Monday, 2 July 2012

Another successful breeding season.

The Grantham peregrines have had another fantastic breeding season and three young have fledged.
The success of the website and the teamwork of the Church and Bird Club is in no small way due to the hard work of a dedicated team of helpers.
Many thanks to them all, especially Lynda, Elaine, Val and Derek at St Wulframs and Andrew and Alan from the Lincs Bird Club.
Here's to 2013.
Bob Sheppard.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

19th June - Juv and Male on the Spire

One of the juv birds (one of the young females?)perched up above the nest tray.

And, the male bird keeping watch....

Both images sent in by Kevin Everton.

19th June - Female Peregrine

Kevin Everton's images of the female peregrine taken on 18th June 2012. Please send any images to the email address and we will upload them to the blog - Thanks!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

18th June - Still about!

The birds may not be spending much time in the nest tray, but they clearly still about! (The buff tips to the wing feathers indicate this is a young bird.)

Queen's Birthday Honours

The rescue of the male Peregrine chick by Bob demonstrates his total commitment to his work for conservation, and it is very fitting that Bob received recognition, being awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours.    Congratulations.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

first flight failure !

An exciting day for our young male chick.
I received a call from Rev June at the church to say there was a chick on the ground.
A half hour drive through the Grantham Carnival traffic saw me gloved up and ready to grab!
After a brisk walk up the staircase I popped him back with his big sisters!
So all is well (until he does it again!)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Nearly a month old

The chicks will be four weeks old on Sunday and they look fantastic. As expected, they spend very little time in the tray, preferring instead to explore the walkway.
In two weeks time they will be taking their first short flights on the church roof!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Growing fast !

The oldest chick is three weeks old tomorrow.
They are hardly recognisable compared to those tiny balls of fluff in early May.

Monday, 28 May 2012

28th May 2012

The chicks are now quite mobile and have been off exploring the walkway around the base of the spire.  They do not spend much time in the nest tray, perhaps because they go on to the north side of the tower where there is more shade.  They come back to the tray occasionally and the photograph below shows one being fed by dad early this morning.

Friday, 25 May 2012

May 25th - Early Evening Supper

The chick's having an early evening meal after a very hot day in Grantham, during which time the chick's spent most of the time sitting in the shade.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

May 24th - Post ringing supper...

The chick's watching and trying to catch flies (all happens very quickly at about 12 seconds). Post ringing suppertime, for our recently ringed chick's.

24th May - Ringing visit

The chicks were ringed this morning, during which time the camera was turned off for 20 minutes.  This was just a precaution in case anyone phoned the authorities if witnessing the chicks being taken from the nest (the local police had already been informed by us).  Each chick was fitted with a standard BTO metal ring but also with a lightweight plastic colour-ring (orange with two letters) so that each bird can be individually identified in the field.   At the same time an extra 'L'-shaped piece of plywood was added to the far end of the nest tray to provide the chicks with some welcome shade..........and they made use of that shade later today - the hottest day of the year so far.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Adventurous chick!

The chicks soon start to explore their surroundings. Is this an errant male (on the naughty step) or a wandering female (which are quite a bit bigger even at this age?)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Big feed in the sunshine !

This lunchtime the chicks had a good feed as the sun shone down on them (and the duff egg.)
 Here Mum is taking the leftovers away and leaving them to sunbathe.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Growing fast

We have been watching chicks at this nest for a few years now but we are always amazed how fast they grow!

May 17th - Early morning feeding time

Short video showing the growing chick's being fed on 17th May 2012.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Change-over time.....

Feeding time - 13th May 2012


The female has to judge the temperature and weather conditions whilst the chicks are tiny.
Sometimes they need keeping warm and sometimes they need shielding from the afternoon sun.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Late feed

Tonight there was a late feed. It lasted at least 20 minutes during which time the female made sure that all the chicks got their fair share. Falcons tear their prey and this enables each chick to be fed lots of very tiny portions. She is now concentrating on brooding the three chicks and is no longer attempting to incubate the remaining egg which is no longer viable. When we ring the chicks in about two weeks time we shall collect the egg for analysis by experts.

May 13th 2012 - Dry Weather at last!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Looks like 3 out of 4 again

Tonight the female went off to collect a feral pigeon from the male and I could see that our chicks look really well. As usual, she hasn't hatched all the eggs, but if she raises three then that will be another good achievement on the part of our regular female ( and possibly our regular male!)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A family affair

It was a family scene today. The male had been hunting and the female collected the prey and began a feed whilst he proudly watched.

Change Over-time at St Wulfram's Church - 10th May 2012

Change Over-time at St Wulfram's Church - 10th May 2012. The female returns and then the male leaves....

The male bird attempts to incubate - 10th May 2012

The male bird attempting to cover and incubate ALL three chicks on the 10th May and struggling! Very windy today at the top of St Wulfram's Church!

Feeding Time - 10th May 2012

Feeding time on the 10th May 2012.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Three Chicks on 9th May 2012

The Female leaving the nest tray. And, the female returning on 9th May 2012

Third chick

This morning the female went out for a few minutes and there was an egg and three chicks !

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Still two chicks

This morning we had our first chance to take a picture of the two chicks.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Second chick

The second chick hatched around 3-30pm today.


This morning the male had caught and plucked breakfast which the female collected and fed a small portion to the 15 hour old chick. Usually she would remove the carcass from the tray, but she chose to incubate the remaining eggs immediately, as number two should be hatching soon. So the prey is clearly visible by her side.

first chick

Just before eight o'clock this morning the female left the nest for a short while to collect some food that the male brought back for her.   This allowed us to see the first chick..........hopefully there will be some more later?

Sunday, 6 May 2012

egg shell

There was an eggshell late this afternoon so it looks like we might have a chick!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Waiting nearly over?

Our birds this year have had to put up with some very wet and cold weather.  Hopefully everything's gone OK and we may have some chicks at the end of the week.  Our pair have never managed to hatch all four eggs, and it will be a miracle if they do this year – especially with the weather and the egg spotted by Bob that was left uncovered for a long period on 8th April.   Our birds are lucky in that they have been sheltered from the east by the spire.   Unfortunately today's incessant heavy rain took its toll on two of the four chicks at the Nottingham Trent Univerity site (they are two weeks ahead of our Grantham pair), despite a very valiant 12hour constant effort by the female who was absolutely soaked to the skin as she tried to cover them and shield them from the rain.

Friday, 20 April 2012


The male was incubating this morning whilst the female went for a feed. She soon called him off the eggs and within three minutes had settled down herself.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Eggs on the move

The female has moved the eggs a bit more to the back of the tray. Perhaps this happened as she turned them. She seems to be incubating quite happily.

Monday, 16 April 2012

News sheet

Visitors to the Church to see the peregrines live on a 32"screen can now also take away a news sheet with all the latest information . I will be updating the sheet whenever anything exciting happens.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

in touch

The female will spend most of her time incubating until the chicks hatch around May 6th. She will then brood them for a fortnight. During this six week period it is the male's job to catch the food and bring it to the nest. He will occasionally incubate, but not for long periods.
Here the female is probably communicating with him as he perches out of picture above her.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Loose egg !

When birds are incubating 24 hours a day, with the female doing most of the donkey work, then they can doze off and not be too aware of what is happening underneath them. Tonight, one of the eggs has rolled out and will need to be covered soon before it chills!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fourth egg !

After many rain soaked hours, when the female wouldn't budge, the sun came out and she went for a fly round the tower enabling me to get a shot of the fourth egg. This should be the full clutch now. Ahead there will be a long month for us ( and the birds ) whilst we wait for the hatch.

Rainy day

We have had 25mm of rain over the past eighteen hours and our peregrine female can't shed all that! She won't mind being soggy as long as the eggs are warm and dry. This is where an experienced bird like ours shows her skills as a mother.
The tray is specially designed to shed excess rain water through slots in the front.
It is possible that she has laid a fourth egg but we shan't know until the rain stops and she moves around.
Good to see our webcam watchers in Canada and the Netherlands have been watching this week.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Shedding rain

It is raining heavily tonight but the female is shedding the rain by adopting this position.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday 2nd April 2012

Incubation has begun, although she has not yet finished laying her full clutch (we are assuming that she will lay a fourth egg). It is usual for Peregrines to begin sitting after laying the penultimate egg. Even the male knows that they should now be incubating, as he took a turn today! Note that he is much smaller than the female.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

April 1st - Third Egg Video

A short 2 minute video, with the female leaving at the end.

eggs in the sunshine

The female often leaves her eggs whilst she has a fly round the spire. They are safe from predators as one of the pair will be keeping watch. Woe betide any crow or buzzard that even tries to fly past the church in all innocence!
The peregrines will start incubating seriously when the clutch is nearly complete. This is the way they get the chicks to hatch out within a day or two of each other.

Third egg

It was great to see the third egg at lunchtime today.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday 31st March 2012

Relieved to see the falcon back this morning. She left the eggs for a very long time overnight. We can only hope that as she is experienced, she knows what she's doing. She will ensure that the eggs don't chill completely, or get too hot, until she starts incubating properly which may begin immediately after the third egg is laid. The pictures below show that at night, under infra-red, (which the camera automatically changes to in darkness) the eggs appear white.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Second egg

It was a nice sight this morning to be greeted by a second egg!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

29th March 2012

It is normal for the female to leave the egg(s) at this early stage. She may be away for a couple of hours. She will cover the clutch during rain showers (or if it gets too hot!). Should a crow be foolish enough to get too close there will be a swift return to safeguard her eggs.

Eggs are laid at 2 to 3 day intervals. In fact it can be as accurate as every 57 hours.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28th March 2012 - Temperatures Rise.....

The female bird spent much of the day shading her single egg while temperatures at St Wulfram’s soar....

If you are thinking about visiting St Wulfram's, then the Coffee Shop opening details are Saturday's between 10.00am and 1.00pm (until Easter) and the after Easter the opening times are: Wed, Thurs and Friday 10.00am - 4.00pm and Saturday 10.00am - 1.00pm.

28th March 2012 - Female Peregrine with the first egg

A very short video showing the female Peregrine at St Wulfram's Church with the first egg.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27th March - FIRST EGG

Bob picked the right morning to visit the church today - he was obviously better at predicting the first egg than I was yesterday! First egg was laid at 10:28 this morning and the act was spotted by Elaine, the Assistant Church Administrator as she passed the TV screen on her way to the photocopier. If all goes to plan the second egg may be expected around 7 pm on Thursday.

We seem to have an intermittent problem with the webcam feed which we are trying to resolve so please bear with us. Note the time has been changed this morning to BST.

Monday, 26 March 2012

26th March 2012

The female visited the nest tray several times today as shown above. Fingers crosssed that we may get the first egg by next week-end. As we might miss the event, we would welcome any observations from those of you that follow the webcam regularly.

Friday, 23 March 2012

23rd March 2012 - Female in the nest tray

The female bird spent over half and hour in the nest tray today. This short video shows her preparing a nest scrape.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Monday, 12 March 2012

12th March 2012 - Live Images

The screen is now working in the church, and can been seen during normal working hours. At the moment the cafe is open only on Saturday mornings until Easter.