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  • Writer's pictureChris

Thursday 4th June 2020

8.09 A grey blowy day. The female (number 49) is asleep on the south of the box (facing out). One of the males is dealing with the remains of a carcass. The other male is AWOL.

8.15 The visible male is now on the edge of the box looking south, flapping his wings - looks like he could lake off at any moment.

8.18 Now he's disappeared.

9.00 The female is still alone in the box, having a good sleep. There is the remains of a bird (leg and tail end) in the northwest corner of the box.

9.12 She wakes up and has a look around.

9.13 The Tiercel arrives on the roof and heads into the box. He picks up the prey remains and starts to eat it. 

9.14 Number 49 starts to call and the Tiercel feeds her some titbits.

9.15 She is still calling but he is eating most of it himself.

9.17 She stretches her wings and he gives her some more food.

9.18 She is getting large bits.

9.19 He finishes the carcass himself. The chick is sitting in the south-west corner.

9.20 One of the male youngsters puts his head round the corner to the north and clambers into the box - he gets a few bits to eat.

9.21 The third chick is now on the apex and looking into the box, and in he gets. Dad is now feeding all three chicks, though the boys are getting the lion's share at the moment.

9.22 The female chick is demanding food with menaces - she has a bit of a go at Dad's tail.

9.23 The size of the female chick in comparison with the other two is quite noticeable. She has now had enough to eat and makes her way to the front of the box. 

9.24 She changes her mind and comes to join the others.

9.25 The female chick scratches her chin.

9.26 She returns to the front of the box.

One of the males has gone to the edge of the box and made his way onto the roof where he practices flapping his wings. He has a few brief flights down the the slope of the roof.

9.27 He has disappeared from sight.

9.28 The other male is still being fed.

9.29 He also heads for the edge of the box. The adult is tucking in to the remains, but the female chick has noticed and come back for more. The carcass is now completely eaten so the Tiercel goes to the other side of the box where there are some more bits of debris and continues to feed her with these.

9.31 The male chick has moved to the back of the box

9.32 He scuttles to the front of the box 9.33 The Tiercel is still feeding the female chick

9.34 The chick on the roof has reappeared, and is joined by the other male.

The female chick stretches her wings. The adult moves to the front of the box and she snuggles up next to him: "Can I have some more please?". 

9.35 He leaves the box onto the south side of the roof and the two boys head towards him, but all three are now out of camera shot.

9.37 No 49 sits looking out of the box south-east - is she watching the others?

9.39 She is being buffeted by the wind. She stretches her left wing.

9.40 She is calling on the edge of the box.

9.41 She stetches the other wing and moves to the back of the box but then decides against it and moves to the front again.

9.42 No, the back is the place to be. She wanders about a bit.

9.43-9.48 She is  in the north-west corner of the box, preening her feathers.

9.48 She moves to the front of the box and defecates out of it.

9.49 She is settled on the south side of the box.

9.52 A bit of preening

10.05 She preens her wings and tail

10.06-10.19 She continues her preening

10.20-10.34 The female is standing at the southern side of the box, awake. There is no sign of the male chicks.

10.34 She begins calling

10.35 The Tiercel arrives with a prey item which no 49 grabs. He leaves. 

10.36 The female chick takes the food to the back of the box 

10.37 There is a Peregrine on the apex - is it the Tiercel again?

10.38 The Tiercel returns to the box and tries to feed the female chick with titibits. She is concentrating on the bit of prey he brought in earlier. He picks it up  tries to feed her but she grabs it again and retreats to the back of the box, turning her back on him so he can't grab it back off her.

10.39 She is in the southwest corner picking bits off the carcass. 

10.40 The Tiercel is eating bits off another bit of prey that was left in the box.

10.42 There is a tug-of-war between the Tiercel and the female chick - Dad wins, and then starts feeding her little bits.

10.44 The Tiercel is eating, 

10.45 Now he is feeding her again every now and again.

10.45 One of the male chicks appears on the roof.

10.46 He jumps into the box and the Tiercel starts to feed him.

10.47 The female is still getting the odd bit although the Tiercel is focusing on the male chick.

10.48 She gets a big bit but it soon goes down and she is back for more.

10.50 The male chick is looking out of the box while the female continues to gorge. The male chick is back off the box and heads down onto the north side of the roof before disappearing from view.

10.51 Lady Gargantua is still being fed.

10.52 She stretches.

10.53 She moves round the box and back in front of the Tiercel so she can have some more food.

10.55 The Tiercel eats some of the carcass but the female chick is still demanding more.

10.57 The adult is finishing off the carcass, the chick seems to be replete at last.

10.58 The Tiercel moves to the edge of the box and hops off onto the roof. She follows him to the edge, but seems reluctant to take the final step - she seems to be a home bird! He flies off.

10.59 She is watching something to the south, but is struggling to keep her balance in the wind.

11.00 Still contemplating the big wide world.

11.00 The female chick is on her own at the front ledge of the box. She exercises her wings moving around the box. Neither of her brothers can be seen.

11.06 She stands and preens inside the next box.

11.07 One of the male chicks appears on the front right of the next box.

11.08 The male chick climbs in the nest box, and moves back to his sister. He has noticeably less down than her on his wings and body. He preens as well.

11.31 She lays down.

11.32 He lays down next to her. Both facing forward out of the box.

11.50 The other male appears at the right front of the box and climbs in. He investigates the remains of the last feed at the back of the box, then moving to stand behind the other two chicks, which are still lying down.

11.53 The standing chick defecates on back wall of box, climbs over his siblings to the front. He then moves to the back again, first into left hand corner, then the right hand corner. He then sits behind the other two.

12.11 He lies down behind the other two. They remain in this position until 13:00.

13.07 Female 49 stands and stretches while looking out of the box.  She doesn’t move though as she preens.

13.09 The male furthest from camera also stands and stretches.  They both stand rooted to the spot.

13.13 They both move but I still can’t read the ring on the male’s leg.  He walks to the front of the box to survey the scene - at least that is what it looks like!

13.14 Female 49 stands in the centre of the box preening. 1 male is standing on the edge and the other still lying down cam R The male on the edge simply stands and surveys. Female 49 is preening all the time.  She still has plenty of fluffy down although the adult feathers are more abundant.

13.19 the male at the front of the box takes a walk around and sits just inside the box.  Briefly there are 2 juveniles preening.  Then the third chick stands and looks round before wing stretching and walking to the front of the box.

13.20 All 3 are standing and preening.

13.24 The male at the front of the box then walks back into the box closer to the other 2.  All 3 stand and preen.

13.25 Then the female 49 moves to the front of the box and lays down looking out.  The 2 males continue to preen vigorous.  No feather is left unturned!

13.45 One male juvenile starts pecking at the discarded feathers that are lying around.

13.51 The male nearest camera walks forward to join his siblings.

13.54 He then walks back to the middle of the box.  It’s quite windy just now as feathers and down blow around the box.  He then preens.

13.57 Female 49 then walks back not the box before sitting down again.

14.03 Occasional the male standing stretches his wings.

14.14 The male at the front of the box stands and walks to the back of the box, turns and walks back to the front.

14.15 All 3 settle down for a short time.

14.16 The two males stand and preen.

14.18 One of he males wing stretches and does a short run before standing still at the front of the box and looking out.

14.34 A male and female 47 are lying down at the front of the box.  The other male is preening behind them.

14.49 The alert juvenile starts to strip meat off discarded bones.

14.50 The other male chick and female 49 stand.  All 3 are now mooching about inside the box

14.51 One of the males moves to stand on the edge and wing flap,  the other 2 stand at back of box preening.

14.54 they all walk around the box either preening, pecking at remains, wing stretching or shaking their heads.

14.55 Female 49 stretches her wings and runs forward and backwards. A moment of high activity.

She is carrying around some old prey in her right talon.  She spreads her wings in a rather ungainly fashion and there is not much room in the box as she does this.

14.59 All the activity is over and all 3 juveniles are standing serenely as I hand over.

15.00 All 3 chicks preening.  Remains of an old kill in box. Their leg feathers have now grown enough to cover the rings so I don’t know who is who, but the female must be the one with more down still attached and she looks scruffier, and she is also obviously bigger.

15.03 One of the males hops out and does a lot of wing-flapping out on the ridge.

15.05 The other male is calling.

15.11 The first male comes in and pulls at the prey debris.  Brother then has a go at it, then the female, then the female gets a piece of her own to play with.

15.16 They are still pulling at bits of prey but there’s not much (any!) meat on them.

15.30 There’s a whole lot of preening going on.

15.32 Female goes to sleep with her head almost on one of the male’s foot.

15.48 The second male, the one who wasn’t out of the box earlier, has a good stretch.  They all settle down.

16.19 Both males go out on to the ridge and there is a lot of wing-flapping.

16.23 One of the males, and I think it’s 48, hops back in to the tray.

16.24 The other male disappears off down the roof

16.25 He re-appears and hops back up.  They have to flap quite firmly when they hop back up.

16.44 The female is calling

16.49 The female is walking all around the box.  She tries unsuccessfully to muscle one of the males out of his place then stays still.

16.55 One of the males is calling incessantly until beyond the end of my shift at 17.00.

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

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