There has been quite a bit of activity on and around the platform recently. I have therefore resumed the daily blog with comments and details of activities including photos and video snippets.
To see a blog of events and activities please visit the Daily Commentary Page
Thank you to everyone for all your comments over the months.
The natural world inspires people in many different ways. Some just like the joy of watching nature other take photographs or make drawing. One third-year student from De Monfort University has been so in awe of watching our Peregrine chicks for the last couple of months, from hatching to fledging, it inspired a poem that we would like to share:
Edge over old royal bones. Both tired,
Hallowed, still as morning. See – one stirs,
Eager black pearl eyes awake with joy
Attend the morrow’s young; as do sleepy
Red ones. Four shapes were ne’er so brimming with
Death and life – bloody streaks of sweet struggle,
Yearnful presses at life’s door like beggars
On the midnight street. It is dark in here,
Under this skin of yours. But they want out –
Come, small creature, into the cold where we
Are lost on you, as pale summer roses,
Like apple blossom, pink and trembling – down
Like white confetti, white as innocence.
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VIDEO SNIPPETS & PHOTOS BELOW
Video – The Bonding Continues: Even though the young are still dependent on the adults, almost immediately after the juveniles’ fledging, the adults were reasserting their bond. They frequently visit the nest box and have been seen scraping although there is no chance of a second brood this year. Below is a short section of an eight minute ‘stand-off’ where the female (at the back of the box) hardly moves in all this time and the male eventually flies off.
Picture – Here’s Looking at You: The two juveniles pictured on the roof of St. Martins House on 20 June. They were very vocal most of the morning waiting to be fed. P7D is on the left.
Picture – A Swift breakfast: On reviewing the tapes for 20 June, I noticed that the adult male had brought in a Swift – not the easiest prey to catch. This is not the best of screengrabs but you can clearly see the outline of a Swift being carried away by a juvenile.
Picture – Juveniles are around the Cathedral: A quick trip into Leicester on the 18th to try and located the juveniles to confirm they both fledged successfully. P7D (below)was found quickly but PCF was a little more difficult. Eventually he was found hiding behind a large chimney pot, sheltering from the wind.
Video – Second Flight: The remaining juvenile manages his first flight in less dramatic fashion.
Video: First Flight: Not the most graceful of take offs.
Video – First Flight: Even more dramatic at half speed!
Picture – Safe Landing: Juvenile found sitting preening on a nearby roof:
Video – Wing Flapping: A short piece of wing flapping by the young at 8 times speed. They then settle down on the platform looking out over the city.
Video – P7D Steals the Gold: The male arrives with a Goldfinch which is quickly snatched from him by the female chick P7D who takes it to the back of the box. She then runs away from the adult female and after a brief chase is allowed to pluck and eat it for herself. Think Keystone Cops/Benny Hill….
Video – Chick is Spooked: Whilst sitting on the ledge preening, P7D looks up and notices something in the sky above her. She is obviously spooked as she scuttles into the back of the box where she remains, hardly moving, for the next 90 minutes.
Video – Flap Fest: Both chicks are finding their wings and at every opportunity build up their strength.
Video – P7D Feeds Herself: For the first time, one of the chicks (P7D) finds a piece of prey, traps it in her talons and picks at it, eating the small pieces – feeding herself.
Our regular watchers will have noticed that the chicks are now sporting a little ‘bling’. They have been ringed under licence, including colour-rings. This will help us to identify them as individuals and follow their progress not only whilst at the Cathedral but when they eventually disperse and hopefully raise families of their own. Many thanks to Garry Barker and his team.
The chicks with their colour-rings. On the left is PCF, provisionally sexed as a male and his larger sister P7D on the right – also provisionally sexed. Photo (c) Garry Barker.
Video – Getting Ready to Fly: For the first time when wing flapping, P7D jumps into the air. She is getting stronger and more confident by the day. PCF imitates his sister.
Photo – Pin Feathers: For the first time P7D’s wing pin feathers are starting to show well.
Video – Wing Flapping: Wing stretching and flapping is becoming more common on a daily basis. This is P7D.
Video – Tough Love: The female again wants to get her chicks together to shelter them from the wind. One of the chicks has other ideas and refuses to go and gets dragged by the scruff of the neck – again!
Video – “But I Don’t Want To”: The female wants to get the chicks into the scrape where she can shelter them. However, one of the chicks has other ideas and refuses to go despite being dragged by the scruff of the neck! The female eventually gives up and ignores the chicks turning her back on it for over an hour!
Video – Chicks go Walkabout: The chicks are finding their (rather large) feet and walking about the box, pecking at the stones, playing with feathers and looking for food.
Video – Chicks Eat Shell: The female pushes the empty egg shell towards the chicks who peck at it and one picks it up. Is she teaching them not to waste the calcium content or does she know that it is good for them?
Video – Synchronised Feeding: The male and the female side-by-side feeding the chicks. The male refused to give up his prey to the female.
Video – First Steps: the largest chick walks across the scrape to het fed by the male – the longest distance so far.
Video – Wing Flapping: the largest chick has found it’s wings and starts to exercise them.
Video – I’ll Take My Prey Away: The female allows the male to feed the chicks but when she tries to take it from him, he takes off with it!
Picture – Mum I’ve got Wings: All of a sudden the larger of the 2 chicks has the makings of wings. There might even be pin feathers starting to appear.
Picture – I’m Still Hungry: Despite having a very full crop, the largest of the 2 chicks is still hungry and wants to be fed.
Video – I Want to Feed the Chicks: The male tries to feed the chicks under the watchful eye of the female before he is forced out.
Video – Where do you think you’re going with that?: The male sneaks in to take the food that is stashed by the right hand column. The female see it happen and soon retrieves it.
Video – Tug-of-War 2: The male wants to feed the chicks but the female has other ideas!
Video – Male Feeds Chicks: The male brings in an item of food and under the watchful eye of the female feeds some to the chicks, brooding beneath her, and the female too.
Video – Tug-of-War: The male brings in food that he wants to feed the chicks but has a tug-of-war with the female and leaves with it!
Video – Male Feeds Female: Watch as the male brings in a small prey item (Starling) and tries to feed it delicately to the female before she takes it off him.
Video – Mother is in Charge: The male is feeding the chicks with scraps. The female arrives and is not best pleased, she forces him out of the box. Watch her reaction at 18:05:37. I like how the chicks are sitting in a line with the unhatched egg at the front!
Video – Chicks being fed in the middle of the night:
Video – Chick number 2 hatches:
Video – The Male takes his turn to feed the chick:
Video – The First Meal: