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Norwich Peregrine Blog

Norwich Peregrines Nest Activity Log- 07/06/20 The First Chick (TC) Fledged!

As the camera system is down we have a special edition blog taken from the ground under the nest platform:

We arrived at the Cathedral just after 6am to find all 4 juveniles on the edge of the box, its roughly 42 days since the first egg hatched so we were hoping for a fledge any day now.

Kim and myself set our cameras up and train them onto the platform. The young male ringed as TC has been on the ledge for the last few days, occasionally being joined by his sibling TB. This morning was the first time we had seen all 4 young on the edge. TC spent time exercising his wings while the 3 females preened. GA returned to the Cathedral and landed on the very top of the spire with a kill, she proceeded to pluck the prey. 65ft below her all 4 youngsters are calling and looking up as the discarded feathers drift away in the wind. At approx 6.40am the falcon takes flight from her lofty position with the now plucked prey in her talons, as she heads for the platform the excitement from the box is at fever point, all 4 juveniles are flapping and jostling for position for the soon to be delivered meal, TC being the only male and noticeably smaller than his sisters moves to the outer edge of the box, as the female TB turns to get a better angle she accidentality nudges TC off the platform, a split second of panic ensues as the male drops before he opens his wings and takes flight, the adult male also takes flight and follows the youngster in his maiden voyage.

He loops around the spire before disappearing from view.

With the birds well being our priority we have a look around the grounds and surrounding streets to make sure TC has not ended up somewhere which could cause harm to the bird. Often when a juvenile lands away from the spire the local birds will mob the peregrine and make alarm calls, any near corvids will also cause a commotion. The streets were quiet with no obvious signs of any mobbing taking place. As we head back to the Cathedral the tiercel stoops away to the west with GA following a few minutes later, she comes back into view within a few seconds carrying a dove. Again she goes to the top of the spire to prepare the kill for the young, the tiercel lands high up on the spire. GA drops off the kill for the 3 juvenile falcons and sits near the platform. There is no sign of either adult looking further afield for the newly fledged peregrine so we think he must have settled either on the bell tower or on the north transept.

When I first arrived, at maybe 9:20 or so, the first thing I saw was the Tiercel flying in with some food, which he dropped off, then flew round to a crocket on the South side at the same height as the platform.   At that point, GA was perched one down to the right of the platform, as the three girls squabbled over the food.     Then, later, around 10:20, as I was about to leave, the Tiercel took off to the West from high on the spire in a fast downward flight.   He returned moments later without anything, but then as he circled in front of the spire, he suddenly rolled and plunged down scaring up two pigeons.   They went off in opposite directions, so maybe he was just having fun!

13:00 wing flapping in nest
13:09 male alights from roundel
13:10 male chases off seagull south of box
13:14 GA chases male & heads west
13:17 wing flapping in nest
13:20 GA comes in and lands on top of spire. Calling from nest
13:24 GA 2nd crocket from top whilst chick preens on edge of box
13:26 one of the young deficates off edge & jumps back in
13:27 one of young back on edge - wing flapping
13:31 wing flapping
13:40 Male takes flight south of nest & lands one crocket down from the plucking window. Lots of noise from box
13:44 male lands in 'man cave' roundel south bell tower
13:55 male out of roundel. Noise from of box as he heads north, low
13:56 noise from box again. Male flies southwards and back east & northwards.
14:00 gull mobbing GA for pigeon. Male chases it off. GA on golden bale.
14:01 male flies west
14:02 male flies into 'man cave' roundel & GA plucks at top of golden bale
14:04 one young on edge of box
14:05 wing flapping
14:08 two young flap wings on box edge
14:13 male leaves roundel & flies back and forth south & east. Lots of noise from box. He lands 4th crocket up from box on left
14:24 GA leaves bale and lands in box. Lots of noise from young. Male takes off and lands 2 crockets from top
14:34 GA on edge of box
14:35 TB on edge of box
14:38 two young on edge of box
14:45 still a few calls from box
14:47 three young on edge
14:52 GA on side camera. One young on edge. More skreetching from young. Wing flapping on edge.

The day ends with three young still in the nest and with TC suspected to be on the bell tower. 

Thank you to todays volunteers for this special blog and amazing photos; Chris Skipper, Kim Paul, Peter Ducker and Carola Wayne.