OCTOBER 2018

31 October – The female arrives with prey at 00:30 followed by the juvenile. The female leaves and the juvenile eats the prey, a Woodcock. He finishes plucking and feeding at 3:00 when he sits on the ledge. The female arrives at 5:50 and the juvenile calls loudly. She leaves at 6:15. The juvenile returns to the, still substantial, remains of the Woodcock at 6:50 picking slowly at it. The male arrives at 7:00 and goes into the box calling. At 7:10 both birds suddenly leave the site with the juvenile returning quickly calling. The male arrives a few moments later with an item of prey. He leaves with his prey at 7:20. The juvenile remains on the ledge. The male returns with his meal 5 minutes later but leaves with it again after another 5 minutes. He is back with a full crop at 8:15 but leaves after a few moments. At 9:15 the female arrives and despite having a full crop of her own started to eat the remains of the Woodcock. After 10 minutes she stashes what is left behind a column. The juvenile leaves at 10:35. The female remains on the ledge and is joined by the male at 13:10. He goes into the box and there is calling and posturing until he leaves at 13:30. The male is back at 16:15 and the female goes into the box. He is immediately replaced by the juvenile that then leaves when the female returns to the ledge. The juvenile is back on the opposite ledge a few moments later calling at the female. The juvenile then spies the stashed prey from earlier in the day and starts to eat it. He finishes eating at 16:35. Both the female and juvenile fly off at 16:55. There is no further activity this evening.

30 October – The male arrives at 6:30 and sits on the platform looking out. He takes a short flight 5 minutes later returning and going into the box. He remains until 6:50. Returning at 9:05 he bounces into the box calling but leaves after just a few minutes. The male is back at 14:10 and is immediately followed by the female who goes into the box. He also goes into the box and there is calling and postering. After a few minutes the male goes onto the platform and they then change places with the female sitting on the ledge. The male sits in the box behind the central columns until the female flies off at 14:20 and he goes to the ledge and follows returning after a few moments. He takes another short flight at 14:35 and again 5 minutes later. He sits on the platform until 15:10 when he flies off. He is back at 16:35 for 10 minutes. There is no further action today.

29 October – The male arrives at 7:25 and sits on the ledge leaving 5 minutes later. He returns at 12:05 on the platform looking over the city calling. After a few minutes he goes into the box still calling before flying off at 12:10. He returns at 13:35 and again goes into the box calling. After a few minutes he walks onto the platform and looks out over the city. He flies off at 13:45 returning at 14:40 but leaves after a few minutes. He is back again at 16:00 and goes into the box before flying off 30 minutes later only to return after a few minutes. He goes into the box and remains there until 17:00 when he flies off. He is back 20 minutes later and sits on the ledge taking a brief flight at 17:30 returning to the ledge until 17:50 when he leaves. There is no further activity today.

During the day there were 2 birds noted on the Cathedral spire, the male and the juvenile. In addition, a ringed adult male of unknown origin (possibly a falconers bird) was seen on the chimney of the Abbey Pumping Station on Corporation Road some 2.4km from the cathedral. Could this be the intruding male that has been recorded over the last couple of months?

Photo 29 October: This ringed male bird was seen on the chimney of Abbey Pumping Station – note the very thin ring on the right leg not a standard size for British or European ringing organisations. Possibly an escaped falconer’s bird.

28 October – The male arrives at 3:30 and enters the box calling before moving to the ledge and flying off after a few minutes. He is back at 5:25 sitting on the ledge looking out over the city in the darkness. It is extremely windy. At 7:40 he goes into the box calling returning to the ledge a few moments later and flying off at 7:55. He is back at 9:20 and enters the box before leaving at 10:05. At 14:00 he returns with an item of prey (Jack Snipe!) and proceeds to pluck and eat it. He has finished in 10 minutes and flies off. There is no further activity today.

Photo 28 October: The male bring in prey that looks to be a Jack Snipe.

27 October – The male arrives at 3:00 but leaves after just a few minutes. He is back on the ledge at 6:45 and moves into the box at 7:15 moving back onto the ledge a few minutes later calling occasionally. At 7:35 the juvenile arrives and the adult male leaves. The juvenile pecks at the stones looking for scraps from the previous prey items. After 10 minutes he sits on the ledge looking out. At 8:00 the adult male arrives and the juvenile runs at him calling. The adult leaves immediately. The juvenile leaves at 8:15 and the adult male returns at 8:25. He too picks at some of the scraps before settling down onto the ledge leaving at 9:10. He is back 30 minutes later and initially goes into the box calling before sitting on the ledge. He flies off at 10:00 returning 20 minutes later. He takes a short flight 5 minutes later but returns to the box calling then moves to the platform. At 10:30 the juvenile arrives calling loudly at the male who flies off. The juvenile leaves a few minutes later. The adult male is back at 10:55, makes another short flight then enters the box but flies off at 11:05 only to return 10 minutes later. He is off again at 11:35 returning at 11:45 going into the box initially but leaving 5 minutes later. He is back at 12:15 but leaves a few minutes later and again at 12:50 but does not stay. There is no further activity until 23:10 when the male arrives on the ledge – he leaves after 10 minutes.

26 October – The male remains on the ledge from the previous evening until 1:20 when he flies off.    He is back at 3:00 and takes a short flight at 3:10. He sits on the ledge sleeping until he took a short flight at 6:25 returning to the ledge. Another flight at 7:00 and back. Are these early morning hunting attempts? He is off again at 7:15. He is back at 9:25 with a full crop and sits on the ledge until the female arrives with a pigeon at 12:15 quickly followed by the juvenile who snatches they prey from her. She flies off as the juvenile attempts to pluck the prey. The juvenile is more sustained in plucking today  The female arrives at 12:40 and tries to help the juvenile who has yet to get to the flesh but he runs into the box with the prey screaming He mantles the prey but the female is too strong an takes it from him. During this event, the adult male makes a brief appearance but does not linger! There is a short tug-of-war but the female wins out and starts plucking and eating the pigeon. The juvenile finds the discarded head and starts to eat that. This quietens him a little. The juvenile then goes to the female who picks pieces from the pigeon and feeds him with it. At 12:55 the female turns her back on the juvenile and continues feeding. He sits on the ledge watching. At 13:05 the juvenile is still hungry and returns to the bit of the pigeons head that was remaining. He then walks over to the female who allows him to take the remains of the pigeon. He feeds on this as she sits on the ledge. At 13:30 he has had his fill and sits on the ledge opposite the female with the remains of the pigeon on the platform. The crops of both birds are full. The female flies off at 14:15 quickly followed by the juvenile. However, she is soon back and is calling over the pigeon but leaves after a few minutes. She is replaced by the male who is also fully cropped so ignores the food. He does however spy a remnant of the pigeon head and cannot resist finishing it off before flying. The female is back at 17:15 and despite still having a good crop, starts eating the pigeon remains. She stashes a little portion by one of the columns at 17:35. The male joins her at 17:45 and goes into the box calling. She takes over in the box and with a sneaky move he goes on the platform and snatches the stash from the column. He starts to eat it but when the female sits on the ledge he flies off with the remains. She leaves at 18:10. There is no more activity this evening.

Video 26 October: The juvenile (PCF) has not managed to get to the meat of the prey. The female arrives and takes it from him and opens it up whilst he sits on the ledge. 

Eventually…………

Video 26 October: The juvenile gets fed by the female. 

25 October – The male arrives at 7:25 and sits looking out over the city. He leaves at 7:50 returning 20 minutes later. He takes short flight at 8:20. He is off again at 9:00 returning 45 minutes later but leaves after 5 minutes. At 10:55 the juvenile arrives but only remains for 5 minutes. The male is back at 11:15 and walks into the box calling. He is back on the ledge after a few minutes leaving at 11:35. At 11:40 the female arrives with a prey item (Redwing) and is immediately followed by the juvenile who snatches the meal from her. She departs quickly. The adult male arrives calling but the juvenile mantles the prey and the adult leaves. The juvenile appears to have trouble plucking the prey, loses interest and after 5 minutes flies off without his meal. Does this indicate the juvenile, who is now showing no signs of his previous foot injury, is still reliant on the parents to catch and pluck his food? The male is back at 12:15 and looks at the prey left by the juvenile. He stares at it for a few moments then plucks and eats it. Half an hour later there is nothing left. He sits on the ledge until 14:10 when he flies off. He returns at 14:50 but leaves as the juvenile arrives at 15:00 looking for the meal it left behind. He picks at the few scraps left by the male then sits on the ledge looking out over the city before flying off at 15:15. The male returns at 22:05 when he sits on the ledge preening until 22:35 when he flies off pursued by what looks like the female. He is back a few minutes later remaining on the ledge until midnight at least.

Video 25 October: The juvenile (PCF) snatches a Redwing from the female but loses interest and flies off after a few minutes.

24 October – The male arrives at 7:35 but leaves 5 minutes later. He returns at 8:45 and sits on the platform moving to the ledge at 9:00 flying off 5 minutes later. He is back at 9:35 and leaves at 9:55.  During the Peregrine Watch from 9:30 through to 13:30, the pair were seen regularly on the Cathedral and the juvenile was in attendance on a number of occasions. When the male took off at 9:55 heading north he was immediately followed by the female and juvenile. The male is back on the ledge at 12:20 leaving after 25 minutes. The female lands at 13:25 and calls loudly taking off after just a few minutes. The male returns at 14:10 and is joined by the female at 14:30. She goes into the box whilst he stands on the platform and there is calling and posturing. When she changed sides, he runs into the box and ‘hides’ behind the central column but leaves soon after. At 15:00 the juvenile arrives and calls loudly to the female. She leaves a few minutes later and is pursued by the juvenile. The male is on the platform calling at 16:20 moving to the ledge after 5 minutes. He flies off at 17:35 on the arrival of the juvenile that then immediately follows him. There is no further activity today.

Photo 24 October: The juvenile (PCF) on a cross on the spire at Leicester Cathedral.

Photo 24 October: The male (left) and the female on the crosses of the spire at Leicester Cathedral.

23 October – The male arrives at 7:25 sits on the ledge before going into the box 10 minutes later. He jumps out of the box at 7:45 and is immediately replaced by the female. He then joins the female and there is calling and posturing. After a few minutes the male goes into the box calling whilst the female is on the platform picking up scraps between the stones. After 5 minutes she settles on the ledge and the male flies off but returns a few moments later only to leave again soon after. He is back at 8:20 but leaves after a few minutes. The male returns at 10:00 and goes into the box calling occasionally. At 10:25 there is a loud noise that catches the attention of both birds. The male flies off but the female remains on the ledge. At 12:00 she walks into the box picking at stones en route and makes a small scrape before returning to the ledge. She remains until 14:25 when she flies off. The male is back at 16:00, he walks into the box calling occasionally. He leaves 15 minutes later. He returns at 17:35 and bounces into the box calling loudly. He departs at 18:00. There is no further activity this evening.

22 October – The female arrives at 5:10 with a large item of prey which she starts to pluck but after a few minutes just stands with it in her gallons and her eyes closed, presumably sleeping. It is not until 6:30 when the light is better that she wakens and continues plucking. She stops plucking at 7:15 but does not appear to be eating. She stands on the platform overlooking the city but does not appear to be calling. At 7:20 she recommences plucking and 5 minutes later flies off with the prey. She is back at 9:45 without the prey and sits on the ledge. She moves along the ledge following the sun for as long as possible. She eventually flies off at 13:20. The is no other activity today.

21 October – The male arrives at 7:15 and stands on the platform looking out over the city. He takes a short flight at 7:25 returning to the ledge. He takes off again at 7:30. He is back again at 8:25 followed closely by the juvenile (PCF). The male has a full crop and is chased around the box by the juvenile. There are lots of calling between the two until the male flies off followed by the juvenile. The male returns at 8:45. At 10:50 he stands on the platform calling before returning to the ledge. The female arrives on the ledge at 12:20 and the male enters the box but after a few minutes he flies off. He is back a few minutes later and sits on the ledge. At 12:50 the male walks onto the platform calls loudly then flies off. He is back within a few minutes and settles onto the ledge. Another short flight at 13:20 he returns to the platform but is off again at 13:45. He is back again at 17:50 and goes into the box, the female still sitting on the ledge. There is quiet calling and posturing between the two and the female moves to the opposite ledge. At 18:15 they exchange places and the male flies off. The female returns to the ledge where she remains until 19:20 when she flies off. There is no further activity this evening.

Video 21 October: The male arrives followed closely by the juvenile that chases him around the box begging for food.

20 October – The male arrives at 6:55 and sits on the platform looking out over the city. The female arrives 5 minutes later and goes into the box. There is calling and posturing. She leaves at 7:05 and he remains on the platform before flying off at 7:15. The female is back at 8:05 calling then sits on the ledge, flying off 30 minutes later. The male returns at 9:30 but is off hunting returning a few minutes later with a small, unusual looking, item of prey. It doesn’t take long to finish. He flies off at 10:35. The female is back at 12:10 sitting on the ledge until 14:30. There is no further action until the male arrives briefly at 18:20 leaving a few minutes later.

19 October – We managed to get the cameras up and running again today. As soon as they were switched on at 13:00 the male was seen to be on the platform. He flew off 30 minutes later. At 13:50 the male was back followed closely by the female. They both enter the box and there is posturing and calling. After 5 minutes the female goes to the ledge whilst the male remains in the box but flies off after another 5 minutes. The female departs at 16:00. The male returns at 17:10 taking a short flight at 17:20 and leaves a few minutes later. There is no further activity today.

3 October to 18 October – Unfortunately, the camera was not working during this period.

2 October – The male arrives at 7:15 and sits on the ledge. He finds a few scraps and feeds on them but leaves at the arrival of the female at 7:40. He is back a few minutes later and she goes into the box. There is calling and posturing and they change positions before he flies off at 7:50. The female follows 5 minutes later. The male returns at 8:20 and sits on the platform looking over the city flying off at 9:15. He is back again at 9:30 calling loudly and the incoming juvenile (PCF) displaces him but immediately chases after him. The male returns at 10:05 and goes into the box before walking out onto the platform and then the ledge. He flies off after 20 minutes but returns almost immediately. He is off again at 11:25 but back at 11:30, has a short flight at 12:40, another 10 minutes later and again at 13:40. The female arrives at 13:50 and chases him into and then out of the box and he flies off. She makes a scrape or two and then goes to the ledge but flies off at 14:00. There is no further activity today.

1 October – The female was on the ledge from the previous evening and was still there when the male arrived at 6:45. She went into the box but he soon flew off and she returned to the ledge leaving at 7:45. She is back at 11:25 and pick up a scrap of prey that was lying around. Her crop is already full and she sits on the ledge until 14:40 when she flies off only to return immediately. She goes into the box at 15:50 when the male arrives on the ledge. There is calling and posturing. He finishes off a few scraps of prey that were around then flies off. She makes a couple of scrapes and returns to the ledge at 16:00. She is still on the ledge when it turns dark and she falls asleep. She wakens at 212:30 and something catches her eye from above. She flaps around on the platform for a few minutes before flying off at 21:35. There is no further activity this evening.

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