VZN fledged! CPP blog - Tuesday 30th May 2023
0000 – 0400 hrs very little movement from the 2 chicks who are alone in the box as usual. They are both together in the NW corner. A bit of fidgeting, preening and occasional flap but then back to sleep.
0410 hrs as the light starts to increase the fidget a bit more, by now definitely awake
0413 hrs both standing but not really looking ready for the day ahead. All is quiet.
0417 hrs one chick is at the front of the box calling whilst the other has gone back to sitting in the corner. The standing chick is looking around staring at the sky.
0422 hrs VZN moves around the box to the west side and peers over the edge, with a wobble! She moves back and forth looking down over the edge and then up in the air. It is clear she has realised the world is bigger than a gravel tray. But for now, the tray will do and she goes back to sit with VXN.
0434 hrs it sounds like an adult calling. The chicks respond and VZN is back to the front of the box calling, again she goes back in.
0440 hrs the light now much better, still on night vision, both chicks now getting ready to face their fans. This time VXN moves to front of box and calls. Soon joined by VZN but with no parents appearing back into the box it is, but never still.
0515 hrs lots more calling and both chicks very mobile in the box. They keep looking up but don’t seem to be following anything in particular.
0526 hrs both chicks spot something in the sky and follow it closely. They both hurry to the back of the box, heads into the corner and quiet.
0528 hrs the calling has started again. VZN runs to front of the box as the female lands on the roof then hops up onto the ledge. No food! You can sense (and hear) the chicks disappointment. Mum hops up onto side rail. The chicks go back to mooching around the box.
0543 hrs both chicks looking out again
0544 hrs the male brings in breakfast and begins to feed both chicks
0551 hrs the male leaves as whatever he brought in has all gone. The chicks have a walkabout then settle in NW corner.
0611 hrs both chicks are pancaked in the corner
0702 hrs reluctantly waking up. Bit of a preen at a very slow pace.
0718 hrs calling starts again, the chicks decide it’s worth investigating, but slowly
0720 hrs both chicks are now moving to the front of the box as the male lands on roof with more food. He positions himself behind the chicks in the back of the box as he feeds them.
0723 hrs the chicks turn and look over their shoulders as the female comes in. She goes straight round the back of the chicks and chases the male out. In his haste to leave he walks over the chicks!!! Stills below or a video if you prefer: https://youtube.com/shorts/B3XNn4aW3d0?feature=share
The female moves the prey to the front of the box, plucks it, obviously not happy with the job done so far, has some herself then starts to feed the chicks.
0731 hrs all food gone so the female leaves; the chicks watch her then settle for a nap.
0857 hrs the male brings in more food, starts feeding the chicks but almost immediately the female is there, so this time he makes a more dignified exit.
0902 hrs the food is all gone, the female rests on front ledge of box then flies off. The chicks have a wander round but then settle back in NW corner.
1257 hrs the two chicks are currently huddled together in the back left (NW) corner of the platform, although it is difficult to see that there are two young birds, as there is only one head visible! Their last feed was just over two hours ago.
1300 hrs the female is in view of the watchpoint on the NE pinnacle
1300 hrs their plumage has moved on substantially in the last few days, with much less fluff left. However, they probably feel the benefit of it today, since it is cooler, and breezy again.
1307 hrs the chicks stir and stand for stretches and a quick defecation from one, before they hunker back down in the corner.
1320 hrs they both stir again briefly, but this time the one nearest the corner remains on its feet and begins preening.
1324 hrs it is just possible to see that the chick’s efforts are being rewarded, as it shakes its head to get rid of some fluff from its beak.
1326 hrs one of the parents begins calling off screen, causing the prone chick to strike up too. The other one just looks down at it, then resumes preening. The horizontal chick looks back over its shoulder.
1331 hrs there are some more calls off screen by one of the adults, but this time no reaction from either chick. Both parents begin calling, and now the second chick joins in again, stands and moves to the front of the platform.
1334 hrs food is brought in by the Tiercel, but much to the frustration of the chicks, after a few moments, it is taken away again. The Watchpoint reported that it WAS the male flying in with food (Jackdaw?). The Falcon meanwhile has also flown down, and has been standing on the ridge of the roof. Both chicks stand at the edge calling to the Falcon after the food is taken away again. It seems like that might have been an attempt by the parents to entice the chicks to leave the platform.
1336 hrs VXN, having been standing at the front, suddenly runs back into the platform, but continues to call as it stands at the back. VZN remains standing at the front edge, calling occasionally, but it is VXN who is shouting the most.
1340 hrs the female has a quick fly around before returning to the roof area meanwhile the male is sporting a feather on his beak while perched on the NE pinnacle
1345 hrs One of the parents’ calls, and immediately VXN runs to the front calling, likely because the watchpoint report the female taking flight and circling the tower before returning to the roof area.
1347 hrs The Tiercel comes in with food, and is immediately swamped by the chicks as they demand to be fed. We only know that a parent is in there because of the inset screen!
1354 hrs The Tiercel, having survived the onslaught, gratefully exits the platform, presumably with his ears ringing from the noise!
1355 hrs the female circles the tower before returning
1357 hrs VZN stands at the front after lunch, and has an energetic flap of its wings. VXN is investigating the back right corner for any leftover scraps.
1358 hrs VXN has found some small fragment in the back right corner, and has taken it to the left rear corner, but then returns carrying it to the spot from which it started. Then it comes to the front of the platform as if to show it to its sibling – it looks like a head! Whatever it is gets taken back again to the right rear corner.
1400 hrs the male can be seen by the watchpoint on the NE pinnacle
1401 hrs During this time, VZN has remained standing at the front edge, occasionally flapping its wings, and looking very interested in the world beyond the platform, and not even interested in what VXN had brought out from the corner. VXN meanwhile, has been pouncing on its trophy in the corner.
1403 hrs VZN stands at the front, bobbing its head and turning it odd angles to look across the roof. Then it begins preening its left leg, as VXN comes to the front too, and they stand side by side. VZN has a quite accomplished scratch of the head, usually a tricky manoeuvre for a youngster still getting its balance right.
1407 hrs VXN stands facing the camera, possibly peering at its reflection in the camera dome. It looks like it has hands clasped behind its back! The mixture of plumage and fluff make it look like it is wearing a fur trimmed gilet!
1409 hrs VZN looks to its left for a few seconds, possibly watching one of the parents, then retires to the rear left corner to join VXN in a standing huddle.
1413 hrs There are occasional glimpses of white fluff being carried away on the breeze. One of the adults’ calls, and one of the chicks looks up and fixes its gaze on maybe one of the parents on the South East pinnacle.
1415 hrs the male is now on the SE pinnacle
1416 hrs They resume their customary nose-to-tail position in the back left corner, just one head visible again. Unfortunately, their choreography around the platform makes it difficult to say which is which now they have laid down.
1425 hrs the male lands on the NE pinnacle but is seen off by the female!
1428 hrs One of the chicks strikes up with calls, and then a parent is heard in the background. The parent’s calls only last a few seconds, but the chick continues for some while afterwards, eventually going quiet again.
1430 hrs the female is on the East side Fleur de Lis while the male is on the South side Fleur de Lis
1443 hrs the foremost of the chicks stands up, stretches, then settles down again, which in turn disturbs the other one, who likewise stands, shuffles and settles. The front chick stands again, and remains facing the rear of the platform, leaning against its sibling. It nuzzles its beak into the fluff and feathers on its back, and seems to fall asleep.
1455 hrs Off in the distance, there is a vague call from one of the parents. No reaction from the chicks.
1500 hrs This session ends much as it started, with the chicks in a huddle at the rear left corner of the platform. The female chases off 2 Herring gulls who got too close
1505 hrs the female is back on the East side Fleur De Lis
1510 hrs the male lands on the SE pinnacle, a minute later the female leaves
1532 hrs the male leaves his perch, flies around before flying into the roof area
1813 hrs the feathers are flying, food is coming
WE HAVE A FLEDGE!! It was VZN at 1815 hrs
Shortly after fledging a brief feed on the roof
Meanwhile VXN had a good shout about it!
Heading back inside
Reunited back in the box!
Thanks to Bev & Peter for online blogging today & to Val, Roger & Tim on the watchpoint who engaged with 172 half term visitors (of course including lots of children) while blogging. Special thanks to Chris & Kim who were watching when we had a fledge and captured some great stills of the event.