

11.22 47 gets up on left, then 49 at font, followed by 48 on right. They all preen.

11.24 All panting/calling as thy all look together at something to right.

11.28 49 moves out of sun to back behind 48, they all preen and stretch their wings.

11.36 48 moves to back of box, then back to front, panting/calling with 47 looking out front left.

11.42 49 pushes forward between the other two. 48 lies down on left, 47 at back. 49 pants/calls.

11.44 47 comes forward in front of 48 to right of 49. 49 lies down front right still panting.

11.47 49 sits up in row of sun, 49, 47 & 48.

12.01 47 & 48 lie down as well.

12.04 49 moves to back in shade and lies down. Tail pulsating.

12.08 49 stands at back panting/calling.

12.10 49 lies down. 47 & 48 get up and go to back of box stretching wings. 47 flapping wings on right. 48 at back. 49 sat centre front. 48 moves to front as 47 continues to flap wings at back..

12.16 all up, pecking at bits of debris in box.

12.27 49 lies down facing forward centre front. 47 & 48 are on right preening.

12.28 49 up and moves to back of box.

12.34 49 moves across to left and lies down with 47, then sits up. 48 lies down in front with 47.

12.39 All 3 suddenly up and calling. Tiercel flies in with a small headless bird. 48 on right tries to snatch it. Tiercel has back to camera as 47 on left is more successful and snatches the prey away and takes it to the back of the box. Tiercel leaves box as 48 & 49 watch 47. They try to get in on act, but 47 keeps prey to himself. In shade, and with his back to camera it is not clear how successful he is in trying to feed himself.

12.43 48 gets hold of carcass as 47 comes forward.

12.45 Falcon flies in. She goes to back but has some trouble before she can get hold of the carcass. It is clear she wants to feed them, which she does standing on left. She feeds 47 first. 49 manages to snatch a bit herself, as Falcon continues to feed 47.48 moves in and starts being fed as well. 49 gets a little.

12.54 Falcon leaves with the remains of carcass. 48 still pecking at a small bone. All 3 are sat, 47, 48 and 49 from left to right.

12.58 48 moves to back right and then across to join 47.

13.00 The 3 chicks are lined up at the front of the box in full sunlight.  I notice for the first time the chick on the right is whiter and much bigger than the other two.  This is number 49 and I think it must be the female.  The right hand chick appears to be calling.  Her downy feathers blow softly in the breeze.  They all look perky and bright eyed.

13.04 The female chick stays at the front of the box while the male chicks are at the back.

One of the male chicks then walks to join no 49 at the front of the box. He too appears to call out but without sound I am not sure.  I notice their crops appear to be quite full. They are vigilant.

13.09 The female chick (49)  heads into the box and lays down next to the other male chick.

13.12 No 48 (I think) stands and defecates before walking further back and laying down in the shade.

13.14 No 48 and 49 are laying down snoozing in the foreground while no 47 stands at the back of the box. No 47 is very shaded at the back and it is hard to see him.

13.17 All 3 are standing now.  Flies buzz around.

13.20 Then male 47 walks forward to stand left of frame. They stand in this order and start to preen

13.26 No 47 male lies down foreground L with 48 and 49 sitting close by.  There is very little action.

The no 48 male stretches his wings and walks to the backL of the box before returning to the other two chicks. Currently the male chicks 47 and 48 and lying down while female 49 sits on the camera right side of them.

13.31 All 3 doze.

13.33 Male 48 then stands and walks f/g L which means they are all in a row.

13.34 49 female topples forward onto 47 male.  They all lie flat.

13.41 49 female walks to the back of the box and stands in the shade.  The other 2 rest. It looks hot.

13.42 49 female now walks to the front of the box and flops down facing out.

13.43 All is peaceful. Nothing stirs as they all rest flat out.

13.47 49 female at front of box lifts her head and looks round. Her chest is still on the gravel.  

13.4949 female then walks further back into the box and flops down.  They all snooze.  I can hear the zzzz’s!

13.57 Over the next ten minutes  or so they each have small bursts on their banjos! male 48 runs forward opening and closing his mouth and stands on the edge of the box.  He preens.

14.05 All 3 chicks are standing in a row and preening.

14.10 47 male is lying down snoozing, 49 female is standing preening centre back of box, 48 male is standing foreground preening.

14.18 47 male is standing, 49 female is lying down centre, 48 male is standing

14.22 48 male looks out of box and appears to call, 49 female stand and has a wing stretch before lying down, 47 male is lying down

14.26 Action stations. Feeding time. The falcon arrives. I can’t identify the prey but it looks like a small bird. They all stand in a very orderly way and she appears to feed them all one at a time.

14.31 48 male appears to have had enough food and walks foreground while the other two continue to be fed.

14.33 The falcon feeds herself.

14.34 The adult stands on the edge of the box.  The 3 chicks watch on.

14.36 The adult walks round the box behind the young and picks up a leg bone.

14.38 The adult leaves the nest box.  All very calm it seems but may have been a different experience with sound!

14.39 After the adult has left there is some wing stretching from 49 female. 47 male has a rapid run forward to the front of the box.

14.42 They all stand briefly before 49 female lies down, 48 male defecates and lays down and 47 preens at front of box.

14.44 47 male turns and faces other 2 chicks who are lying down.  He defecates before sitting down close to them.

14.51 47 male tries to snuggle in with his siblings, then wing stretches before pushing his way between them.  He stands on them in the process which means they all stand before lying down again.

14.54 48 male breaks cover and turns to face the front of the box before sitting down. 47 male walks forward and lays down.  After this fidgeting they all lay down.  It’s peaceful for a while.

14.57 48 male stands and walks camera R and sits on his own. He then returns to the other two.  49 female then stands up.   They all then lay down together with 48 looking round - perhaps a little less relaxed than the others.

15.00 2 asleep.  Number 48 awake and moves off to the other side of the box leaving his siblings huddled together in the corner.  They look stuffed!  I haven’t seen them since Monday morning and they look much darker as they lose their down.  Sunny and breezy up in their box.

15:03 48 goes back and joins the others

15:05 Bird on left’s eyes follow something flying past then he snoozes again.

15:12 48 wide awake again then all 3 look at something then they all doze off again.

15:28 Middle chick (48?) gets up and stretches, followed by 47.

15:51 47 looks up and he looks like a Little Owl.

15:55 47 opening his beak, calling? Then 48 joins in.

15:57 49 muscles to the front.  First time I’ve seen her active this afternoon.  She is much whiter than her brothers.

16:02  All preening

16:10 Both males are awake then 49 opening her beak from her prone position.  47 jumps to the edge of the box; 48 also looking about and opening his mouth but I don’t know if that’s for ventilation or if he is calling.

16:21  An Aaah moment as they all huddle together and doze off.  No movement until

16:34 A little stretch then they’re all preening and falling over each other and their own feet.

16:54 Definitely calling, especially 48.  49 moves up then they are all looking out.

16:56 49 starts pulling at something in the box, 48 tries to take it then has a furious wing-flap.

16:58 48 flapping again.  47 tugging at something which turns out to be a leg with no visible meat left on it.  49 takes it and 48 rushes to try to get at it.

17:00 End of shift.  48 has been the most active for the past 2 hours and tried to get the scraps from his siblings.  I wonder if he got the least from the last feed?  Or several feeds?

Thanks to Valerie Stubbs, Nick Kimber, Suzanna Bunting and Stephen Green for todays blog

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