December 2018

DECEMBER 2018

31 December – the male arrives at 7:15. He feeds on scraps of left-overs from yesterday’s meal. The female arrives 10 minutes later. There is some soft calling and posturing until the female removes the male from his position on the ledge and he flies off. She leaves at 7:55. The male returns at 8:45 but leaves after 5 minutes. He is back at 10:20 and takes a short flight 10 minutes later. He is off at 11:00 returning at 11:30 remaining until 12:50. He is back again at 14:10 and goes into the box calling returning to the ledge after 10 minutes. He is in the box at 14:45 as the female flies in. She takes his place and he returns to the ledge before flying off. She moves to the ledge at 14:55 and an hour later the male flies into the box. She replaces him and he flies off. She leaves at 16:00.

30 December – the female arrives at 7:15 with a VERY large item of prey – identification yet to be confirmed. Over an hour later, at 8:40  she stashes the remains at the back of the box and sits on the ledge with a very full crop. The male arrives at 9:05 and removes the stashed prey and flies off with it. He is back at 13:40 but only remains for a few moments. The female goes into the box when the male returns at 14:30. She goes to where the stashed item was then returns to the ledge pushing the male off in the process. She remains until 16:20 when she flies off. There is no further activity today.

29 December – the male arrives at 6:40. At 7:50 he picks at some of the scraps left over by the female’s pigeon from the previous day, flying off at 8:00 returning 15 minutes later. He is obviously in hunting mode as he takes two short flights a few moments later and another at 8:30 and starts calling at 8:35 as the female arrives. He goes into the box and she follows him a few moments later. There is calling and a brief period of posturing before he moves to the ledge and then flying off. The female moves to the ledge until 9:20 when she moves into the box as the male arrives and sits on the ledge. He moves to the opposite ledge when the female reclaims her position 5 minutes later. The male flies off at 9:55 returning briefly at 10:30. The female leaves 15 minutes later. The male is back at 11:15 remaining until 12:05. He returns at 14:00 staying for 40 minutes. There is no further activity today.

28 December – both adults arrive at 8:15. There is loud calling between them and they go into the box. The male moves to the platform as the calling continues. After a few minutes the male returns to the box and the female moves to the ledge. The male flies off after 5 minutes, the female leaving 30 minutes later. The male is back at 10:00 and goes into the box calling before moving to the ledge. The female returns at 11:25 and the male moves into the box. There is loud calling between the pair. The female settles on the ledge and the male flies off. The male returns for a few minutes at 12:30, the female leaving 20 minutes later. The female is back at 14:00 with a large Feral Pigeon as prey which she proceeds to pluck and eat. The male arrives at 14:20 and there is calling between to two. After 30 minutes of watching the female, he goes into the box calling and watches the female from inside the box. He moves slowly towards the female and more importantly the prey but when he gets too close the female flicks out a wing and he retreats! He returns to the ledge. The female is still eating at 15:05 when the male makes another attempt to share her meal but when he gets too close she forces him off the ledge! He is back on the ledge 10 minutes later. The female flies off with the remnants of the prey in the dark at 16:25 and the male leaves a few moments later. There is no further activity this evening.

27 December – the male arrives at 6:20 and leaves briefly at 7:00 and again a few minutes later. He sits looking out over the city, possibly in hunting mode. He is off again at 8:45 returning at 9:10 only to depart a few moments later. He is on the ledge again at 9:20, checks a few scraps lying on the platform at 9:30 then flies off returning at 10:00. He goes into the box and is joined by the female. There is calling and posturing. He goes onto the platform and drags a stashed piece of prey from the column (Lapwing?). He starts to pluck it but when the female moves to the ledge he flies off leaving the prey exposed on the platform; she ignores the prey. He returns at 10:20 and goes into the box calling and is followed by the female. After a few minutes he moves to the ledge but the female replaces him and he flies off. He is back again at 11:40 and the female goes into the box and makes a scrape whilst he sits on the ledge. When she moves to the ledge he flies off again. The female leaves at 12:25 and the male comes in a few moments later, remaining until 13:35. There is no further activity today.

26 December – the male arrives at 7:55 but leaves 10 minutes later. Both adults fly in at 11:20 calling loudly. The male goes into the box and is quickly followed by the female. He moves to the platform and then the ledge and looks out over the city. The female walks towards his ledge and he flies off. The male arrives at 14:20 and goes into the box. There is calling between the two. When the female ventures into the box, he flies off. She returns to the ledge. He is back again at 15:35 but leaves almost immediately. The female remained until 16:10.

25 DecemberMerry Christmas – the male arrives at 8:05 and settles on the ledge, picking up a few stones at 8:45. He leaves at 10:15 returning for 10 minutes at 11:20. He is back again at 12:05, with a full crop after feeding, remaining until 15:45. There was no further activity today.

24 December – the female arrives at 8:05 but leaves 5 minutes later. Both adults arrive at 11:10. The female goes into the box whilst the male flies off. The female moves to the ledge, flying off at 12:05. The male returns at 13:10, leaving at 13:35. He is back 2 hours later, staying for 20 minutes. There is no further activity today.

23 December – with the rather wet, unfavourable flying weather, there was no activity until 13:50 when both adults arrived on the platform. The male soon leaves and the female finds a scrap of left-over prey which she picks at. However, she flies off at 14:00 and there is no further activity today.

22 December – the male arrives at 9:15 and sits on the ledge until 11:30 and the arrival of the female when he goes into the box before flying off. She sits on the ledge with a full crop. The male returns at 11:40 and the female moves into the box and there are a few minutes of calling before she returns to the ledge. The male leaves at 11:55 returning for a few moments at 13:10, the female remaining on the ledge until 16:15 when she flies off. There is no further activity today.

21 December – the female that remained on the ledge from the previous evening flew off at 2:30. The male arrives at 6:25 but only stays a few minutes. The female arrives at 7:45 and goes into the box calling before settling on the ledge. She leaves at 8:05. There is no further activity until the male returns at 14:45 remaining until 15:10 being replaced by the female 10 minutes later. She flies off at 15:30 returning after a few minutes with a prey item (Feral Pigeon) which she stashes beside a column. She settles on the ledge before leaving at 16:30. There is no further activity this evening.

20 December – the male arrives at 7:00 and is quickly followed by the female. They go into the box and there is calling and posturing. She then picks up some scraps of prey remnants on the platform. She has finished eating by 7:15 and flies off. The male moves to the ledge, departing at 7:45. He is back at 8:30 with a full crop. He remains on the ledge until 11:00 when he flies off being replaced by the female. She too has a full crop. The male joins her on the opposite ledge at 11:40 and there is quiet calling but 5 minutes later he leaves. He returns at 12:20 and the female goes into the box calling for a few moments, then returns to the ledge. The male takes a short flight at 13:35. An hour later, something catches the eye of both birds and they fly off in tandem calling loudly. At 16:10, when it is dark, the male returns but leaves at 16:35. The female flies in at 19:00 and falls asleep, remaining until midnight at least.

19 December – It is not until 9:20 that the female arrives with a large item of prey (pigeon?) that is already plucked. She starts to feed on it and 30 minutes later there are just scraps left. She sits on the ledge with a full crop. The male arrives calling at 10:15 and settles on the opposite ledge remaining there until they fly together at 11:55. He is back 20 minutes later, the female returning at 13:40. He goes into the box before returning to the ledge a few minutes later, flying off after a further 5 minutes; the female departs at 14:15. The male returns at 14:50 leaving at 16:00.

18 December – the male arrives at 7:45. He leaves 10 minutes later and is replaced by the female. She is well-fed and has a full crop. At 8:50 she goes into the box calling but soon returns to the ledge. The male joins her on the opposite ledge at 8:55. He flies off at 9:20, the female remaining until 11:00. They return in tandem 10 minutes later. The male goes into the box at 11:20 being replaced by the female a few minutes later then moves to the ledge. The male flies off at 12:00, the female remaining until 15:15, returning 5 minutes later. She flies off at 16:40.

17 December – the female is first to arrive at 7:25, the main joining her 20 minutes later. They remain on the ledge until 8:00 when the male takes a short flight – probably in hunting mode as he flies off 5 minutes later, returning at 9:00 with a full crop. He flies off again at 9:25, the female leaving at 10:00. He returns at 11:35 but is away 10 minutes later. he is back again at 12:55 and is soon joined by the female who goes into the box, crouching in the scrape and  calling softly whilst the male looks out over the city. When she moves to the ledge, he flies off to land on the opposite ledge. They remain like this until the male flies off eventually at 16:05, the female following 20 minutes later. There is no further activity this afternoon.

16 December – unusually, it is the female that arrives first, flying in at 6:45 but leaves at 7:00. The male comes in 20 minutes later but is immediately displaced by the female. He flies off but returns a few minutes later but does not stay. The female feeds on the remnants of the plover then moves to the ledge. The male returns at 8:25 and the female goes into the box calling. After a few minutes she returns to the ledge. The male leaves at 8:45 and the female at 10:00. The male returns at 10:30 calling and goes into the box, then onto the platform and ledge at 10:35. He remains until 11:35 when he takes a short flight before settling on the ledge again. At 11:55 he take another short flight and on his return is joined by the female. There is a lot of calling and posturing and she goes into the box moving to the opposite ledge 5 minutes later. The male leaves at 12:10, returning at 12:30. He is off again 10 minutes later but back at 12:50. The female goes into the box at 13:00, makes a scrape and moves some stones around. When she moves to the ledge, the male flies off. He is back on the opposite ledge at 13:30 and she leaves a few moments later. She is back at 14:05 and he goes into the box. He flies off at 14:25. He returns at 15:40 and there is calling and posturing. He leaves after 10 minutes and she follows at 16:10. There is no further activity today.

15 December – the male arrives at 7:00 but leaves after 10 minutes. He is back at 8:10 and retrieves the Golden Plover that was stashed by the column 2 days previous. He leaves at 8:35, the remains of the plover lying on the platform. He returns at 9:35 and takes a short flight at 9:45 and has a small peck at the remains of the plover. At 10:30 he drags the plover across the platform and sets about eating it before settling on the ledge and leaving at 11:00. The male is back at 12:05 and is immediately followed by the female who has a full crop. They go into the box and there is calling and posturing. The male moves to the ledge after a few minutes but when the female decides to take his spot he flies and lands on the opposite ledge. They both leave at 12:10. The male is soon back and goes into the box looking out over the city. He moves to the ledge at 12:35. At 13:10 he takes a quick flight, returning to the box and then the ledge at 13:25. He has another quick flight at 13:40. The female returns at 14:00 and goes into the box. He sits on the ledge but takes a short flight a few minutes later. When the female moves to the ledge he flies off and is immediately followed by the female. There is no further activity today.

14 December – the male arrives at 7:20 remaining until 7:35. He is back at 9:15 but leaves a few minutes later. At 9:45 a pair of Feral Pigeons fly in and walk around the box. They remain until 10:00. The male is back at 10:25 but flies off after 5 minutes returning at 12:15 remaining on the ledge until 13:30. He returns at 14:35 but is gone 10 minutes later. He flies in again at 15:55 but leaves a few moments later. There is no further activity today.

13 December – the male arrives at 7:30 but leaves 5 minutes later. The female arrives at 9:25 with a large item of prey (golden Plover). After plucking and eating a little, she stashes it by the column at 9:40. She flies off 5 minutes later. She is back at 11:45 and takes a short flight at 11:55 but leaves at 12:00. The male is back at 15:40 remaining on the ledge for 30 minutes. There is no further activity today.

Photo: 13 December – the female brings in a Golden Plover for breakfast.

12 December – the male arrives at 5:00 and remains on the ledge until flying off at 7:20. He is back 10 minutes later but is displaced by the female shortly after. She leaves at 8:10. The male is back at 8:15 with a Blackbird as prey. He looks around and calls then flies off and is replaced by the female. She goes into the box and makes a scrape before moving to the ledge and leaving at 8:35. The male is back at 9:45 and is joined by the female a few minutes later. He leaves at 9:55 followed quickly by the female. They return together at 12:00. The female makes a scrape in the box whilst the male sits on the ledge. They leave together at 12:10. The male is back at 14:15 for 5 minutes. There is no further activity today.

During the morning, LROS Members participated in the Watch Day. Both adults were seen on the Cathedral either on the spire or platform, for most of the time. They were hunting in tandem around at about noon – a failed attempt. The juvenile was also seen on one occasion begging at the female as she sat on the top cross.

11 December – she remains sleeping on the ledge and is joined by the male at 4:50. She goes into the box calling. After 5 minutes they swap places. She falls asleep again on the ledge and he sleeps in the box until 6:25. He takes a short flight at 6:35 (possibly hunting) and returns to the ledge but is soon off again. The female flies off at 6:45 and he returns. She is back at 7:20 and they go into the box calling and posturing. She then moves to the ledge and he flies off at 7:35. He is back at 8:05 and she goes into the box whilst he sits on the ledge but when she moves back 5 minutes later, he flies off. She leaves at 8:35. The male returns at 8:40. He is off at 9:15 to be replaced by the female 5 minutes later. He returns at 9:35 and goes into the box. He then finds his favourite position hiding behind the column where he stays until 10:15. The female flies off at 11:20 and is replaced by the male but returns a few minutes later. They sit on opposite ledges and call occasionally. At 11:40 she goes into the box and makes a scrape then returns to the ledge. They fly off together at 12:00, the male returning 30 minutes later, flying off again at 13:00. The female is back 15 minutes later and goes into the box calling loudly before flying off after a few minutes. The male returns at 13:35, sits on the platform before moving to the ledge where he remains until 14:20 when the female returns. He goes into the box but is soon pushed out by the female and he flies off. She moves to the ledge and he is soon back. There is lots of calling and posturing on the platform. The female moves into the box before settling on the ledge whilst the male hides behind the central columns. He moves to the ledge at 14:00, eventually flying off at 15:20. The female remains on the ledge and the male returns at 16:15. She goes into the box and although it is dark, there is calling and posturing. She makes a scrape before returning to the ledge at 16:30. He hides behind the central column and flying off at 16:30. The female leaves at 17:00. There is no further activity today.

10 December – the male arrives at 7:05, flying off at 7:50. He returns at 8:35, walks into the box calling and then onto the ledge, takes a short flight 5 minutes later and leaves at 8:50. He is back again at 9:10, remaining for 10 minutes. At 9:45, he arrives and goes into the box calling before moving to the platform and ledge, remaining until 10:00. He is back 20 minutes later for 5 minutes. The female arrives at 10:50 with a very full crop – it looks like a party balloon! The male arrives at 11:35 and they go into the box. There is calling and posturing and the male moves to the ledge. When the female decides to join him on the opposite side, he flies off. She remains on the ledge and he rejoins her at 12:25. There is more calling and he goes into the box. After a few minutes she displaces him and he sits on the ledge but she soon joins him there but flies off after 5 minutes. He is back at 13:25 and goes into the box where he remains for 10 minutes before being replaced by the female – he moves to the ledge. She joins him 5 minutes later but he only remains for a further 5 minutes. He returns at 14:45 and she goes into the box where there is more calling and posturing. Eventually they return to the ledges where they remain until he flies off at 15:00. The female’s crop still looks full and at 16:00 she falls asleep. She remains on the ledge, sleeping most of the time, until midnight at least.

9 December – the male arrives at 7:25 but leaves at 7:50. He is back at 8:10 and the female flies in at 8:35. She goes into the box and there is a lot of calling. He sits on the ledge looking out over the city. After 5 minutes she joins him on the opposite ledge. At 8:50 she flies off and he swaps ledges. He takes a short flight at 9:20 and leaves at 11:00. The female arrives at 11:35 calling. She settles on the ledge until 12:25 when she flies off to be replaced by the male. He leaves at 12:40 returning at 14:15 where he remains for 2 hours before flying off. There is no further activity today.

8 December – the female wakens up at 00:20 has a preen and flies off at 00:40. Both adults arrive at 7:35. The females goes into the box before moving to the ledge forcing the male to take off but is quickly followed by the female. They arrive together at 8:50 and the female goes into the box. When she moves to the ledge the male leaves. She picks up a scrap of left-over prey and starts to eat it but it doesn’t last long. She leaves at 10:10 and is replaced by the male. He also finds a few scraps of prey. He then sits on the ledge until 11:15 when he leaves, returning 10 minutes later. He is off again at 11:40 and is back at 12:20 remaining until 12:45. The female returns at 13:25 and settles on the ledge until 15:55. There is no further activity today.

7 December – the male arrives at 4:40. He leaves at 6:35, returning 15 minutes later. At 7:25 he moves onto the platform and picks up a few scraps of prey remains which he starts to eat before moving back to the ledge. He takes a short flight at 7:50 before leaving at 8:00. Both adults arrive at 8:25 and sit on opposite ledges but the male flies off after a few minutes. The female leaves at 9:30 with the male returning 5 minutes later remaining until 9:50. The female is back at 13:35 but only stays for 5 minutes. She is back with prey at 19:40 which she plucks and eats. She finishes eating at 20:05 and sits on the ledge and falls asleep at 22:20 remaining on the ledge until midnight at least.

6 December – the male arrives at 7:05 but flies off at 7:10. He returns calling at 7:30 and is immediately followed by the female. There is calling, posturing and a quick run around the box before they settle down on opposite ledges. At 7:45 they fly off together calling – usually a sign that they are chasing an intruder out of their territory. The female is back at 8:35 and joined by the male 5 minutes later. However, is off off again at 8:50 and the female at 8:55, this time without calling. The female is first back at 9:20 with a full crop, followed closely by the male who sits on the opposite ledge. At 9:35 he leaves but is back after a few minutes. On his return there is calling and posturing and another run around the box before settling back on the ledge. The male is off again at 10:05 and back after 10 minutes. He is away again at 10:40 returning an hour later but leaving after just 10 minutes. At 12:20 the female departs and the male is back 5 minutes later but is off after a further 5 minutes. He returns at 14:20 and at 14:40 flies off to meet the female returning with a large pigeon as prey. She mantles the prey as the male is sitting on the ledge. She plucks the pigeon and as the male approaches she flicks her wings and he takes flight but is back a few moments later. He sits watching her with the prey. At 15:05 they both leave, the female carrying the prey. The male is back at 15:45 but only stays a few minutes. There is no further activity today.

5 December – the male arrives at 6:45 but is off at 7:15 returning at 7:55, only to leave in haste 5 minutes later. The female arrives at 8:15, leaving after 30 minutes. The male is back at 9:10 and starts to move around some stones on the platform. Initially I thought tidying the stones but looking closer, he was actually swallowing the stones – this helps with the falcons’ digestion. He flies off at 10:35. The female lands at 10:50 and she too swallows some stones before sitting on the ledge. The male joins her on the opposite ledge at 11:15, flying off at 11:35 with the female departing 10 minutes later. She is back at 14:55 remaining until 15:35, the last activity of the day.

Video: 5 December – the male is seen to be swallowing stones, presumably to aid digestion. The female was also noted doing the same thing a little later in the day.

4 December – the male arrives at 6:25, flies off at 6:45 but returns immediately with the female. They sit on opposite ledges until the male goes into the box at 7:05. He returns to the ledge 10 minutes later before flying off at 7:30. He is back on the ledge at 8:15. The female flies off at 8:55 returning at 9:25. Both birds leave at 9:50, the male returning almost immediately and going into the box then back on the ledge 5 minutes later. He is looking intently out over the city and flies off at 10:20. He is back at 11:45 and is followed by the juvenile (PFC) but the adult leaves after just a few minutes and the juvenile a few minutes later. The pair arrive back at 14:15 but the female leaves almost immediately but is soon back. The male goes into the box and she flies off again at 14:20 and the male moves to the ledge, leaving 20 minutes later. She is back at 15:05 and leaves 15 minutes later. The male returns at 15:50 but has gone 10 minutes later. There is no further activity.

3 December – the female arrives at 6:40 but leaves soon after. The male lands 10 minutes later and is joined by the female at 7:15 with a full crop. The male takes a short flight but is soon back although leaves again at 7:35. He is back at 8:00 and they sit on opposite ledges. He flies off at 10:20 and the female leaves 10 minutes later. He is back at 11:35 and is soon joined by the female but they both depart quickly. He is back after 5 minutes and is soon joined by the female but he is off again at 11:45 and she leaves at 12:40. The female is back at 13:00 and goes into the box for a few moments then settles on the ledge. She flies off at 13:50. The male lands briefly at 14:15 but returns a few minutes later. He makes two more short flight before leaving at 14:20. There is no further activity today.

2 December – the male arrives at 6:20 and is joined by the female at 7:25 with a full crop. He leaves 5 minutes later. He is back at 7:55 but both birds leave at 8:05. He returns after a few minutes but is off again at 8:15. He is back at 8:35 and takes a short flight at 9:10. He flies off at 9:50 returning 10 minutes later. He is joined by the female at 10:20 but he leaves almost immediately. He flies in at 11:00 but leaves after five minutes returning again at 11:15. At 11:30 the female goes into the box calling and after a few moments both birds take flight, the female knocking the male out of the way as she takes off. He is back a few moments later and is quickly joined by the female. There is calling and posturing and she then moves to the ledge and he flies off. He returns at 12:40 and they sit on opposite ledges. At 13:45 he takes a short flight and again at 14:35. He leaves at 16:15 whilst she remains until 18:30.

1 December – the female arrives with a full crop at 8:25, obviously the meal from the previous nights’ catch. She sits on the ledge until 10:25 when she flies off returning a few minutes later with the male. There is calling and posturing for a few minutes. She then settles on the ledge and he on the platform. At 10:55 she goes into the box, the male moving to the ledge. The female soon sits on the opposite ledge. They remain there until 13:10 when the male leaves. The female departs at 14:00 but is soon back along with the male. They go into the box calling for a few minutes before the female settles on the ledge. The male moves to the opposite ledge at 14:45 but flies off 10 minutes later. He is back at 15:00. The female leaves 25 minutes later and the male looks out over the city. She is back a few minutes later. She is off again at 16:05 and the male watches her and flies off himself a few minutes later. Both birds are soon back but the female is quickly off again. The male moves to the ledge at 16:40 before flying off at 18:00. There is no further activity this evening.

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