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  • Writer's pictureChris

Thursday 30th April 2020

8.02 Bright start to the day. Male dozing on the eggs

8:55 Male sitting on eggs, slight breeze ruffling feathers. Male occasionally looking around.

9.05 Male falls asleep.

9.09 Male awakes and has a little wriggle and looks around alertly before dozing off again.

9.18 Male awake and alert and calling

9.21 Male stands and turns eggs before settling facing out of the box

9.24 Male preening

9.27 Male is alert, looking around, calling, sitting with neck erect

9.29 Male settles back down

9.33 Male dozing

9.38 Male is alert, looking around, with neck erect. Maybe the female is nearby.

9.39 Male suddenly stands and runs to the edge of the platform, giving an excellent view of the three eggs.

9.40 Female flies in.

9.41 Female settles on the eggs, facing the back of the box

9.42 Female looks around

9.47 Female is hunkered down

9.49 Female has a quick preen

9.58 Female is looking around

10.02 Female turns the eggs

10.03 Female settles on eggs

10.06 Female picks up a stone and then drops it again.

10.08 Something overhead attracts the female’s attention

10.11 Female is settled and dozing

10.12 Female wriggles and opens eyes briefly before settling back down again

10.16 Female looks round

10.20 Female alert – looking round and up

10.25 Female looks up

10.27 Female moves stones around and wriggles down

10.29 Female stands and moves eggs slightly before settling down facing in a different direction (NW)

10.37 Female awakens briefly

10.38 Female looks round

10.42 Female preening her chest feathers

10.43 Female fiddling with stones – they are all clearly in the wrong place!

10.46 Female turns eggs and settles, facing south

10.47 Female looks up briefly

10.48 Female is alert and listening

10.49 Female is turning head

10.50 Female is alert and looking round

10.51 Female is alert, turning head, picks up stones

10.52 Female moves eggs

10.53 Female settles facing south east

10.57 Female alert

10.58 Female alert and looking round

11:00 Female (Falcon) is incubating eggs facing forward, with the sun just catching her head.

11:06 Female becomes alert, watching something move from right to left above. She starts pulling in gravel around her front, reaching out quite far. She continues doing this until:

11:13 She turns, re-arranging herself over the eggs to face left. Her head remains in the sun, the stiff breeze ruffling her feathers.

11:20 She stands up again and re-settles herself over eggs facing forward. She remains alert, her head following flies and other unseen objects.

11:28 Still alert, looking at something and stands up, but settles down again still facing forward. Appears to relax and starts dozing.

12:11 She stands up, re-arranges eggs and settles down, now facing left. She dozes, but still alert to anything moving. She watches several flies in the box.

12:53 The Male (Tiercel) returns, and they swap over, the female leaving. The male settles down facing the left, as the female had done.

No change at 13:00.

As I start my shift the Tiercel is incubating peacefully in the afternoon sunshine. He sits facing camera left.  There’s a shadow in the form of a cross which is appropriate as the next is on an ecclesiastical building!  His eyes are open mostly - it’s a calm scene. 

13.03 His eyes close occasionally. - I notice a fly flying by right to left & a white feather fluttering in the foreground.

13.06 He lifts his head and looks towards the camera briefly.

13.10 He starts to stone pick - rocking backwards and forwards on the eggs.

13.11 More rocking and looking at the eggs under him before settling down to face camera left.

13.13 He incubates peacefully 

13.14 He stone picks and cocks his head - looking alert and listening.

13.16 More stone picking and a little shuffling

13.17 He shuffles again and looks down at the eggs.  

13.19 He shuffles again and turns the eggs.

13.22 He looks up and out of the box

13.24 He lifts his and turns to camera - opening and closing his mouth.

13.25 He stone picks from time to time.

13.28 Again he looks at the eggs beneath him and shuffles.

13.31 His eyes close and he is occasionally buffeted by the wind.

For the next 15 minutes or so he quietly incubates, looking up from time to time and cat napping.

13.50 There’s an amusing moment as his eyes and head following a fast flying fly.  

13.51 Again he follows the fly with his eyes and head.

13.52 He opens his beak as if he is calling but there is no sound so I annoy sure.

13.54 Momentarily he closes his eye and snoozes.

14.00 As we cross into the next hour he is stone picking.

14.03 He shuffles on the eggs again - probably turning them and settles down.

14.04 More shuffling but this time he moves from to face the back of the box initially before turning to face Camera right.  I get a glimpse of the eggs.

14.11 He stone picks - rolling a pebble - his feathers are fluttering.

14.17 He lifts his head and looks around calmly - occasionally he closes his eyes.

14.32 Momentarily something catches his eye and he surveys the scene beyond the camera for a few seconds

14.33 For the first time I notice camera shake in the high wind - but you wouldn’t know it was that windy looking at the Tiercel incubating.

14.37 He picks stones and then shuffles while looking at the eggs under him.

14.42 He continues to incubate with eyes closing occasionally.

14.46 More shuffling on the eggs and this time a little more vigorously still facing camera right.

He then settles back down to incubate.

14.50 He may have called out as he opened his beak wide (but only once)

14.52 More stone picking - I can’t see if swallow any small stones.

14.56 He continues to stone pick, then turns eggs and shuffles a little from side to side.

14.57 He looks over his right shoulder and out of the box.

15.00 Tiercel awake

15.09 Moves eggs

15.13 Looks around. Starts vocalising

15.16 Change-over. No Prey. Falcon settles quickly. Occasional shuffling

15.47 Preening

15.48 Pecking gravel until 15.52

15.52 Lifts off eggs completely

15.59 Preening then pecking gravel for 5 minutes

16.04 Settled

16.15 Shuffling for a minute

16.19 Turns head up

16.30 Restless. Turns full circle, moves eggs. Pale spot on crown visible.

16.45 Shuffling and pecking gravel.

16.47 Appears to swallow a piece of gravel.

17.00 The heavens open and with a southerly wind she gets a drenching, thankfully the eggs stay safe and dry

Thank you to Valerie and Nick Stubbs, Suzanna Bunting, Nick KImber and Stephen for todays blog

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