As there is now a new female in situ and the daily courtship process continues, each day is following the same routine. There is little chance of any successful breeding this year and I will therefore be scaling down the extent of this daily commentary. I will still be downloading and reviewing the videos and be reassured, if there is anything of interest or note, I will make sure it appears here.
30 June – UPDATE: throughout the month both birds were regularly in the box and continued the bonding process. This became less intense towards the end of the month as they became more comfortable with each other’s presence.
23 June – UPDATE: at 4:35 on the 23rd, the male walks from the box towards the platform. On his way he kicks the empty egg over the edge. This leaves two untouched eggs still in the box and one crushed egg by the right-hand column.
22 June – UPDATE: for regular followers, you may have noticed that two of the eggs have ‘disappeared’. Finally, after almost eight weeks since taking over the box, the new female has started to take control. On the 18th at 18:35, she makes a break in one of the eggs. Over the next 24 hours she stands on the egg and nibbles at the shell. Then on the 20th at 8:30, she stands on the egg making a larger hole before removing it to the platform. Later in the day, at 20:45 after some bonding with the male, she breaks into another egg on the right-hand side of the box and carries it to the platform. She drops it by the original egg which she then picks up and carries to the left-hand column where she stashes it. On the 21st at 8:05, after more bonding with the male, she walks from the box to the platform where she picks up the egg and takes it to the ledge. holding it in her talon, she picks at the contents and a small bundle of feather are removed which she drops over the edge. She then picks up the egg and carries it to the right-hand column where she stashes it. At 2:45 on the 22nd, the male arrives and walks over to the egg stashed by the left-hand column. He picks at it for a few moments before settling on the ledge.
Breaking News 4 June: during April, there had been increasing activity from the resident pair that indicated that an intruding Peregrine was in the area. A passing intruder was caught on the webcam on the 26th and reviewing the videos, it now appears this bird took over the nest site on the morning of the 27th. The fight that ensued later that morning was of the intruding female defending the nest site against the resident bird who had already received a blood-stained injury to the chest, no doubt from a fight earlier in the morning away from the cameras. We therefore have a new female in residence. The male could not intervene as he is much too small and could have been fatally injured. He will readily accept a new partner to allow his genes to continue. All the activity between the male and female since the 27th has been a new period of courtship. It may well be that the new female is a relatively young adult and inexperienced as the male has been more dominant than noticed previously. It seems unlikely that they will have any new viable eggs this late in the season. And so, a new chapter begins at Leicester Cathedral. Full story can be read here: Breaking News