Daily Commentary

Here is a diary of the Leicester Peregrines activities. If you have any questions or comments, please contact: Jim Graham: jsgraham83@aol.com

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MAY 2022

17 May – the male arrives at 4:45 and the female flies out. He stands over the chicks but does not fully cover them. The female returns at 5:10 and walks to the ledge an hour later, probably looking for the first feed of the day. Nothing is forthcoming so she checks on the chicks then flies out. She is back a few moments later with some scraps and feeds the young. She takes it away after ten minutes and returns to cover the young at 6:40. The male brings more food in at 7:00 then leaves. She feeds the young for ten minutes then takes the remains away. She is back a few moments later but then flies out again. She returns at 7:15 carrying very fresh Feral Pigeon prey, then flies off with it. She is back briefly at 7:35 with her meal now fully plucked. She returns at 7:50 and covers the chicks. The male is back at 9:35 with more food and she feeds them for ten minutes then flies out. The male flies in and stands over the chicks, sheltering them. He gives way to the female at 10:15. At 11:10, she sees something in the skies and flies out. The male arrives five minutes later and covers the eggs until the female returns at 11:25. He brings in a small meal at 11:45 and the female feeds it to the chicks. She then stands over them until 14:15 when she flies off. She is back with food five minutes later and feeds the chicks. She moves to the ledge ten minutes later and looks around, before returning to the chicks. The male is back at 15:15 with another meal which he gives to the female; he watches from the ledge. She flies off with the remains at 15:25 and he moves to stand over the chicks. He walks to the ledge and checks to see where the female is at 16:40 before returning to the chicks. He flies out briefly at 17:15, then returns to the scrape, but is off quickly a few moments later. The female lands at 17:30 but quickly leaves but is back five minutes later and covers the young. The female flies off again at 18:45 and she returns with another item of food a few moments later. She covers the young at 19:00. The male flies in with a meal 20 minutes later. The female takes it from him and feeds the chicks. She leaves with the remains at 19:25 and returns to settle down for the rest of the evening.

16 May – the female remains covering the chicks until 4:45 when the male arrives. She flies out and he stands over them. She is back ten minutes later to resume incubation and he flies off. He is back at 5:20 with a scrap of food that the female takes from him and feeds the chicks; he leaves. The female flies off with the remainder after 15 minutes and the male arrives ten minutes later to cover the young but he is quickly replaced by the female and he flies off. She flies out at 6:55 and returns at 7:05. She is off again at 8:40 returning five minutes later with more scraps. She feeds the young watched by the male who is now sitting on the ledge. She leaves with the remains after ten minutes. The male feeds on scraps left on the platform, then shelters the chicks at 9:05 but the female is back after a few minutes to take over. She walks to the ledge briefly at 10:55. The male flies in at 11:20 with another scrap which the female retrieves and feeds to the young. She leaves with the remains after ten minutes. The male arrives and sits down next to the young, then covers them. He remains until the female returns at 12:25. He flies out and she resumes incubation. He is back a few moments later with a small scrap that he presents to the female, and she feeds to the young; he flies off. She covers them after five minutes when they have finished eating. He is back with more food at 14:45 and the female accepts it and feeds the chicks; he sits on the ledge. She flies off at 14:55 and he sits beside the young, then incubates them at 15:10. The female replaces him at 15:25 and he leaves. She flies out at 16:50 and returns with more food ten minutes later. They have finished eating at 17:15 but she leaves the scraps close by and covers the young. The male arrives at 17:30 with yet more food and feeds the chicks again, the seventh feed of the day. She flies off with the remains after five minutes and the male flies in, but before he is able to cover the chicks, the female returns to continue incubation; he leaves. The female flies out at 18:05 and the male arrives at 18:15 with what looks like the remains of the previous meal and starts to feed the young. The female returns at 18:20, snatches the meal from him; he flies out and she takes over. She covers the chicks at 18:25 but leaves 30 minutes later. The young remain exposed and she eventually returns at 20:00 to resume incubation and continues through the night.

16 May 2022 – Video: the male takes his chance to feed the chicks.

11 May 2022 – Breaking News: despite all the issues with multiple intruders and the unfortunate loss of the resident male, the first egg hatched on 9 May; a second egg hatched two days later – Miracles do happen!

9 May 2022 – Video: the briefest of glimpses of the first chick to hatch.
9 May 2022 – Video: the male’s first sight of the chick and first incubation.

8 May – the female flies out when the male arrives at 4:20. The female resumes at 5:45. The male is back at 7:35 and sits on the platform for a few minutes but the female remains on the eggs. She leaves at 10:30 and the male takes over for 25 minutes. there is another swap at 10:55 and again at 11:35. He remains on the eggs until 15:30 when the female eventually returns. The male arrives at 19:20 with a piece of scrap food that he presents to the female. She leaves with her meal a few minutes later and the male covers the eggs. She is back at 19:35 to resume and continues for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 18h:00m; Male 06h:00m; Total 24h:00m.

7 May – the male arrives at 4:45 and the female flies out. He leaves quickly at 6:45 but is soon back. The female returns at 7:50 to take over. She leaves in a rush at 9:05 and the male takes over for ten minutes. There is another changeover at 11:40. She lands briefly at 12:15 carrying stashed prey but the male remains on the eggs. He leaves when she returns at 13:10. Something takes her attention, and she is off at 15:55. The male arrives on the platform and watches her for five minutes then covers the eggs. She is back at 16:25 but the male is reluctant to give up incubation, so she sits in the box for a few minutes. As she approaches, he leaves at 16:30. She sits tight on the eggs for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 18h:40m; Male 05h:10m; Total 23h:50m.

6 May – the male arrives at 4:20 to take over incubation and the female leaves. She is back at 6:40 and takes over. There is another changeover at 8:10. The female is back to resume at 11:00 and he returns at 13:05. She is back again at 14:50 to take over; the male leaves. He is back briefly at 17:15 but the female sits tight. She flies out quickly at 18:10 returning five minutes later. She remains on the eggs for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:00m; Male 06h:55m; Total 23h:55m.

5 May – the male flies in with remnants of stashed prey at 4:55. He flies off with them and the female follows. He returns quickly to cover the eggs. The female is back at 6:50 and replaces the male. She is off at 7:40 and he takes over. The female lands briefly at 7:55 with very fresh Feral Pigeon prey. The male remains on the eggs; she flies off. She returns to take over at 10:15. There is another changeover at 12:50 and the female resumes again at 15:30 remaining on the eggs until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 16h:50m; Male 07h:05m; Total 23h:55m.

4 May – the male arrives at 5:05 to take over incubation. The female is back at 7:15 to resume and he flies out. She leaves in a rush at 11:50 but is back ten minutes later. The male flies in at 12:10 and replaces the female on the eggs. He sees something in the skies at 13:25 and flies out. The female resumes incubation five minutes later. The male returns to replace her at 15:00 but takes a short flight five minutes later. The female lands at 16:25 and they leave together; the male is back on the eggs a few minutes later but is replaced by the female at 16:35. The male pays a quick visit at 18:40 but the female remains tight on the eggs. Something disturbs her at 19:05 and she flies out; the male takes over five minutes later. They swap at 19:35 and the female remains for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 18h:15m; Male 05h:25m; Total 23h:40m.

3 May – the male takes over incubation at 3:50. The female returns to resume at 6:40 and at 10:50 she takes a quick flight but is soon on the eggs. The male is back at 11:20 to take up his duties. He flies out at 13:55 when she arrives with partially-eaten Feral Pigeon prey but does not feed until he has left. She stashes it, then covers the eggs. She flies out quickly 25 minutes later but is soon back. The male arrives at 16:00 to replace the female. She returns at 16:45 and picks up the stashed pigeon from earlier in the day. The male flies off and she feeds. She returns to the eggs after feeding for ten minutes. The male is back calling at 20:10 and the female collects her stashed meal and flies off; he covers the eggs. She returns at 20:45 to incubate for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:00m; Male 06h:45m; Total 23h:45m.

2 May – the male flies in at 4:15 and takes over incubation. He flies out in a hurry an hour later. She covers the eggs at 5:20 but leaves quickly at 5:50 so the male takes over. She returns at 7:05 to resume incubation. An hour later, she flies out in a rush, returns a few minutes later but is quickly off again. The male arrives at 8:15 to cover the eggs until 9:00 when the female returns. She rushes off again at 10:15 and the male flies in ten minutes later to cover the eggs. She is back at 10:40 to resume and he leaves. She rushes off at 13:25, returning ten minutes later and away again at 14:10. The male covers the eggs five minutes later. He flies out at 15:10 but returns quickly to the eggs. He rushes to the edge at 16:15 and flies off. He lands a few moments later, then leaves soon after. The female returns at 16:20 carrying the remains of a meal. She tries to stash it by a column before flying off with it. The male is back on the eggs at 16:25 but is replaced by the female ten minutes later. She remains incubating for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:45m; Male 05h:25m; Total 23h:10m.

1 May – the female is alert and watching the skies from 3:45. The male arrives at 4:40 and takes over incubation. There is a changeover at 5:35. He returns at 6:10 but she sits tight so he flies off; she falls asleep. She takes a short flight at 6:50 but is quickly back on the eggs. The male is back at 7:45 and the female flies out. She returns at 9:55 carrying the scraps of a recent meal; he leaves. She feeds on it for a few minutes, then flies off with it, and is back at 10:00. She leaves briefly at 12:20 and he lands briefly at 12:40. He returns at 15:35 to relieve the female. He flies off when she returns at 16:05 carrying the remains of a previous meal. She feeds on it then flies off. He returns to cover the eggs at 16:15. The female flies in a few moments later, sees NM on the eggs and leaves him to incubate. She takes over at 16:50. He lands briefly at 18:20 and she remains on the eggs until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 18h:30m; Male 05h:10m; Total 23h:40m.

APRIL 2022 – NM = New Male

30 April – NM arrives at 5:00 to take over incubation. The female returns at 8:00 to resume until 11:20 when she flies out and NM takes over. The female is back again at 12:10 but leaves in a rush at 12:50. She is back a few moments later to continue but leaves quickly at 14:00; NM covers the eggs 30 minutes later. The female is back at 17:20 and NM flies out. She is off again at 18:50 and NM takes over for just five minutes when she returns for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 16h:45m; Male 06h:45m; Total 23h:30m.

29 April – NM flies in at 5:25 and takes over incubation; he falls asleep. The female returns at 7:20 and he leaves. She flies off at pace at 7:45 and he covers the eggs for a few minutes before she returns to resume duties. She flies off quickly at 10:20 and NM takes over. She is back at 12:55 and he leaves. NM returns at 15:35 and the female flies out. He remains on the eggs until 16:40 when the female returns. She sits tight until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 18h:20m; Male 05h:40m; Total 24h:00m.

28 April – the female sits tight until 4:50 when NM flies in to take over. He leaves at 7:20 and the female resumes incubation. The male returns at 9:40; over the weeks he has perfected the ability to cover four eggs – will it be too late? He falls asleep until another change-over two hours later. He is back at 14:40 and NM has another session. He flies off at 17:20 and the female returns five minutes later carrying part-eaten Feral Pigeon. She feeds on it for a few minutes then tries to stash the remains but flies out with it. She is quickly back on the eggs and settles down for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 15h:55m; Male 08h:00m; Total 23h:45m.

27 April – the female remains tight on the eggs until 5:10 when NM takes over. He flies out at 6:55 and she returns with a full crop to resume incubation. She leaves at 9:30 but is back five minutes later. NM returns at 10:50 and the female flies out. He settles on the eggs until 12:40 when he leaves in a rush, returning five minutes later. He is replaced by the female at 14:25. NM is back at 19:05 to relieve the female who then returns at 20:10 and settles down for the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:30m; Male 06h:20m; Total 23h:50m.

25 April – NM lands on the ledge at 1:40 then moves to the platform at 2:00 and is back on the ledge an hour later until 3:50; the female sits tight on the eggs. At 5:15, there is the first change-over of the day. NM flies out quickly 20 minutes later but is soon back incubating. He flies out at 6:30 and the female returns to take over. She remains until 9:40 when she flies out and is replace by NM. The female returns carrying the scraps of a previous meal at 13:55 and NM leaves. She stashes the scraps, then resumes incubation. NM is back at 16:45 and the female thinks he is going to steal her stash, so she grabs it and flies off; he incubates the eggs. The is another switch at 17:20. NM is on the ledge at 19:55 and the female flies off and he follows. She is back five minutes later and remains until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 18h:45m; Male 05h:05m; Total 23h:50m.

24 April – NM arrives at 4:05 and checks on the female five minutes later. He walks into the box at 4:25 but she refuses to relinquish incubation, so he sits on the ledge. At 4:50, he walks into the box again but still she sits tight. He has another go at 5:10, calling to the female and she leaves for him to take over. She is back at 6:40 to resume; he flies off. The female leaves at speed at 10:20, returning ten minutes later. She is soon joined by NM and their posture and actions would suggest intruder activity. They leave together and she is back on the eggs at 10:35. She flies off briefly an hour later. A Woodpigeon lands on the ledge and narrowly escapes the clutches of the arriving male. He leaves quickly. She takes another short flight at 11:45, but is soon back on the eggs. The male takes over at 12:40 and at 13:55 he takes a short flight, then returns to the scrape. The female replaces him at 15:20. NM lands briefly at 18:35. The female flies out at 19:20 and NM arrives a few moments later carrying part-eaten Feral Pigeon. She returns to take the meal from him and he moves to cover the eggs. She is back at 19:55 but NM remains on the eggs, and she flies off. She returns at 20:35 to resume incubation for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 18h:20m; Male 05h:15m; Total 23h:35m.

23 April – the female remains tight on the eggs through the winds until 3:45 when NM takes over. She returns at 7:35 for an immediate swap. NM lands briefly at 12:00, and is back 30 minutes later for another stint when the female leaves. A few minutes later he spies some scraps in the back of the box and feeds on them, then quickly returns to the eggs. He incubates until the female returns at 14:55. Two hours later, she leaves just before NM returns with fresh Feral Pigeon prey. He starts to pluck it but the female is soon back and snatches it from him. She flies off and he follows but is soon back to resume incubation. She returns at 17:35 to take over and remains for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:05m; Male 06h:45m; Total 23h:50m.

22 April – NM takes over incubation at 5:00. He leaves for five minutes at 6:40, then returns. The female resumes at 7:00. NM is back at 11:35 and replaces her. He goes to the platform at 12:25 as the female returns carrying the remnants of a previous meal which she stashes, then covers the eggs. She leaves at 13:55 but returns a few minutes later. NM takes over at 14:40 and leaves when the female returns at 17:25. She picks at the remnants stashed in the box and covers the eggs 20 minutes later, incubating the eggs until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 19h:55m; Male 03h:40m; Total 23h:35m.

21 April – NM arrives at 5:30 and takes over incubation. The female is back at 7:40 to resume and takes a short flight at 9:15. NM returns to relieve her at 11:55 but she returns just an hour later. She flies out for five minutes at 14:05. NM is back to take over at 14:35. He remains until the female flies in at 16:55; she remains on the eggs for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 19h:55m; Male 03h:40m; Total 23h:35m.

20 April – the female remains on the eggs until leaving quickly at 3:40 and is replaced by NM. The female doesn’t return to resume incubation until 7:55. She leaves quickly at 10:05 and returns 15 minutes later. NM is back to take over at 11:25 and the female leaves grabbing a small scrap on the way out. He leaves at 12:55 and the female resumes her duties until 13:35 when she leaves in a hurry; she is soon back. She leaves again at 15:05 and NM takes over. The next changeover is two hours later. NM lands at 18:30 and calls loudly but the female remains on the eggs; he flies off. He returns at 19:10 carrying the scraps of a previous meal. The female snatches it from him and flies off – he covers the eggs. She returns to resume at 19:45. He flies off and she incubates until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 15h:00m; Male 08h:40m; Total 23h:40m.

19 April – the female remains on the eggs until NM arrives to take over at 4:15. She returns with fresh Feral Pigeon prey at 6:20 but quickly leaves. He watches from the platform before returning to the scrape. He remains on the eggs until 7:05 when she returns looking well fed; he flies off. He is back at 8:35 but she soon returns and at 9:00 forces him from the eggs. He lands briefly at 10:10. Something catches her eye at 10:25 and she flies out. She is back on the eggs five minutes later and NM flies into the box, looks for scraps, then leaves. He is back to take over at 12:40 and flies out at 16:10. The female takes over and incubates for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 17h:10m; Male 06h:45m; Total 23h:55m.

18 April – NM arrives on the ledge at 00:05, remaining until 2:15 when he flies off. The female remains tight on the eggs until 5:30 when NM takes over. He flies out an hour later, she flies in and resumes incubation until 8:15 when the male flies in and takes over. He leaves at 10:45 and the female flies in for her shift. She is off at 12:15 but returns five minutes later. NM replaces her at 13:10. She is back 20 minutes later but NM is not sure if he wants to relinquish incubation. Sensibly, he gives up and the female takes over. She is off again at 14:45 but is soon back; possibly hunting forays. She is off again at 16:10, again returning immediately. NM arrives at 16:50 looking well fed and with the remains of a pigeon prey. The female snatches it from him and flies off; he covers the eggs. She returns at 18:45 and incubates the eggs whilst she watches a Woodpigeon looking for food and grit on the platform for 15 minutes! She remains incubating for the rest of the evening. Incubation Time: Female 18h:10m; Male 05h:45m; Total 23h:55m.

17 April – the female remains on the eggs until 4:40 when NM arrives to replace her. She is back at 7:05 and he flies off. He returns at 8:35 and she leaves. At 11:50, he picks up the stashed pigeon and flies off. The female returns at 12:00, stashes prey that she is carrying and resumes incubation. NM lands briefly at 12:15. The female walks to the ledge at 13:25, looks skywards and starts calling before flying off but returns quickly. She is off again at 13:40 and is replaced by NM but rather than cover the eggs, he starts to feed on the stashed pigeon. He has finished feeding at 14:15 and resumes incubation but leaves 15 minutes later. The female is back at 14:35 and NM replaces her at 15:35. He walks to the ledge at 18:05 and flies out and the female takes over five minutes later. She leaves at 18:25 but is back after five minutes. She walks to the platform and checks the sky quickly at 18:40 then returns to the eggs. She continues to incubate until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 14h:40m; Male 08h:25m; Total 23h:05m.

16 April – NM flies in at 3:55 and takes over incubation; the female flies out. He falls asleep and is awoken an hour later by the female returning with very fresh Feral Pigeon prey. The arrival catches him by surprise and he mantles the eggs protectively. He then walks to the ledge as she plucks and feeds on the platform. She flies off with her meal at 5:10 and he picks at scraps before resuming incubation five minutes later. The female is back at 5:25 to take over; he flies off. NM returns at 7:45 and the female leaves immediately. He covers the eggs and falls asleep. He wakens at 9:40 and flies out; the female returns to incubate. She leaves at 9:55 and NM flies in carrying another Feral Pigeon prey. He hasn’t quite despatched the pigeon and struggles to get it under control. He stumbles into the box and onto the eggs – hopefully they have not been damaged. As he plucks and feeds, the female returns at 10:15 and covers the eggs. He stashes the remains of his meal by a column at 10:40 and flies off. The female leaves at 11:10 and NM returns to the eggs. The female lands briefly ten minutes later and NM immediately follows her. She is back incubating at 11:30 until 12:10 when NM takes over. The female is back incubating at 14:40 and he flies off. She leaves in a rush at 15:15 and NM incubates. She is back on the eggs at 18:35 and remains on them until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 14h:05m; Male 09h:15m; Total 23h:20m. This is the longest NM has incubated in a day and the overall total would seem to suggest that there are fewer intruder incursions.

15 April – for the third successive day, the female remains on the eggs until 5:05 when NM arrives to take over. He flies off at 6:25 and is replaced by the female. He returns at 6:55 carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She flies off as he plucks it on the platform, then flies off with it ten minutes later. She is back at 7:10 until NM takes over at 9:35 and leaves at 13:25 – the longest he has been on the eggs. The female resumes incubation at 13:35 until 14:10 when she calls from the platform before returning to the eggs. She flies out at 15:40 and NM takes over until flying off at 17:00 when the female returns. NM takes over at 19:00 when the female flies out. He leaves 30 minutes later and is replaced by the female who remains on the eggs through the night. Incubation Time: Female 16h:25m; Male 07h:00m; Total 23h:25m.

14 April – the female remains on the eggs until 5:05 when the male flies in and takes over. He does his best but again only three of the four get covered until he notices 30 minutes later. The female is back at 6:30 and he leaves. She flies out at pace 20 minutes later but is back after five minutes. She is replaced by NM at 7:30. He is replaced by the female at 9:35 until she flies off at 10:10. The pair return at 10:25 and she resumes incubation; he leaves quickly. NM lands briefly at 11:20 and they fly off together, but she soon returns to the eggs. She is off again at 12:30 but is back a few minutes later. She flies out at 13:25 but is soon back until 13:50. NM lands five minutes later and covers the eggs, flying out at 14:50 when the female returns with fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She plucks and feeds then stashes the remains at 15:10 and continues incubation. She flies off at 16:20, returning five minutes later. NM lands briefly at 16:30 and she continues to incubate until 17:05. She is back a few minutes later and NM returns at 17:25 to feed on the stashed pigeon, then fly off with it. At 19:35, NM arrives with some part-eaten prey which the female accepts and flies off with; he leaves. She is back on the eggs 20 minutes later and remains on them until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 18h:05m; Male 04h:25m; Total 22h:30m.

13 April – the female remains on the eggs until 5:05 when she is replaced by NM. As usual, he does half the job and only incubates three of the eggs. He dozes until 6:15 when he flies off. The female is back five minutes later remaining until 7:50 when NM takes over. He is off an hour later and the female arrives with very fresh Feral Pigeon prey a few moments later. She plucks and feeds then flies off with the remains at 9:30, quickly returns to the eggs and takes a short flight at 9:45. NM is back calling at 10:35, he leaves in a rush and is followed by the female. NM is on the eggs ten minutes later but is forced off when the female is back at 10:55. She is off again at 12:30 and NM covers the eggs from 12:50 until the female returns at 13:25. She flies out at 16:45 and NM returns to the eggs. She returns briefly at 17:03 and flies off with scraps from the platform. NM flies off at 17:30 and the female resumes. He is back at 19:15 carrying stashed prey which the female takes from him and flies off; he follows. She is back at 19:35 and remains tight on the eggs until at least midnight. Incubation Time: Female 17h:40m; Male 04h:45m; Total 22h:25m.

12 April – NM flies in at 3:55 and calls to the female. She leaves and he sit on the ledge and falls asleep. She has not returned by 5:30 so he covers the eggs but flies off 15 minutes later. The female is back at 6:00 and picks at scraps on the platform, then resumes incubation at 6:05. At 6:30, NM arrives carrying very fresh Feral Pigeon prey which he gives to the female. She plucks and flies off with it ten minutes later and has obviously stashed it off site as she is quickly back on the eggs. She flies out at 8:50 just as NM arrives with the previous Feral Pigeon. She immediately returns to snatch it from him, and they fly off together. She is back on the eggs at 9:05. He returns at 11:40 and she flies out. He ‘incubates’ the eggs particularly badly with initially only one of the four actually covered. He gets his act together five minutes later and all eggs are covered until he goes walkabout at 13:20; this is his longest incubation stint so far. He flies off at 13:30 and the female returns five minutes later. She takes a short flight at 14:20 but is soon back on the eggs. She is off at speed at 15:20 for ten minutes, presumably to feed as there is blood and feathers on her break when she returns. She is off again at 17:30 and is replaced by the NM who incubates all the eggs. They swap again ten minutes later and she incubates until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 19h:15m; Male 02h:15m; Total 21h:30m.

11 April – the female sits tight on the eggs and NM is on the ledge until 2:25 when he flies off. He returns at 5:00 and she leaves. At 5:30 he takes the stashed Godwit and starts to pluck it. She is back at 5:55 and watches him pluck. She cannot wait any longer and at 6:05, she snatches the meal and starts to pluck; he flies off. She leaves with her meal five minutes later to cache it and she is soon back on her eggs until flying off at 6:50. NM lands and walks to the eggs and stands over them for a few minutes but then leaves in haste. She is quickly back and resumes incubation. He flies in with the head of the Godwit and sets in down in the box, then flies out. She leaves at 11:40 and NM flies into the box and goes to the scrape. He looks at the eggs and for the first time he tentatively covers them – his first incubation of eggs that he did not sire. He seems restless and leaves after five minutes. He is back at 12:00 and this time arranges the eggs and settles down on them for another five minutes. He then picks up the Godwit head and flies out with it. The female is back at 12:15 and resumes incubation. At 12:25, she spreads her wings in defence of her eggs, then flies out returning at 12:30. The female flies out at 13:35 and NM goes into the box. He immediately walks to the eggs and without hesitation, covers them, this time for ten minutes, before flying out. He returns at 14:00 and once again goes to the eggs, rearranges them and incubates for 20 minutes. the female is back at 14:35 with NM right behind her. She incubates and he watches for a few minutes before flying out. At 15:55, NM flies in and the female leaves. He covers the eggs but makes a bit of hash and only covers two of them. This is his longest spell at 40 minutes. He flies out at 16:35 and is replaced by the female. she rushes to the platform at 17:30 but is soon back on the eggs. NM flies in at 18:40 and the female leaves. He immediately settles on the eggs but once again fails to cover all four eggs. He is off after only five minutes and the female returns at 18:50. The male is back calling at 20:10 and the female leaves. He watches her go and picks at scraps on the platform, then flies off ten minutes later with a small piece. He lands briefly at 20:25. The female is back on the eggs at 20:40 and settles down for the rest of the night. Incubation Time: Female 19h:40m; Male 01h:25m; Total 21h:05m.

11 April 2022 – Video: for the first time, the new male incubates eggs that he did not sire.

10 April – the female sits tight on the eggs and the male flies off at 00:10. He lands at 00:40 carrying another fresh Black-headed Gull prey which he dumps on the platform next to the one from the previous evening. NM is off again at 1:30 returning at 4:05. He is off a few moments later and returns at 4:20 with very fresh Black-headed Gull prey. At 5:20, the female wakens and grabs one of the three gulls and flies off with it. She is soon back feeding on the platform leaving with her meal at 5:30. Five minutes later, NM feeds on one of the other gulls; he flies off at 6:05. The female returns, stashes her meal and is back on the eggs at 6:15, remaining until 7:20 when NM returns. She scatters the plucked gull feathers as she leaves. He flies off and she is back a few minutes later and resumes incubation. She is off for a few minutes at 8:25 then remains until 10:15 when NM arrives. She feeds on the stashed gull whilst he watches from the platform. She flies off at 10:20 without her meal and NM watches her go. He grabs the prey and flies out with it at 10:25. She is back on the eggs at 10:35 until 11:30. NM lands briefly a few moments later and at 11:35 the female returns to the eggs. She is off when the male returns calling at 12:20, he stands in the box looking at the eggs, leaving 15 minutes later. He lands briefly at 12:40 and is back at 13:10 but leaves five minutes later. He lands briefly at 13:30 and 13:35. The female is on the eggs ten minutes later but is off again at 14:55 when NM returns. He then plucks and feeds on the remaining stashed gull, before flying off with it. There was obviously a food pass as the female flies in with the gull a few minutes later; she then leaves with it. She is back at 15:20 until 16:15 when NM returns; he soon leaves. She is on the eggs again at 16:35. At 17:40, she flies out and quickly returns carrying a green-stained Feral Pigeon. She plucks and feeds on the platform. NM arrives at 17:55 and watches from the ledge. They fly off together at 18:20 but the male soon returns. He is off again before returning briefly at 20:05. The female remains on the eggs whilst NM arrives with fresh Black-tailed Godwit prey at 23:10. He plucks it on the platform, then stashes it by a column. Incubation Time: Female 20h:20m; Male 00h:00m; Total 20h:20m.

9 April – the female sits tight on her eggs whilst NM flies off at 1:05. He is back at 2:30 carrying fresh Blackcap prey which he takes into the box. He presents his gift to the female, and she accepts; he flies out. She plucks and feeds then quickly returns to the eggs. She flies out at 3:15 and NM sits on the platform. He leaves at 5:35 when the female returns. She is off at 6:15 and NM lands briefly, picks some scraps from the platform and flies out. She is back after five minutes, and the male brings in some scraps. She grabs them and feeds on the platform. NM brings in fresh Feral Pigeon prey and she flies off with it at 7:30; he follows. She is back on the platform with her meal ten minutes later, plucking and feeding, then returns to the eggs at 7:45 after stashing the remains off-site. NM lands at 7:50 and sits on the ledge with a full crop, leaving at 8:20. He is back at 9:35 and the female immediately leaves in a hurry. NM goes into the box but does not cover the egg and leaves after five minutes. She is back at 9:45 for 15 minutes, leaving when NM returns; he follows. She is back on the eggs at 10:05 until 11:30. NM lands briefly at 11:40 and at 12:05 he stands over the eggs but does not incubate. The female lands at 12:15 but soon after quickly followed by NM. She is back a few moments later on the eggs but her stay is short-lived, leaving after ten minutes. She is back five minutes later. NM is back at 13:15 and she leaves; he follows. She is back at 13:25 but has to leave after just ten minutes; more intruding activity it seems. Thankfully, the skirmishes seem relatively short and she is back ten minutes later. NM is back at 14:40 and the female leaves; he follows. She is back at 14:50 but is off again at 15:35 when NM lands and he follows again. She is back at 16:00 until 17:05 when NM arrives, then follows. She is back five minutes later but off again at 17:25. NM lands briefly at 17:50 and the female is back at 18:05 carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She plucks and feeds on the platform and is joined by NM at 18:20 who watches from the ledge. She flies off with the remains at 18:30, no doubt to stash. She is back on the eggs at 18:35 and he soon leaves. He is returns at 20:35 and sits on the ledge, then falls asleep. The female takes a short flight at 21:20 but lands on the ledge five minutes later and NM goes into the box. She is back on the eggs at 21:40. NM flies off at 22:55 and returns a few minutes later with very fresh Black-headed Gull prey. He leaves it on the platform and returns to the ledge. They remain until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 17h:35m; Male 00h:00m; Total 17h:35m.

8 April – the female sits tight until 1:45 when she moves to the platform and picks at scraps, then flies out. She returns a few minutes later with a small piece of stashed prey and calling loudly; NM flies off. She is back on the eggs at 2:10. He returns at 2:55 with very fresh Wheatear prey. The female does not move so he flies off with his catch. He is back a few minutes later and stashes it by a column. He looks out over the city at night and flies off again at 3:15. He is back at 5:45, the female picks up the stash and leaves with it. He sits on the ledge for a few minutes then flies off. She is back at 6:05. NM flies in an hour later carrying a small item of fresh prey which the female takes from him and flies out. She is back after 20 minutes. NM is back at pace at 8:00 and the female flies out immediately and he follows. She is back at 8:55 and remains on the eggs until flying out at 9:40. NM comes in 15 minutes later, checks out the eggs and leaves. She is back at 10:45 followed quickly by the male. He leaves soon after and she follows, hardly having time to settle on the eggs. The male lands briefly at 11:05 and the female flies in ten minutes later carrying fresh Black-headed Gull prey. She plucks and feeds on the platform stashing the remains at 11:40, then incubates the eggs. NM sneaks in five minutes later, grabs the stash and flies off with it. She flies off at 12:00 but is soon back. She is off again 30 minutes later, and NM checks out the eggs before leaving. She is back after a few minutes and is off again briefly at 13:35, and leaves 20 minutes later when NM arrives; he follows. She is on the eggs again at 14:00. NM is back calling at 14:40 and she flies off, he checks the eggs but quickly leaves as the female returns at 14:50; he flies off. She flies out at 15:55 and NM lands briefly as she returns. At 16:15, NM arrives with pre-plucked prey which the female accepts from him. She leaves and he follows. She is on the eggs again at 16:25 until 17:40; NM arrives and they both leave but she is soon back. At 19:05, she is off again returning with remnants of the gull from earlier in the day. She feeds on the platform and is back on the eggs at 19:15. NM arrives at 19:30 and settles on the ledge with a full crop and falls asleep until 20:15 when he flies off. He is back on the ledge at 23:00 remaining until at least midnight with the female settled on the eggs. Incubation Time: Female 19h:10m; Male 00h:00m; Total 19h:10m.

7 April – the female moves to the ledge at 00:40 and NM into the box and stands beside the eggs. She flies off five minutes later and he goes to the ledge. She is back on the eggs at 00:50 and he dozes on the platform. They remain in those positions until 6:00 when the female flies out and NM goes into the box. He watches from the platform then flies off at 6:15 and is back briefly 20 minutes later. The female flies in with very fresh Feral Pigeon prey at 6:55 which she plucks and eats on the platform. NM joins her five minutes later and watches from the ledge. She flies off with the remains at 7:25 and NM follows. He is back after ten minutes and picks at scraps on the platform. She is on the eggs at 7:40 but he soon flies off, returning at 8:25 and the female leaves. He picks at scraps then flies off. He returns with the remains of her meal, but she is right behind him, snatches the prey and flies off; he follows. She is on the eggs at 8:55 flying off at 9:10, he lands quickly. The pair return at 9:20 and she resumes incubation. He flies off whilst she remains until 10:45 when she leaves on his return; he quickly follows. During the next hour he makes eight short stops on the platform. She returns to the eggs at 11:50 until 13:05 when NM is back, and she flies off. She is back at 13:55 during which time NM had landed briefly four times. NM is back an hour later and she moves to the ledge and watches the skies then goes back to the scrape. At 15:10, NM brings in the remains of the previous meal and she takes it from him and feeds for 15 minutes; he watches from the ledge, then flies off. He is back on the ledge at 15:30 until 16:00 and she flies off in a rush five minutes later. He is back in the box alone at 16:35 and for the first time appears to deliberately stand and kick at the eggs. He then pecks at the eggs, trying to break them. He walks to the platform at 17:10, then flies off, returning briefly ten minutes later and again at 17:40, 18:10 and 18:20 when he once again pecks at the eggs. He leaves after a few minutes but is back at 18:35 when he attempts to make a new scrape in the stones, then flies off until another short visit at 18:50. They return together at 19:25; NM is carrying stashed prey which the female takes from him. He goes into the box whist she feeds, then moves to the ledge and watches her. She moves to the box at 19:45, stashes the remains and covers the eggs whilst the Cathedral bells ring out. He flies off at 20:10 returning at 23:25 and they are both there until midnight at least. Incubation Time: Female 15h:40m; Male 00h:00m; Total 15h:40m.

7 April 2022 – Video: the male tries to damage the eggs.

6 April – the female remains on the eggs and NM lands on the ledge at 00:45, partially hidden. She walks to the ledge at 5:45 and NM flies off. She follows and he is quickly back until 6:05, returning ten minutes later. He is off again at 6:20 and the female returns to the eggs at 6:55. She is off at 7:15 and NM returns briefly calling loudly. He is back at 7:30 carrying fresh white Feral Pigeon prey but flies off with it almost immediately. The female is back on her eggs five minutes later. NM quickly follows and sits on the ledge briefly. He is back at 8:20 and goes into the box; the female flies out and he follows. She returns to the eggs at 8:25 but rushes out just a few minutes later. NM is on the platform for ten minutes at 8:35 and she is back incubating at 8:50. She is off again at 9:35 as NM returns. During the next hour there are numerous comings and goings; no doubt intruder related! She is then on the eggs for 15 minutes. NM lands and watches from the platform. The female is back at 10:55 and settles on her eggs; he flies out. He returns with another Feral Pigeon at 11:20 and the female grabs it from him before he has had a chance to present it. They both leave and she returns with her meal ten minutes later and plucks and eats it on the platform. He joins her at 11:45 and watches from the ledge. She leaves with the remains at 11:50 and he follows. They are back at 12:00 and she is sporting a full crop. He flies off and she settles on the eggs until 12:25 when he is back calling, and she flies off; he leaves a few minutes later. She is soon back, and he is on the ledge at 12:40. She flies out at 13:25 and he watches the skies from the ledge for ten minutes before leaving. He is back soon after and watches the activity above him until 14:00 when he flies off. He the lands briefly nine times in the next hour. The female resumes incubation at 15:00 and remains tight for an hour and 15 minutes during which NM makes six short landings. She leaves at 16:15 but is back with him a few moments later. He is carrying stashed prey and she snatches it from him. He flies out and she follows with her meal. She is back 10 minutes later and he is back at 17:05 with more stashed prey and she grabs it from him. He flies off and she feeds on the platform. She returns to the eggs at 17:25 and he flies onto the ledge remaining there until 19:00. He is back 20 minutes later and twice presents scraps to the female but flies off with them; she returns to the eggs. He is back at 19:30 and feeds on the scraps on the platform whilst the female watches from the scrape. At 19:40, when finished, he sits on the ledge where he remains (sometimes hidden) until midnight at least; she continues to incubate. Incubation Time: Female 18h:00m; Male 00h:00m; Total 18h:00m.

5 April – the female resumes incubation at 00:05 and NM sits on the ledge hidden from view. She remains on the eggs until NM ran into the box at 4:55. She flies off and he follows soon after. He is back on the ledge a few minutes later watching the skies – no doubt a female intruder, probably the one he was recently with! He remains on the ledge until 6:20 when he takes a brief flight, and again at 6:25. He leaves at 6:30 for 15 minutes but is quickly off again. The female returns at 6:50 and covers the eggs. At 7:20, NM brings in fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She snatches it from him and flies off but is soon back with it. She feeds on the platform then stashes the remains by a column and resumes incubation. NM lands at 7:50 for five minutes. He is back almost immediately with a DIFFERENT FEMALE who lands on the ledge. The resident bird runs to the platform and stands aggressively calling at the intruding bird who leaves and is quickly followed by the new pairing. NM lands briefly at 8:00 and the female is back ten minutes later to cover the eggs. He returns at 10:05 and she goes to protect her meal; she grabs it and flies out. NM ‘stands over’ the eggs and then leaves. He is back at 10:20 and is quickly followed by yet another NEW FEMALE, a BLUE-ringed bird; this is probably the young female from Market Harborough (fledged from the south-west of England) that has been hanging around for a couple of years. The two birds stand with the eggs between them and there is calling. He then moves to the ledge whilst she walks around the box, then pecks at the eggs. She makes a couple of scrapes in the stones in the corner of the box; NM is watching from the ledge. They fly off together at 10:25. Between then and 12:00, NM makes 14 brief stops on the platform and another 12 sorties between 12:00 and 14:00; this would suggest more aerial battles are ongoing. The female arrives at 13:30 and incubates the eggs. At 14:00, she walks to the platform, forces NM off and then leaves. She is back after five minutes, and he returns at 14:30. She is off again after five minutes, and he makes three short visits in the next 30 minutes. During the next hour he lands for eight short periods of time. The female returns at 16:10 and resumes incubation. NM is back at 16:25 but she ignores him and he leaves. He is back at 16:50 with BLUE but the female forces her off the ledge. She chases after BLUE and NM follows. She is back on the eggs at 17:05 and he lands five minutes later. She moves to the ledge and he flies off and she then returns to the eggs. He is back again at 17:20 and this time she flies out. He stands by the eggs, then watches from the platform and leaves at 17:30. She is back on the eggs at 17:55 until 18:20 when NM is back. She flies out and he watches from the platform before leaving but returns quickly. He is off again at 18:35 until 19:00 when he returns briefly. The female is back incubating at 19:05. NM arrives with fresh Blackbird prey at 20:30 but he leaves with it; she returns to the eggs. Incubation Time: Female 15h:40m; Male 00h:00m; Total 15h:40m.

5 April 2022 – Video: the Blue-ring female is in the box with the new male.

4 April Well, what a traumatic day this turned out to be. I got a phone call mid-morning to say that a Peregrine has been picked up injured in the city centre in the early hours and could I collect it. I picked it up from Bill Swann and took it to a vets who has an avian specialist. It turns out that this is the resident male from our breeding pair! Unfortunately, the injuries were too severe, and he had to be put to sleep.

The female remains tight on her eggs through the night until 6:15 when she flies out, returning at 7:30. She remains on the eggs until 9:45 when a NEW MALE makes his first visit to the box. After a brief interaction with the female, he walks to the ledge, then flies off; she follows at 10:00. She is back on the eggs after 35 minutes and is off again two hours later. The new male (NM from now on) goes into the box and sees the unguarded eggs. The female soon arrives and calls at him, then flies off. He stands next to the eggs for a few minutes before leaving at 12:40. She is back ten minutes later and resumes incubation. The NM lands on the ledge at 13:25 and the female approaches him and forces him off the ledge; she then follows. He is back a few moments later and once again stands by the eggs. He then moves to the ledge before flying off at 13:35. A few moments later, the female arrives with fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She plucks and feeds on the platform. At 14:05, the NM arrives, and she mantles her meal to protect it. He goes into the box and stands over the eggs, then leaves at 14:15. She flies out with the remnants of her meal at 14:35. He returns a few moments later and picks at scraps on the platform. the female flies in and they go into the box and there is calling between the two. She then resumes incubation, and he moves back to the platform to continue feeding on scraps. The NM lands at 15:15 carrying fresh prey and presents it to the female in an act of bonding. She accepts it and flies off and he follows. She is back on the eggs at 15:40 and he arrives a few minutes later and stands next to her in the box. there is calling and he is submissive in posture. After a few minutes, she moves to the ledge, but he remains in the box until 15:55 when he flies out. She returns to the eggs. He is back at 16:20 and there is more loud calling. The female remains on the eggs and he on the ledge until 16:40 when he leaves. He is back on the ledge at 17:00 and takes a short flight at 19:00 and returns. He is off again at 19:10 and is back at 19:30. He goes into the box and the female moves to the ledge and flies off. He leaves five minutes later and is back briefly at 19:45. They return together at 19:50 but he soon leaves. she resumes incubation. He is back calling at 20:15 for five minutes. he is back again at 23:50 and she moves to the ledge. He call from the platform in a submissive posture then moves into the box and stands close to the eggs. Incubation Time: Female 19h:35m; Male 00h:00m; Total 19h:35m.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

4 April 2022 – Video: the new male visits the box with the female on the eggs.