Tuesday 12th May 2020
8.44 The tiercel is trying to brood the chicks which are now to big for him to comfortably cover.
9.19 The tiercel leaves the nest. The chicks look very healthy.
9.23 The falcon arrives at the nest with prey (hard to tell what it is as no distinguishing features) and begins to feed the chicks.
9.36 After feeding the chicks for several minutes the female settles down and begins to brood the chicks.
10.29 The falcon flies from the nest box and is immediately replaced by the tiercel who returns to brooding duty.
11.00 Falcon facing forward, with the 3 chicks half under her breast, half out in the sun. She wriggles over scrape and tries to cover them more with her wing. As she settles down, 2 chicks have their heads tucked under her, with their backs out, and the third is hardly covered, with head forward in the sun.
11.17 One of the chicks appears to be grooming.
11.22 Falcon Dozing.
11.26 Falcon pulls in gravel towards the scrape. She leans forward covering the 2 chicks, whilst the third is hardly covered at all.
11.28 Falcon settles down low over all 3 chicks, wings spread wide. They wriggle partly out again.
11.31 2 chicks wriggle forward more into the sun and doze. The falcon dozes.
11.32 Falcon is alert as something catches her attention.
11.34 The chick to the right is grooming itself, the Falcon watches, before sitting up more herself and grooming herself.
11.38 The chick to the right is still sat up awake and active, stretching it’s wings and looking around. The chick to the left is asleep. The 3rd is hidden under Falcon.
11.45 Falcon stops grooming, the chicks are awake, the 3rd appearing from under her. She turns to the left settling over them, but they are still awake and can be seen.
11.48 Chicks settle. 2 half under her. The 3rd (the active one that was on the right) is in front in sun, and appears to be calling and sitting up facing Falcon and appears to peck at her beak.
11.54 Falcon dozes, one eye closed.
11.59 Active chick in front sat up, looking expectantly at mother, turns around on enormous claws. Another chick awake now.
12.08 Falcon stretches her leg and wing, sits up with chick in front of her in the sun, and grooms herself. 2 chicks still active 1 asleep.
12.11 Something catches her attention to left.
12.13 All 3 chicks now awake.
12.15 One chick moves out of scrape to left, but Falcon nudges it back carefully under her chin. Chicks stretching wings and grooming.
12.16 Chick defecates.
12.24 Falcon tries to settle over them, pulling in gravel, but only covers 1, the other 2 remain in front.
12.27 Chick defecates.
12.31 She is sat behind as chicks settle and doze, 2 in front of her and 1 to her side.
12.37 She is alert to something above. She stands over (and on) chicks and settles over them, still looking up and to left.
12.41 She moves off to left and leaves the box. Chicks huddle in the scrape.
12.47 Tiercel arrives and settles behind them.
12.54 He tries to settle more over them. 2 sit up and appear to beg as the 3rd wakes as Tiercel moves back a little.
12.57 Tiercel picks at gravel, it looks as if chicks think he has food, as they peck at his beak.
12.58 He leaves to the left of the box, the chicks remain in a huddle in the scrape.
13.00 Female watching over her sleeping young. 13.01 Chicks wake up, starts asking mum for food. 13.05 Male arrives, still nothing to eat for the chicks. 13.14 Female arrives back, still no prey. Male disappears immediately. 13.15 She's back again, still no food. Then begins brooding with her back to us. 13.39 She starts to preen, whilst looking out for her mate. 13.43 Another preening session, this time seeing one of her chicks head popping out from the bottom. 13.48 She repositions herself, then has a quick look around and leaves, leaving the chicks home alone. 14.02 Now she's back, chicks looking up to her. Where is it! 14.04 Gone again. 14.07 At last food has arrived chicks being fed by their mum. 14.11 Still being fed.
14.18 Still going. 14.20 There she goes, Taking the remains with her. 14.21 She's back, starts brooding as best as she cans! 15.00 Female brooding chicks facing towards camera, all dozing
15.35 Female alert and looking around
15.39 Chicks fedgeting, femle preening as chicks settle again
15.46 Female settling down with chicks again.
16.05 Female stretching . One chick preening briefly.
16.09 Female alert, moving to front of box and leaving. Chicks huddled in centre.
16.15 2 chicks preening . Tiercel enters box.
16.19 Tiercel comes to front left of box, then returns to chicks again.
16.26 Tiercel comes to front right of box and leaves. Chicks on their own again.
16.27 Tiercel returns with food to feed chicks
16.41 Feeding over, Tiercel removes remains before returning to box
16.43 Female returns to brood chicks
16.50 Tiercel brings more food. He sometimes passes food pieces to female to feed chicks and soemtimes feeds them himself.
16.53 Tiercel takes remains away and female settles with chicks.
16.59 All dozing.
17.00 Female on chicks ( had just had a snack type feed before 5.) chicks having a problem with being completely covered now.
17.06 Female calling.
17.07 Quiet and still.
17.09 Chick movement . Female still having a job to get them all under.
17.10 Quiet and still again.
17.11 Chick movement
17.12 Quiet. Female having a bit of a preen
17.17 Female alert to something outside.
17.18 Female tries for a nap
17.20 Alert again
17.27 A bit more chick movement
17.28 Quiet again
17.32 Female calling.
17.38 Chicks trying to get under female again
17.44 Some flapping by chicks
17.47 one chick flapping hard and pecking at a piece of carcass
17.50 Relief for one chick as it shot out a poo
17.52 Gone quiet again
17.53 looked as though the lively chick was calling. Not sure if there is any sound coming out though!
A big thank you to Mike Harmer, Nick Kimber, Graham Long Stephanie Witham and Sue Wells for todays blog