APRIL 2018

4 April – The female was continuing to incubate from the previous evening until the male arrived at 5:15. He takes over the duties whilst she remains on the ledge preening. At 6:15, she walks to the back of the box and forces the male off the eggs. He leaves reluctantly. The female is rather agitated and restless and with good reason, at 6:50 lays her fourth egg! Ten minutes later she continues incubation. The male takes over at 7:25 whilst the female remains on the ledge. She flies off at 8:30 returning at 9:05 to replace the male. She flies off at 9:20, the male taking over at 9:25. She returns at 9:50 and relieves the male 10 minutes later. He flies off, returning at 11:55 to sit on the ledge until 13:45. The female also flies off but the male soon returns to continue incubation. The female is back at 14:50 and the male leaves to return at 16:35 when he takes over, with the female sitting on the ledge until 17:10. She returns at 19:30 and continues to incubate through to midnight at least.

3 April – The female is incubating until 3:55 when the male arrives and takes over. She returns for a few moments at 5:00 but at 6:00 she replaces the male. He is back at 7:35 whilst the female remains on the ledge preening. She takes over at 9:00 until his return at 10:50 when once again she sits on the ledge. At 13:05 she is back but both birds leave immediately for 10 minutes, the male returning to incubate until 14:20 with a break between 13:30 and 14:10 when the female takes over. He returns at 15:00 when copulation takes place on the ledge after which the male leaves and the female continues incubation. He is back at 16:55 but leaves after just 10 minutes, the female taking over. He does another stint at 18:05 for an hour. The female visited at 18:35 with a very large prey item but left immediately and returned with a full crop to take over at 19:10 incubating until at least midnight.

2 April – The female continues to incubate during a wet and stormy night. She remains on the eggs until the male arrives at 6:15 a total of 11 hours and 15 minutes hardly moving during that time.Rather than leave, she sits on the ledge for an hour and then returns to incubating.The male flies off and returns at 9:35 with breakfast. He incubates whilst she eats but after 10 minutes she returns. The male flies off and there is copulation on the ledge – a fourth egg is in their minds. the male flies off and the female continues incubation until 12:40 when the male takes over.Initially, she sits on the ledge but after 30 minutes flies off returning an hour later to relieve the male. At 15:45 he takes over incubation whilst she sits on the ledge. At 16:15 the male flies off but the female remains soon the ledge calling incessantly – seeming looking to copulate again, but it didn’t happen. she returns to incubation but flies off when the male arrives at 16:40. She is back within 5 minutes and there is copulation on the ledge. He leaves and she returns to incubation.At 17:15 the female leaves and the male takes over incubation but is back to resume duties 20 minutes later and remains on the eggs until well after midnight.

It was interesting to note the visit of a pair of Magpies this morning – the first time I’ve seen them on the ledge (usually Feral and Woodpigeons). This shows just how vulnerable the eggs can be if left unattended. Thankfully no harm was done.

1 April – The female was on incubation duties and remained on the eggs until 4:00 when the male arrived but left two minutes later. The female remained on the ledge for 10 minutes before continuing incubation. At 5:45 the male returns and takes over incubation with the female remaining on the ledge. He flies off at 6:20 to return immediately and there is copulation. He leaves her on the ledge preening. At 6:45 she flies off returning at 7:10 to continue incubation. The male takes over for 5 minutes at 7:30 returning at 8:00 but is relieved by the female at 8:10. She flies off at 8:30 and he arrives with prey in the form of a Starling. She is back at 8:40 eating the prey left by the male.When she leaves 15 minutes later the male returns to incubate and does so until 9:35 when she takes over. After 2 hours she sits on the ledge and flies off at 11:50 when the male resumes incubation. She returns at 12:25 with a full crop and whilst sitting on the ledge copulation takes place, after which the male leaves and the female returns to incubation. At 14:15 she goes to the ledge and remains there for 40 minutes before continuing incubation. The male returns after an hour but leaves almost immediately. Just 10 minutes later the female produces her third egg – HAPPY EASTER! She waits about 10 minutes before continuing to incubate, presumably to allow the egg to dry. At 17:00 she is sitting on the ledge and after 5 minutes the male arrives with food – another Starling but he leaves within a few minutes. She continues incubation at 17:15. At 17:55 the male returns and sits on the ledge calling. He leaves as the female continues to incubate. He returns at 18:50 and incubates whilst the female is on the ledge. After 10 minutes he flies out to return immediately for copulation on the ledge, after which he leaves and she returns to incubating where she remained until midnight at least.

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