Norwich Peregrine Blog

Norwich Peregrines Nest Activity Log- 13/05/20

7:17         My first view of the day is fortunate to catch the Tiercel in attendance.

               However, within a few seconds he makes his way across the platform, and picks up a leg remnant.   He pauses, then jumps and takes to the wing, apparently with the merest touch on the parapet.

7:20       The top view displays the feathery detritus scattered across the platform, hinting at the variety of prey which have been caught.   The range of feather sizes indicates that the two parents are using their own size difference to access many different birds.

7:47       Unfortunately, at this point, both cameras are offline.   The last view had been of the four chicks in the far corner of the platform, by themselves.

7:52       Cameras are back on, with situation unchanged, just the chicks on the platform.

8:41       I return to see that the screen has been buffering again, and the image on screen is of GA on the parapet at that point

8:47       GA has departed at some point since the frozen screen shot, so the chicks are alone again.   The “windsock” feather is blowing around indicating that it is another blustery day up there.

8:53       The breeze is rolling feathers around, but is not quite strong enough yet to lift them away.

8:55       The chick nearest the camera is preening with some energy, while the one at the far end gets up and re-positions itself to face the back of the platform.

9:00       The session gets under way with no change on the platform – the four chicks are huddled in the far corner of the platform, mostly facing the back wall.   They are lit by a brief burst of sunshine.

9:05       From this angle it looks like they are having a team talk, as one head pops up and then goes back down again!

9:08       The chick on the far side indulges in a bit of preening.

9:09       With its tail in the air, it is evident what that chick is about to do!

9:11       All the chicks appear to be more active just at the moment, although still keeping huddled.

9:13       The most visible chick is very busy picking at bits of food laying about, lurching around as it wrestles with bits of bone.   Some bits look much fresher than others.

9:16       The fun with food is over, so the chick huddles back into the group.   Its neighbour can be heard calling.   Their voices are getting stronger!

9:20       Now the second visible chick stands up for a moment, then settles back into the huddle.

9:23       Time for some more preening, followed by some intense study of a food fragment nearby.   The preening includes a quick nibble of the food too.

9:28       The chick at the back suddenly has a burst of wing flapping.   The wing end feathers are definitely beginning to show when it does that.

9:29       The sun is warming the chicks enough that they are spreading out slightly, at least for the moment.

9:35       One of the chicks is calling again.   Beginning to sound like a mini-adult!

9:36       The one at the back is looking around expectantly, perhaps sensing a meal

9:37       Right on cue, GA arrives with a meal.   Chorus of cries from the chicks!   Interesting that the chicks’ calls for food are the still squeaks.   One of the chicks gives some more adult-like calls, as it struggles to get up from under the wing of one of the others.   All four are up and waiting, but again the slightly smaller one is at the back.   It does still push in, so must be getting a good enough share

9:45       That’s quite a beak full for the nearest chick!

9:45       GA gives occasional calls, but is mostly quiet.   The chicks cries are subsiding, as they fill up with food.

9:47       One chick has had its fill, so heads to the near corner, obligingly bringing its bulging crop for us to see!

9:48       GA is still checking that food is needed.   They all seem mostly satisfied now

9:51       A second chick is full, so heads towards the camera.

9:55       One of the chicks shuffles all the way to the back of the platform, straight past GA as she feeds one of the others!   The feed carries on regardless!

9:58       While the feed has been in progress, the breeze has picked up a little more, and some feathers are being lifted into the air and away from the platform.

10:00     Having satisfied herself that the chicks are all full, GA picks up the remnants and heads off.

               It appears that GA has been used as target practice by one of the chicks, at least judging by her tail in this shot!

10:00     ….and the feed ends with GA leaving, clutching the remnants.

10:04     GA returns without food, heads over to the far corner to brood the chicks gathered there.

               Moments later,the Tiercel arrives with food, which looks a lot like the straggly remnants that GA took away only a few minutes ago.   He begins to feed, and passes some to the adventurous chick who had made its way to this end of the platform.

10:08     Now the chicks have all congregated with GA, while the Tiercel continues to feed on the remnants.

10:10     The Tiercel pauses in his feeding to look up into the sky, then resumes.

10:13     The chicks can be heard in the background, calling from the shelter of GA’s brooding.

10:16     The Tiercel has more or less demolished the rest of the carcass, vigorously stripping the last bits from it.

10:18     With a last call to GA, the Tiercel leaves with the rest of the remains.

10:27     Gusts of wind continue to pick up odd feathers from the platform, as GA continues to provide what cover she can for the chicks.

10:37     At last!  The return of the fly!

10:41     Another head appears from the mass of white, but then it drops back to sleep in the sun.

10:43     GA starts to look around as if she has seen or heard something, but it is not of concern, as she resumes snoozing.

10:45     Again, GA looks up from her snooze, peering round the pillar in the middle of the platform, but again, it is of no concern.

10:49     GA continues to look around, sometimes up at the sky, and reasonably alert.   The chicks can also be heard quietly squeaking.

10:51     One chick makes a break for the big outdoors!

10:52     Keep sharp objects away! That chick might burst!

10:54     GA begins some sharp calls, and after a few seconds gets up onto the parapet and takes flight.

10:56     GA returns, and begins picking at some fragment of food, while calling to the chicks.   As she has her back to the camera, it is not clear if she is feeding anybody.

11:00     The session ends with GA having returned to provide cover from the breeze which is probably quite chilly up there today.

11.00 As I start my shift GA is feeding chicks away from camera. It’s windy up there!  And grey. The BBC weather says it’s 9C with sunny intervals predicted. She finishes feeding the v large chicks.

I notice the nest box is looking well used - with bits of dead prey scattered and poo splattered about!

The green leg ring is still visible f/g.

11 GA is alert, standing over her chicks.  She looks to the East and to the South from time to time.

From the side cam I can see 1 chick.

I experience buffering on the side camera so switch to the overhead cam.  This gives a good idea of her position and how hard it is for her to cover the chicks.

11.09.GA looks around as the chicks sleep below her.

11.11.GA looks momentarily up the spire.

11.14 She is watchful.

11.14 The sun breaks through - I notice shadows are forming.

11.16 GA looks round, shuffles a little but not nearly as much as last week when the chicks were smaller.

11.18 GA appears to follow an object flying past - only moving her head.

11.21 Her head is turned to the right slightly so I can see her beady right eye which she closes from time to time - so she appears relaxed.

The feathers on the to of her head are lifting int he breeze - this gives her a punk like appearance!  She is dozing.

11.23 But not for long!  As she is alert now - looking all around.  

11.24 The sun still shines!  And GA is standing stationery - only looking round from time to time.

11.26 I notice my first fly of the day as it buzzes into foreground.

11.32 GA stretches and appears to wipe her beak on her wings.  She glances down at the brood and appears to preen her chest feathers.

11.34 GA preens and the chicks wriggle before settling again.

11.34 One of the chicks stands upright, walks forward , turns, poos and returns to it’s siblings before collapsing on top of them.

11.37 Another chick appears from the bundle before lying flat out.

11.38 All the chicks appear to stretch and spread out.  GA continues to stand over them.  She still dozes from time to time.

11.39 The sun disappears behind a cloud.  Discarded feathers flutter int he breeze.

11.40 Another fly arrives f/g.

11.41 The chicks that was laying to the side returns to the brood as the sun shines once more.

11.44 GA stands upright - looking around and moves to the ledge exposing the chicks.

11.45 From her vantage point GA looks intently west before jumping off the platform to the east.  Leaving the chicks home alone.

11.49 The Tiercel flies in and walks to the chicks - talking to them as he approaches.

11.50 He stands over the chicks and attempts to cover them - but there is not much chance of that because of their size! so he sits beside them.

11.53 It’s cloudy once more as he stands and looks intently around whilst guarding the chicks.  

11.56 He appears to chatter as he looks to the west.  A weak sun returns.

12.00 The Tiercel leaves the box as I hand over to Graham.

12.00, now taking over from Suzanna with the Tiercel trying to shelter his young from the cold. Then moves to the front right corner of the box.

12.03, Tiercel looks up at the spire, wonder if GA is up there.

 12.04, Tiercel leaves, being very agitated. 
12.09, GA returns, being very vocal on the edge of the box. 
12.12, she drops into the box, moves over to shelter her young. 
12.13, GA moves again onto the edge of the box, then jumps up onto the camera being very vocal once again. 
12.15, can't hear GA, presume she's left leaving the chicks home alone. 
12.22, GA returns with no prey, goes over to the chicks to shelter them. 
12.28, GA leaves once again leaving her chicks finding their talons and stretching their wings. 
12.35, chicks are becoming very aware of their surroundings. 
12.39, Tiercel arrives back looks up at the spire, you can hear GA in the back ground. 
12.43, Tiercel departs, leaving one of the chicks baffled where he's gone 
12.53, all 4 chicks huddle up in a little ball, no adults about at the moment. 
13.00, end of shift, now handing over to Liam, with chicks still alone. 
13:55 – All chicks huddling in a corner

14:01 – Shadow of an adult goes over

14:04 – Male flies back, standing on the ledge

14:05 – Feeds them for a few seconds then goes back on the ledge

14:10 – Chicks huddling in the corner again, Male on the ledge, GA can be heard calling off camera

14:11 – Male leaves

14:14 – GA lands on the ledge for a few seconds, scratches then flies off

14:20 – All chicks huddling in a corner

14:40 – All chicks huddling in a corner

14:45 – All chicks huddling in a corner

14:55 – Male returns with about half of a pigeon, begins feeding

15:00 – Male feeding the chicks

15.00 Clear skies , Tiercel feeding young 

15.01 one chick seems to be excluded from feeding and hides at the back

15.03 Tiercel clucking

15.05 Tiercel pulls of chunks of flesh from kill and feeds chick

15.10 Tiercel leaves nest

15.11 Clucking can be heard, but no bird seen

15.12 GA arrives and broods over chicks 

15.30 GA leaves nest

15.43 no activity in nest and chicks are still left alone

16.56 GA returns with a kill

And begins feeding chicks

Thank you to todays volunteers; Peter Ducker, Liam Barker, Graham Long and Suzanna Bunting.


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