Monday, 31 May 2010

31st wind

It was a cool start to today and the chicks were being sheltered from the breeze even though they are getting well feathered now.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

29th chicks

The chicks have become quite mobile these past few days and are growing fast. They are now three weeks old. Make the most of these views because it won't be long before the nest tray will be empty as they wander along the walkway exploring their surroundings.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

27th May 2010

The above shows the adult female feeding the chicks this morning with what appeared to be a feral pigeon. Yesterday's image shows that the chicks have been colour-ringed, as part of a national colour-ringing project on Peregrines, so that we are more likely to get further sightings.

Our adult female is also colour-ringed on her right leg. From this we have found out that she was ringed as a chick in 2006 in a nest on an inland cliff on the East Lancashire / West Yorkshire border.

26th May 2010 - ringing visit

A quick visit was made to the nest site today to measure and ring the chicks. It would appear that our two chicks are both females and look very healthy. The unhatched egg had been punctured - probably accidentally by the female's talons, despite her seemingly being very careful when getting on and off, and turning the eggs.

The annoying cobweb that had been infront of the camera lens was also removed, and the prey remains collected from the church roof to go off to Ed Drewitt in Bristol for identification.

Regular viewers may also notice a change at the far end of the box/tray where an additional piece of plywood has been provided to enable the chicks to get some shade.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Feeding time - 26th May 2010

This is a nine minute video of the adult female peregrine falcon feeding the two chick's a juv. starling at 0830hrs on 26th May 2010.

Monday, 24 May 2010

New Video - 24th May 2010

A short video clip showing the 2 chick's being fed by one of the adult birds on 24th May 2010 at 0930hrs.

New Video - 24th May 2010

Short video clip showing the two chick's left unattended.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

23rd chicks!

It looks like the chicks are feeling the heat as much as we are today! One of them is now mobile enough to have sought shade in the middle compartment. The unhatched egg remains at the front where one of the adults was trying to incubate it on Friday night at 10pm!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

22nd May...watchpoint great success!

The watchpoint for the falcons at St Wulfran's today was a great success.
There were other Peregrines seen in addition to our nesting pair, as well as a Red Kite, several Buzzards, and two Sparrowhawks. It is amazing how many birds are passing over when you look up! Well done to Steve Lyon, Steve Bulbeck, Alan Ball and all the others who helped out. Special mention for the volunteers in the cafe who served the great cakes and tea.We'll do it again soon. Watch this space.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

20th May....keep Saturday free

This Saturday, the Bird Club is organising a watchpoint for members (and the general public) on the grass outside the west door of St Wulfran's Church, Grantham.

It will last all day and there will be opportunities to view all the excitement through telescopes provided by our volunteers. In addition, the big screen inside the Church will show live footage of the chicks being fed, etc. There is sound too, so you can hear all the action.

The Church is famous for its wonderful cakes and beverages in the cafe by the big screen.

It's going to be a lovely, hot, sunny day, so come down and see the peregrines for yourself.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

18th May...a warm day

The chicks are just over a week old and growing fast. In another week they will be unrecognisable from today's tiny balls of fluff. Soon after that, we should be able to sex them, as the females are considerably bigger than the males. The tiercel has proved an efficient hunter and the chicks can be seen in typical pose for a warm day, spreadeagled flat on the tray with bulging crops. The adults have to continue to brood them at night to keep them warm and shield them from the hot sun later in the afternoon.

Friday, 14 May 2010

New Video from 14th May 2010

Short video clip of the female leaving the two chicks for a few minutes.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

13th May...chicks look well

It was a cold start to the day. The chicks had a good feed at 7am, then the female left them briefly to remove the prey carcass. She returned after three minutes to brood them. They will grow very quickly over the next few days.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

11th May.... two chicks

This afternoon both chicks looked strong as they enjoyed a pigeon lunch. The remaining egg won't hatch now so we have a similar result to last year, ie two chicks from four eggs. Let's hope they now make it to fledging!

Monday, 10 May 2010

10th May...disaster averted!

At 2-35pm the male rather clumsily left the nest and booted a chick out of the safe zone!
Luckily the female arrived soon after and gently retrieved her offspring. This is not the first time the tiercel has done this! Alan saw him kick the eggs out during incubation on one occasion.

10th egg missing!

An interesting start to the day!
At 9-20am the female left the nest for a few minutes. Two chicks and one egg could be clearly seen. It seems likely that the other egg got tangled up and disappeared when the pigeon carcass was removed by the falcon yesterday (see previous blog.)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

9th May..chicks are fed

Just before 5pm the falcon fed the two chicks from the pigeon carcass. She pulled off the tiniest pieces of meat and fed them very delicately to each chick in turn.

9th May: prey on tray

At 3-20pm I noticed the peregrine had brought a large prey item, probably a pigeon, onto the tray and the two chicks plus two eggs could be clearly seen. She appeared to feed on the carcass, but, as yet, I haven't seen the chicks being fed.

9th May - two chicks

Male did a two hour 'tour of duty' at mid-day, and I managed to get the above screen-shot at 13:50 during a lightning fast change-over. Difficult to see in the picture, due to the strong contrast between sun and shade that there seems to be two chicks and two eggs.

9th May - first chick

This morning at 08:00 the female lifted up slightly to reveal a tiny chick and half an eggshell nearest to the camera, but I couldn't see the rest of the eggs/chicks. The falcon has been sitting very very tightly for the past 24 hours. She would be aware that the eggs were hatching, as a chick takes around two days to emerge from the egg after making the first hole through the shell, and she would be able to hear the chicks inside.

Snapshot above shows the falcon with the empty eggshell

Monday, 3 May 2010

3rd May...could be an exciting week!

If all goes well, we should have some chicks this week sometime.
Incubation in Peregrines varies but around the end of the week could be about right.
In some years, not all the eggs hatch. (Last year she reared two chicks from four eggs.)
Can LBC members keep an eye on the tray from mid week onwards and report any white fluffy balls please?