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 2021

6 May – the female moves to the ledge at 3:00. The male flies into the box at 4:05 and she calls incessantly until 4:45 when she flies off. He falls asleep in the box until he leaves at 5:45. He is back 30 minutes later until 6:40. A Woodpigeon spends the next 25 minutes picking at the grit and stones around the box before flying off. The pair return at 7:40 and he leaves after a few minutes bonding; she then moves to the ledge, flying off at 8:05. Two Woodpigeon peck at the grit but are interrupted by the returning male. The feather in one of his talons show it was a near miss – he is already well fed. He sits on the ledge until 15:00 with a couple of short flights in between. The female arrives at 15:00 with the remains of a Feral Pigeon which she feeds on. He goes into the box and after 40 minutes she stops eating and starts to doze. She flies off at 16:30 and he picks at the scraps. She is back at 16:45 and he goes into the box, whilst she calls incessantly. She flies off at 17:10 and he follows. He is back on the ledge at 17:55 and she returns 20 minutes later. He goes into the box but soon leaves. She flies off at 18:25 and the male flies in. He remains on the ledge until 20:00 when the female flies into the box. He returns at 23:15 with a small unidentifiable item of prey which the female takes from him. She feeds on it then moves to the ledge at 23:35 and falls asleep.

5 May – the female is sleeping in the box until 4:05 when the male flies in. She moves to the platform and he sits in the box. She returns to the box at 4:50 and there are a few moments of bonding before he flies out and she moves back to the platform. At 5:10 she sits on the ledge, and flies off ten minutes later. The male flies in at 5:35 and sits on the ledge for 15 minutes. He returns at 8:15 with a fresh Feral Pigeon which is immediately snatched from him by the incoming female. She takes it into the box and feeds as he flies off. She stashes the remains 15 minutes later and settles on the ledge. The male is back at 10:15 and she goes into the box. There are a few minutes of calling between the pair. He attempts to grab the stash, but she takes it from him. She sits on the platform with her meal whilst he watches from the box. After a few minutes bonding in the box, they swap places swapping again at 12:05. They fly out together at 12:25 and he is back five minutes later and sits on the ledge until 13:50 when the female returns; they go into the box. He soon leaves and she moves to the ledge. He is back at 14:20 and there is more bonding in the box. She flies out at 14:35 and he moves to the ledge until 16:10. He is back after 15 minutes remaining until 17:00. He returns 30 minutes later. The pair are in the box at 18:20. He flies out after a few minutes, but she remains until 18:45 when she flies off to be replaced by the male. He leaves at 19:40 and returns at 20:05 for 30 minutes. He is back ten minutes later with the female. After a few minutes bonding, he leaves and she falls asleep.

APRIL 2021

30 April – the female remains sleeping in the box until 4:25 when she moves to the ledge, and the male flies in. They both doze until she flies out at 5:05. He follows five minutes later, returning at 5:55. He flies off again at 6:40 and returns with the female who stashes the remains of a meal which she stashes by a column. There are five minutes of bonding then the male takes the stash to the platform and eats whilst the female sits on the ledge. she flies off and he settles on the ledge at 7:30. He flies off when the female almost knocks him from the ledge at 9:15; she leaves after five minutes. He is back at 10:15 and remains until 13:45 except for a few short flights. He is back briefly at 15:05. He is on the platform and in the box between 15:40 and 16:30. He is back at 17:20 calling to something above him and leaves ten minutes later. he is back with the female 17:45 and she is carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. He goes into the box whilst she prepares her meal. He gets a bit too close looking for scraps and she flies off with her meal at 18:35; he follows. He is back five minutes later with a fresh Feral Pigeon of his own. He plucks and eats it on the platform them flies off with it at 19:05. He is back briefly at 19:30 and ten minutes later sits on the ledge with a full crop. He flies off when the female arrives at 20:55 and falls asleep in the box.

29 April – the female remains in the box and is joined by the male at 4:25. After five minutes of calling, he moves to the ledge. She moves onto the platform 20 minutes later and he goes into the box before flying out at 4:55. She pecks at scraps on the platform until 5:10 when she leaves. The male is back at 5:20 and sits on the ledge until 6:10. He is back again at 6:30 for ten minutes, then 6:55 until 7:20. He is in the box at 7:35, then onto the ledge until 8:55 when he takes a short flight. He leaves at 9:55, returning 30 minutes later but is off again at 10:40. He is back at 11:55 until 12:15. The pair return at 13:10 and go into the box. She flies out after five minutes and he moves to the ledge until 13:50. He is back in the scrape 30 minutes later, flying off 25 after minutes. He is on the ledge at 15:15 for 15 minutes. He pays a short visit at 17:20 and again at 18:00. At 18:35, he is on the ledge looking for the female and she eventually arrives at 19:05 and they go into the box. He flies out and she remains in the box until 19:20 when she flies out. He is back at 20:00 for 20 minutes. The pair return at 20:45 but the male leaves soon after; the female remains in the scrape until midnight at least.

Throughout the day a pair of Woodpigeon have been visiting the platform and spending time in the box, obviously when the Peregrines are not present!

28 April – the female moves to the ledge at 2:20 where she remains until 5:15 when she flies off. She returns a few minutes later with remnants of an item of prey and feeds on it on the platform until the male arrives at 5:30; they both then fly out. They are back a few minutes later and she feeds on the scraps as he sits in the box for a few minutes before leaving. She flies off at 5:45. The male is back at 6:55 feeding on the scraps, then sitting on the ledge until flying off at 7:05. The pair are back a few minutes later and go into the box, leaving five minutes later. The male is back briefly at 8:10, at 8:25 for ten minutes and 8:40 for ten minutes. He back briefly again at 9:40, 9:55, 10:05, 10:15, 10:35 and 10:40. The female flies in at 11:15 with Feral Pigeon prey and stashes the remains by a column at 11:25. The male flies in, grabs the stash eats it on the platform, then flies off at 11:35. He is back for a few minutes at 12:05, again two hours later, 14:10 and 14:20. The pair are back in the box at 14:35. He soon leaves but she remains until 15:20. He is back briefly at 17:00. The pair return at 18:00 but he has gone after a few minutes and she leaves 15 minutes later. He is back for a few moments at 19:40. She returns an hour later, goes into the box and falls asleep.

26 April – the female remains in the box until 4:00 when she moves to the ledge. She flies off at 5:05 and is replaced by the male five minutes later. The female returns at 5:20 and the pair go into the box. After a few minutes posturing, the female suddenly leaves having been spooked by a noise (possibly mechanical – a refuge vehicle can be seen in the background), the male walks to the platform and flies out a few moments later. He returns to the box at 5:50, then sits on the ledge. At 6:05, he generates a new scrape in the box and the desire to breed is obviously still very strong. He walks back to the ledge and flies off at 6:20. He is back briefly at 6:35, 7:05, 7:35, 7:45 and 7:55 and 9:25. He is in the ledge at 10:30 for 25 minutes. The pair are back in the box at 12:25, where there is calling, posturing and the female tending the scrape. She flies out after a few minutes and the male remains in the box for a few more minutes then flies out. He is back briefly at 14:20, then with the female 30 minutes later but both soon leave. He returns at 15:40 making numerous sorties until 16:30 when the female arrives with Feral Pigeon prey and he flies off. She plucks it and feeds before flying off at 17:20. The male arrives looking for scraps, but she has taken the stash. She returns at 17:30 and leaves the stash by a column; the male watches from the box. He grabs the stash and flies off pursued by the female. He returns at 18:20 with a full crop and the remains of the pigeon and flies off with it at 19:10. The female flies into the box at 19:35 and falls asleep.

25 April – the female is in the box form the previous evening and moves to the ledge at 1:55. She flies off three hours later and is replaced by the male who flies off at 5:30. He is back at 6:10 for 20 minutes. The female flies in with a large prey item (pigeon) at 6:45. She leaves with the remains at 7:00 and the male flies in with fresh Starling prey five minutes later but soon leaves. He is back at 7:55, goes into the box for a few moments then sits on the ledge until 8:15. He is back at 8:40 and goes into the box when the female lands a few moments later; she soon leaves and he follows. He is back with his Starling at 8:55 and plucks and prepares it on the platform, flying off at 9:20. He returns with the meal at 9:50 but leaves soon after. He returns without the prey at 10:00 and goes into the box, then sits on the platform until 11:45 when he is back in the box briefly before flying out. He is back in the box at 12:35 for ten minutes, the returns with prey an hour later and calls for the female; she flies int to snatch the meal from him. He goes into the box, she flies off and he follows. The pair return at 15:00 and go into the box but she leaves five minutes later, so he moves to the ledge until 15:55. He returns briefly at 16:05 and 16:20. He is back on the platform at 16:55 for five minutes. The pair are back at 18:20 and go into the box. The male leaves whilst the female moves stones in the scrape for five minutes before flying out. She is back at 20:50 and goes into the box and falls asleep.

22 April – the female remains on the ledge until flying off at 4:55. The male flies into the box at 5:05, then sits on the platform until 5:30 when the female returns. Both leave a few minutes later. She is back at 5:55 carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She plucks and feeds on it until 6:20 when she flies off returning a few minutes later, with the male in tow, to continue. He goes into the box. She is off with her meal at 6:50 followed by the male – no doubt looking for an easy meal. He is back in the box at 7:05 moving to the ledge 45 minutes later. He remains there until 9:00 when he takes a brief flight. He flies off at 9:50 and returns a few moments later with the female; they go into the box. After ten minutes of calling, posturing and stone moving, they fly out. They return at 11:50 and he goes into the box whilst she sits on the ledge calling. He leaves after five minutes and she soon follows. She is back with the remains of this morning’s meal and stashes it by a column at 12:20, then leaves. The male arrives soon after, picks the stash, eats some of it on the platform, then flies out. The pair are back in the box posturing at 13:20 but leave ten minutes later. The male makes a quick visit to the box at 14:40. He is back again at 16:00, then goes onto the platform and flies off after ten minutes. He makes another visit at 16:40, leaving at 17:15. He is on the ledge again at 16:35, flying off after 15 minutes. He flies into the box at 19:55, then sits on the platform looking out until 20:15 when he flies off. The pair return at 20:35; the male soon leaves and the female falls asleep.

21 April – the female remains on the ledge until 5:10 when she feeds on some scraps on the platform, then flies out. The pair return at 6:30 and go into the box for a bout of bonding. The female leaves after a few minutes and the male soon after. He is back at 8:50 and feeds on some scraps, flying off at 9:00. He is back at 11:40 and goes into the box and moves some stones in the scrape before flying out. The pair are back in the box at 11:55. The male leaves after a few minutes and the female moves to the platform and feeds on some scraps before flying off at 12:05. The male is back at 13:00 with a small prey item that he feeds on. He leaves a few minutes later then returns at 13:20 and goes into the box briefly. The pair are back at 13:55 and go into the box. The female flies out after five minutes, followed by the male. He is back in the scrape briefly at 15:35 and flies out returning at 16:15 for ten minutes. He is back again at 16:55 for another five minutes and again at 17:30. He goes into the box at 17:50 when the female sits on the platform with fresh Feral Pigeon. She feeds on her meal whilst he sits in the box until 18:40 and she flies off five minutes later. He is back in the box at 19:30 and is joined by the female after she stashes some prey remains. He soon leaves, taking the stash and she tends the scrape for a few minutes. She then checks the stash areas before sitting on the ledge where she falls asleep and remains until midnight at least.

20 April – the female remains sleeping in the box until 2:10 when she flies out. She returns at 7:40 carrying a large prey item already plucked, prepared and half-eaten. She stashes it by a column and leaves. At 11:55, the male is back and feeding on the stashed prey. He leaves after ten minutes. He returns briefly at 15:25 and at 16:15 flies in with the female who is carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. He goes into the box and spends time in the scrape whilst she calls loudly from the platform. She feeds on the pigeon whilst the male remains in the box until 16:20, and flies off ten minutes later. She is back with another fresh pigeon at 16:45 and plucks it on the platform and leaves with it at 17:15. The female flies into the box at 18:30 falling asleep until 22:25 when she moves to the ledge.

19 April – she moves to the ledge at 1:40, flying off at 5:05. The male arrives at 5:30 and checks the scrape, then flies off five minutes later. He is back after a few moments with the female carrying a large item of prey. She feeds on it, stashes the remains at 6:00 and then flies off. The male returns at 7:20 and flies off with the stash. Unfortunately, there is little footage for the next six hours – the cameras continue to play up; sorry. The next activity noted is the pair on the platform together at 15:40. The female is in the scrape at 17:20, leaving ten minutes later. The female is in the scrape again at 21:05 and moves around in the box before falling asleep at 22:05.

18 April – the female walks to the ledge at 1:00 for ten minutes before returning to the egg. The male arrives at 4:05 and takes over the incubation when the female moves to the ledge. He leaves at 4:35 and she resumes ten minutes later. She flies off at 5:15, with the male taking over five minutes later. He leaves at 5:35, continues incubation at 5:55, then moves to the ledge at 6:00, flying off at 6:15. He is back briefly at 6:50, probably looking for the female. She arrives at 7:10 and incubates the egg for a few minutes before flying off when the male arrives. He sits on the egg for a few moments before moving to the ledge, returning at 7:35, then flying off at 8:00. I suspect he is looking for the female again. He is back on the egg at 8:25 for 15 minutes, then on the platform preening, leaving at 9:00. He flies in with Feral Pigeon prey at 9:40 but the female is nowhere to be seen, so he flies off. She arrives a few minutes later with the prey, so there was a successful food pass. She plucks and eats her meal and leaves with the remains at 10:25. The male flies in ten minutes later, feeds on a few scraps and then sits on the egg for just five minutes. He stands on the platform looking out until returning to the egg at 11:40 and moving back to the platform ten minutes later. The female returns at 12:15 and both birds go to the egg, almost as if the male is showing the female where she should be – she incubates the egg; it is unusual for the female to be leaving the egg for so long. She remains on it until 12:50 when she flies out and is replaced by the male but he moves to the ledge after just five minutes. He spends another five minutes on the egg at 13:40 then flies out returning at 14:10. When he leaves the egg at 15:24, there appears to be a crack in it. The female is back at 16:50 and resumes incubation despite the apparent crack. When she rises five minutes later, she sees the crack, picks up the egg and flies out with it. She returns to the scrape at 19:45 and starts moving the stones hopefully in preparation for another egg. She then feeds on some scraps on the platform and moves to the ledge before flying off. She returns to the ledge at 20:50 then moves to the box and falls asleep.

18 April 2021 – So the drama continues. When the male rose from incubating the egg mid-afternoon of 18 April, a crack could clearly be seen. Despite this, the female took over incubation until she noticed the damage. The egg looked hollow; she flies off with it.

18 April 2021 – Photo: the female notices the crack in the egg and removes it from the scrape.

17 April 2021 – after a traumatic 12 months for the resident male, the female lays the first egg for the new pairing. Let’s hope this is the start of a successful season for them.

17 April 2021 – Video: the male is shown the first egg laid by the new female.

17 April – the female moves to the ledge at 00:55 and flies out at 1:30. The male flies in 15 minutes later and falls asleep before leaving at 3:00. He is back at 5:55, flying out at 6:30. The female arrives ten minutes later with the remains of yesterday’s Woodpigeon. She feeds on it for 15 minutes before stashing the remains. She flies off and is replaced by the male who feeds on the prey, then moves to the ledge at 7:40 with a full crop. He flies off at 9:25 when the female flies into the box. She spends time in the scrape and is moving stones around. The male arrives at 10:00 and watches her calling from the platform. At 10:30, she changes position and a few moments later a newly laid EGG can be seen. She stands over it, then sits beside it allowing the egg to dry. Meanwhile the male is doing some tidying on the platform, gradually getting nearer to the female. Five minutes later, he is by the female who is ‘honking’ whilst he ‘chips’ and sees the egg for the first time. He flies out and returns at 10:50 to replace the female incubating the egg. She flies out and at 11:15 he walks to the platform returning to the egg after 15 minutes. He flies out at 11:40 and is replaced by the female but she leaves ten minutes later, so the male takes over. The female is back at 12:20 and he flies out. She leaves at 12:40 and he is back ten minutes later to cover the egg but at 13:05 sits on the ledge. He is back on the egg at 13:45 and takes a quick flight at 14:00, looking for the female, then returns to incubate. He is back on the platform ten minutes later and feeds on some scraps. The female is back on the egg at 14:55 but just for five minutes. She is back again at 15:50 for 15 minutes. The male is on for five minutes at 16:10 and the female returns at 17:20. He takes over after 20 minutes but is gone ten minutes later. The female returns at 18:10 but the male arrives with fresh Starling prey for her ten minutes later, so she plucks and feeds on it. She returns to the egg when she has finished and stashes the remains at 19:05. At 19:30, the male flies in and picks up the stash and takes them to the female in the box; she eats them as he watches from the ledge. She returns to the egg at 19:40 but flies off a few minutes later. The male flies onto the ledge and sits there until 20:15 when he covers the egg. At 20:30 the female takes over and he flies out. She falls asleep and remains on the egg until midnight at least.

16 April – continuing with camera instability: the male arrives at 2:15 and goes into the box. The female flies out and he follows. They return together at 4:45, the male goes into the box but the female soon flies out and he moves to the ledge. He flies off at 6:30 and returns an hour later with the female carrying a Fieldfare. She has her wing spread and calls loudly until he leaves. She plucks and feeds on it and flies off at 7:50 after having her fill. The male is back at 8:40 and feeds on the leftover scraps, then sits on the ledge. The female is back briefly at 9:20 and the male leaves at 9:45 returning 20 minutes later. He is back again at 10:40 and flies off at 11:35. The pair fly in at 12:10, but the male soon leaves and the female goes into the box but quickly flies out. He is back at 13:50 but leaves after five minutes and returns at 14:10 with a Woodpigeon which is quickly snatched by the female. She plucks and eats it on the platform whilst he is in the box. She is well fed by 15:10 and allows the arriving male to feed on the remains. They both fly out at 15:15. The male is back at 16:15 with the remains and is looking for the female. She arrives at 16:50 and grabs it from him; he goes into the box then flies off. She feeds for ten minutes, then stashes the remains and sits on the ledge with a very full crop. She remains on the ledge until 18:35 when she picks up the stash and feeds on it, then goes into the box at 19:05. The male flies in and pick up the scraps and leaves. He is back at 19:25 and dozes on the ledge; the female is still in the box. She falls asleep at 20:20 and remains in the box until midnight at least.

15 April – there are still problems with camera stability and therefore continuity: the female is sleeping in the box at 00:40 and moves to the ledge at 3:30. She is in the box with the male ten minutes later. He is on the ledge at 4:05 whilst she remains in the box until 4:55 when the swap positions. He flies out soon after but replaces her when she leaves at 5:40; he flies off at 5:55. The female is back in the box briefly at 7:05. The male flies in at 7:45 and the female is quickly behind him carrying a fresh Feral Pigeon. He goes into the box whilst she calls from the platform. She starts to pluck her meal at 8:00 and stashes the substantial remains 25 minutes later. The male picks up the stash and flies out and she follows. The male is in the box at 9:25 and is joined by the female but he leaves quickly. She moves to the ledge with a full crop until 10:25 when she flies off to be replaced by the male, but he does not stay long. He is back at 11:55 and picks at the scraps on the platform. He leaves after ten minutes returning at 12:15 with the remains of the stashed pigeon which he prepares for the female. She arrives an hour later and takes it from him, and he goes into the box for a few minutes. She stashes the remnants at 13:30 and flies off. He is back at 14:05, picks up the stash and looks for the female. She arrives 30 minutes later and they both fly off. He is back with the prey at 14:55 and the female returns at 15:20; they both fly off without the meal. He is back at 15:55 and again at 16:30. When the female arrives, she is more concerned with something flying overhead. He decides to feed on the meal at 17:05 and takes the meal when he flies off ten minutes later. The female is in the box at 17:20 and still looking up into the sky calling before leaving quickly. The male is back at 17:40 and sits on the ledge with a full crop. The female returns at 18:00 and there is calling between the pair and he goes into the box. She flies off and he follows. There are then at least 15 excursions from the platform in the next three hours, including in the dark. The male sits on the ledge at 21:45 and is in the box at 23:25. He flies out at 23:45, the female returning ten minutes later to take over.

14 April – there are continuing problems with camera stability: the female is asleep on the ledge and the male flies into the box at 1:45, leaving at 5:05; she flies off at 5:40. The pair fly in at 6:00 with the male carrying fresh Redwing prey. The female takes it from him, stashes it and flies off. He plucks and prepares it and she flies in and takes it from him. She leaves and he remains on the ledge until 6:25. He is back briefly at 6:45 and is next seen at 8:20 for 15 minutes. He is back briefly at 8:50 and then from 9:55 until 11:50. The pair are then on and off the platform throughout the afternoon. At 15:50, the male brings in a fresh Feral Pigeon and the female flies in to take it from him. She does not feed on it but stands over calling. After 20 minutes, the male approaches and tries to remove the meal. The female extends her wing and slaps the male on the head; he retreats to the ledge. She then mantles the prey and plucks and feeds on it. The male watches from the ledge. At 16:45, whilst the female is still eating, the male snatches the meal from her and flies off; she follows. They are back at 17:50, the female carrying the meal remnants and she feeds on it for a few minutes then stashes it. He flies off with it and she remains in the box. He is back with the remnants at 18:40 and she takes then from him and feeds. She has had her fill 15 minutes later and leaves what remains on the platform; the male feeds on them whilst she sits on the ledge with a full crop. He flies off at 19:10 and she falls asleep on the ledge at 20:20, going into the box at 22:10.

13 April – the female is asleep on the ledge until 4:05 when the male flies into the box. After a few minutes calling, the are both asleep. He flies out at 5:20, returns 20 minutes later and picks up the stashed Blackbird remains. The female takes it from him and flies off. He sits on the ledge, flying off at 6:10 and returning 15 minutes later. He is off again at 6:45 and returns at 7:30 with very fresh Feral Pigeon prey. He despatches, plucks and prepares, then flies off with the meal at 7:55. The hand over is successful as the female returns with it a few moments later. She is still feeding on it when the male goes into the box at 8:30. The female is very protective of her meal and flies out with it at 8:55. She is back a few minutes later and stashes the remains in the box. The male picks it up and drops it next to the female who has moved to the ledge; she re-stashes it by a column. This time the male picks it up and flies off with it; she follows. The male is back at 10:00 with another freshly prepared meal. He stands on the platform with it until 11:30 when he starts to feed on it. He flies out at 12:15 and returns a few moments later with the female who relieves him of the meal. He goes into the box. She does not start to feed on it until 12:40 and after five minutes stashes the remans. She then goes into the box and there are a few minutes of bonding. He then goes to pick up the stash and she flies out; he follows with the meal. He is back on the ledge at 13:00. [Unfortunately, the cameras started to play up again, so continuity is a little difficult.] He takes a couple of short flights then leaves at 14:50. He is on and off the platform until 16:40 when he arrives with the female and they go into the box. They both leave a few minutes later. He is back briefly at 17:10, 17:35 and 17:55. At 18:10 he dozes on the ledge, then flies off 30 minutes later. He is back at 19:25 and the female lands calling with her wings drooped, ten minutes later. He flies out and there is a mating attempt which is abandoned. She remains on the platform and then picks at the scraps leftover. She goes into the box at 20:30 and falls asleep. The male flies in with a large item of prey at 22:00; she falls asleep on the ledge at 23:35.

12 April – the female plucks the Water Rail until 00:10 when she stashes it, then falls asleep. The male flies into the box at 2:05 and the female grabs her meal protectively and calls loudly. They both eventually fall asleep. She feeds on her meal at 4:10 and returns to the ledge at 4:55 when she has finished. At 5:40 she joins the male in the box and there are a few minutes of bonding before he leaves; she soon follows. He is back at 6:00 with a freshly caught Starling. He plucks and prepares it and waits for the female to return. He flies off with it at 6:40 and returns at 7:10, still clutching the meal. He flies out with it a couple of times looking for the female. As she has not returned by 8:00, he takes the meal into the box and feeds on it, then moves to the ledge. He flies off at 9:25 and returns with the female and they go into the box. They leave together a few minutes later. The male is back at 10:25 and sits on the ledge until 11:40 and returns at 12:10 for ten minutes. He is back briefly at 12:25, 12:35, 12:45 and again at 13:10 for 15 minutes. He makes more brief stops at 14:05, 14:40 and again at 15:15. At 16:50, he flies in with fresh Blackbird prey. The female swoops down 15 minutes later and snatches it from him and flies off with it. She returns to stash the remains in the box at 17:25, then flies off. The male is back briefly at 18:20 with unidentifiable prey remains of a meal he has just eaten. He finishes it on the platform and sits on the ledge with a full crop. At 20:10, he goes into the box when the female returns. He presents her with the remains of the stashed Blackbird. She stashes it by a column as the full crop shows that she is already well fed. The male flies off and she goes into the box and settles next to a scrape. She moves to the ledge at 21:05 and remains there until midnight at least.

11 April – she remains in the box until 1:30 when the male brings in Wheatear prey (a new species for this male I think). She plucks and eats it on the platform. Even before she has finished eating, he returns with another prey item. She then stashes the second item (unidentified) then settles on the ledge at 1:55. The male flies into the box an hour later and falls asleep. He leaves at 5:00 and the female retrieves the stashed item, now identifiable as a second Wheatear, and feeds on the platform. The pair are in the box at 5:45 but the male soon leaves, and she returns to the ledge, flying off ten minutes later. The male is back at 6:00 for five minutes. He is back briefly at 7:20 and 7:30. At 8:05 he remains for 15 minutes, then briefly at 9:20, 9:50, 10:20, 11:45 and 12:45. The pair return at 13:30 and after five minutes bonding, he leaves and she sits on the ledge, flying off at 13:50. He is back on the ledge at 14:00 and she flies in with partially plucked pigeon prey five minutes later. He goes into the box and she stands on her meal for 30 minutes before she feeds on it. She flies off with the remains at 15:20 and the male walks to the platform. She is back with her meal a few minutes later and goes into the box. There is a short period of bonding and then the male picks up the prey and presents it to the female. She takes it to the platform and feeds on it before stashing the scraps at 15:40. She returns to the box where the male is waiting and there is another bonding session. After a few minutes, he sneaks around the column, grabs the stashed prey and flies off; she follows. He is soon back with the stash and feeds on the platform. He has finished by 15:55 and searches for more scraps, then flies out at 16:00. He is back in the box at 16:20, then onto the ledge 20 minutes later, remaining until 17:15. He returns at 18:25 for 20 minutes. He is in the box at 19:05, then moves to the ledge until the female flies in at 20:15 and they both go into the box. He flies out and she tends the scrape and remains there until 21:40 when she moves to the ledge and falls asleep. The male is back at 23:25 carrying a small item of prey. The female snatches this from him and plucks it on the platform and feeds on it. However, before she has finished, he returns with Water Rail prey at 23:50. She snatches it from him and he flies off.

10 April – the female moves out of the box onto the platform at 4:00. She leaves at 5:10 and the male flies in at 5:35 and settles on the ledge. He goes into the box when the female returns at 6:10, leaving five minute later and she follows. The pair return to the box at 7:30 but the male quickly leaves. She remains on the ledge until 8:00. The male is back 30 minutes later for ten minutes and briefly at 10:00 and the female for a few moments at 10:20. The male is back at 10:35 for ten minutes and briefly at 11:10. At 11:30, the female flies in with the remains of previously eaten Feral Pigeon and takes it into the box; the male quickly follows. There are a few minutes of bonding before the female leaves. The male picks up the pigeon and flies off with it. He is back for a few moments at 12:05 and again at 13:30. The female returns with the pigeon ten minutes later and stashes it by a column and flies out. The male flies in at 14:15, picks up the stash and walks to the platform to attract the female. She duly arrives and take the prey from him. He watches her from the box. She stashes the prey and there are a few moments of bonding. He then picks up the pigeon, but the female snatches it from him and feeds on it before stashing the remains, then flies off. The male is soon back and recovers the stash, takes it to the platform and feeds on it, then flies off. He returns briefly at 15:20, 15:25, 15:55 and at 16:35 sits on the ledge then feeds on the scraps leaving ten minutes later. The pair return together at 16:55; he goes into the box and she calls loudly from the platform. He flies out at 15:15 and she leaves at 17:25. He is back at 18:00 and dozes on the platform until 19:20 when he goes into the box when the female arrives. There are a few moments of bonding and he leaves. She moves to the ledge at 19:35 and then the box at 20:30, where she remains until midnight at least.

9 April – the male flies in at 00:05 with a small item of prey. The female takes it from him and plucks and eats it on the platform. She resumes her sleep. The male is back at 2:45 and goes into the box. The female calls loudly before the pair settle down and falls asleep 15 minutes later. She wakens at 3:30 and goes into the box. There are a few minutes of bonding then she moves some stones around a scrape. He moves to the ledge and she falls asleep in the box until 5:15. He flies off briefly 20 minutes later and she moves to the ledge. At 5:45, he picks up the stashed Fieldfare and the female snatches it from him. He flies out and she follows. The male returns at 6:30 with Swallow prey and the female flies in to take it from him; they both fly off. The female is back with her partially eaten meal and stashes it on the box. The male flies in, retrieves the stash and presents it to the female. She does not accept it, so he flies off with it and she follows. The male is back for a few minutes at 8:05 and again at 8:40. The female is back briefly at 8:50 and between 9:00 and 12:00, there are 21 sorties from the platform by the pair – is the intruder back? The male flies in with fresh Starling prey at 12:15 and the female accepts the gift and both birds leave. She is back at 12:30 and stashes the remains and flies out. The male arrives at 12:45 and picks up the stash and flies off with it. He is back with it, plucked and prepared, at 13:35. He is looking around for the female but she does not arrive so at 14:10, he feeds on it himself. There is still plenty left and at 14:35 flies off with it. He is back briefly at 15:25 and the pair fly in 20 minutes later and go into the box; both leave soon after. The male is back at 17:25 for ten minutes and again at 18:45 for five. The pair fly in at 19:35 but the male soon leaves and the female sits on the ledge, moving into the box at 20:30 and falling asleep.

8 April – the male flies into the box at 3:55 and falls asleep whilst the female remains on the ledge. He flies out at 4:50 and returns at 5:45; the female calls loudly and incessantly. He leaves after ten minutes and she follows. The male is back a few minutes later and sits on the ledge until 6:50. The pair return briefly at 7:20 and the male is back for a few minutes at 8:15 and again at 8:40. As the female lands at 7:05, two Stock Dove pass close by; she takes chase and the male flies onto the ledge, leaving a few minutes later. He returns at 9:45 carrying a Starling which the female flies in to relieve him of. They both fly off, the male returning ten minutes later. The female is back briefly at 10:00 carrying her meal. He goes into the box when the female flies in at 10:10 carrying the meal fully plucked – she stashes it by a column. She moves into the box to bond with the male, but he walks out, picks up the stash and flies out followed quickly by the female. He is back on the ledge at 10:25 and remains until 12:15 when the female returns, and they go into the box. They leave after a few minutes bonding. He is back at 12:50 and sits on the ledge preening until 13:35. He is back briefly at 13:45 and is then on the ledge ten minutes later. The female flies in calling loudly at 14:35 and leaves with the male. He is back at 14:45 and leaves 30 minutes later. The pair arrive at 15:55 but the male flies out soon after and the female leaves after ten minutes. He returns at 16:05 for ten minutes and is back in the box briefly at 17:55. The female is in the box at 18:40 calling loudly, then moving stones. She then sits on the ledge and returns to the box when the male flies in at 18:50. He soon leaves and she follows. The male is back at 19:10 and is displaced by the female at 19:40; she falls asleep on the ledge. The male brings in Fieldfare prey at 23:15 and the female takes it from him, plucks and feeds on it for 15 minutes, then stashes the remains and resumes sleeping on the ledge.

7 April – the male flies in at 2:45 and the female joins him in the box. He leaves after five minutes and she returns to the ledge. She is back in the box at 3:25 and falls asleep before returning to the ledge at 4:10. The male is back at 5:15 and the pair spend ten minutes bonding before he leaves. He replaces her at 5:55 and then she returns when he picks up some scraps left on the platform. He flies off and she follows. He is soon back and after a few minutes in the box, moves to the ledge until 6:30. He is back five minutes later with yesterday’s stashed meal. The female flies in and takes it from him; he leaves. After a quick feed, she stashes the remains and flies off. This triggers the male to return and check the stash. He picks it up and after standing on the platform with it, flies off at 7:00. He is back on the ledge ten minutes later until 7:30. He flies in with the remains calling at 8:05. She responds immediately and takes the prey; he flies off, she stashes it – the same routine. She flies off at 8:15 and he is back at 9:00. An hour later, he picks up the meal and eats most of it on the platform. At 10:25 he flies out and returns immediately with the female who takes what is left of the meal from him. She takes it into the box and moves to the ledge a few minutes later, then flies off. The male is back briefly at 10:50 and 11:05. He is back again at 12:00 and sits in the box for 20 minutes when he flies out. He returns with the female but they do not stay long. He is back briefly at 12:55 and is in the box for ten minutes at 13:30. He flies off at 14:10, returning with the female 15 minutes later but they leave after five minutes. He is back on the ledge at 14:50 until 15:15, returning 20 minutes later. He is back at 15:55 with the female who is carrying another Feral Pigeon meal. She feeds on it on the platform whilst the male is in the box. She stashes it at 16:05 and the male flies off with it, passing close to the female to make sure she saw him and she immediately follows. He is back on the platform soon after and starts to prepare the meal, then sits on the platform until 16:50 when he flies out. He returns a few moments later with the female carrying her meal. He goes into the box and she remains on the ledge holding her meal. At 17:15, she stashes the prey and joins him in the box. After a few minutes bonding he grabs the stash and leaves, and the female follows. They are both back a few seconds later and the female takes the prey from the male. He flies off and she feeds on the pigeon for another ten minutes before re-stashing the remains, then flies off. The male is back, feeds on some scraps on the platform and then picks up the stash. He stands over it on the platform whilst looking out over the city. At 18:00 he decides to feed on the prey and then sits on the ledge ten minutes later. The female swoops in at 19:45 and picks at the scraps on the platform; the male flies off. She moves to the ledge at 20:10 and then into the box ten minutes later when the male lands. There are a few minutes bonding then he flies out. She remains in the box until 22:15 when she returns to the platform and feeds on scraps, then sits on the ledge until midnight at least.

6 April – she wakens at 2:35 when the male drops off a small item of prey which she eats and moves to the ledge. He flies into the box an hour later and they have a few minutes bonding. He checks there is no prey stashed, then sits on the ledge whilst the female falls asleep in the box. The male leaves at 5:05 and she moves to the ledge until she flies off at 5:50. He immediately returns and checks the box, then settles on the ledge. He is on hunting sorties at 6:20, 6:40 and 6:45. At 6:55 he returns with fresh Feral Pigeon prey and is followed by the female who relieves him of it; he flies off. She partly plucks her meal then stashes it in the box and flies off. The male immediately flies in and retrieves the stash, takes it to the platform, plucks and prepares it for the female. She flies in at 7:40 and takes it from him, feeds on it, stashes the remains at 7:55 and flies off. As is now the routine, the male flies in and picks up the stash and takes it to the platform, then flies out with it. He returns with prey and the female at 8:15. He flies off with the meal and she goes into the box then moves to the ledge. She flies out at 8:50 and is replaced by the male who feeds on scraps on the platform, then settles on the ledge with a full crop, flying off at 9:30. He is back at 9:55 and sits on the platform until 11:10 when he flies out returning to the platform at 11:45 until 12:00. The female returns briefly with her meal at 12:05. The pair are back at 12:20 and the male goes into the box whilst she feeds on the platform, then stashes the remains and joins him. After a few minutes bonding, he sneaks around the column, picks up the stashed prey and flies off; she follows. He is back with the prey at 12:45 and remains on the platform until the female returns at 14:20. She takes the meal and feeds whilst he goes into the box. She stashes some scraps 15 minutes later and joins him in the box. A few moments later she moves to the ledge, he grabs the stash when her back is turned and flies off and she follows. He is in the box at 14:55, then moves to the ledge where he remains until flying off at 16:00. He returns briefly at 17:25 and at 18:00 flies in with fresh Feral Pigeon prey and the female who takes the meal from him and he flies off. She starts to pluck the bird then drags it into the box to stash it and flies out. The male returns at 18:35, grabs the stash and proceeds to pluck and prepare the meal. He is ready to serve it at 19:00 and searches for the female who flies in and takes it from him. He returns at 19:30 to make sure she is feeding on it and goes into the box. She continues eating until 19:40 then stashes the meagre remains. The male picks these up and flies out with them; the female follows. They return together at 20:10 and go into the box but he soon leaves and she moves to the ledge, remaining until midnight.

5 April 2021 – Photo: the female sleeps in the box overnight.
5 April 2021 – Photo: the female spends more time in the box.

5 April – the female moves from the ledge to the platform at 1:00 and falls asleep, remaining there until 5:00 when she returns to the ledge. The male arrives at 5:45 and they go into the box. He flies out after a couple of minutes bonding and she walks to the ledge. The pair are back in the box briefly at 6:05; he flies out and she moves back to the ledge before flying off at 6:20. The female is back in the box at 8:15 and moves around a few stones before settling on the ledge. The male flies in with fresh Feral Pigeon prey at 8:35 and she takes it from him; he flies off. She plucks and eats some of it on the platform then stashes the remains in the box before leaving at 9:00. The male flies in and takes and plucks more of the pigeon, flying off with it at 9:30. He is back without it 15 minutes later. The female flies in and re-stashes it in the box. There are a few minutes of bonding and then the male flies off with the stash and the female follows. The pair fly in at 10:35 and go into the box but leave after five minutes. He is back briefly at 10:45 and 11:40, then settles on the ledge at 13:00 for ten minutes and again at 13:20. The female returns for a few moments at 13:40 and the male has short visits at 13:50 and 14:00. At 14:15, he arrives with the previously stashed pigeon. He plucks a few more feathers from it and prepares it for the female. He stands on the platform with it until 15:00 when she flies in and takes it from him and goes into the box; he flies off. She re-stashes it and flies out a few moments later. He immediately flies in and picks up the stash. [He really wants the female to eat this!] He stands on the platform with it until she returns at 15:55 and takes it from him – again! He goes into the box and watches her eat her meal but as soon as he flies out, she stashes the prey and flies off. He flies in at 16:10 and picks up the stash, feeds on a little then stands on the platform waiting for her. She flies in at 16:40 and relieves him of it. This time she feeds on it and flies off at 16:50. He flies in to check there is nothing left, then flies out. He returns at 17:25 and sits on the ledge with a full crop. He moves into the box when the female flies in at 19:25. After a few minutes he moves to the platform and cleans up a few left-over scraps, then sits on the ledge. the female remains in the box and the male scrapes on the platform. The female is calling incessantly and very loudly until he flies off at 19:45 and she moves to the ledge. He is back at 20:00 and she returns to the box. He leaves 20 minutes later and she falls asleep in the box, remaining until midnight at least.

4 April – the female moves from the ledge to the platform at 2:30 and settles to sleep. She flies off at 3:40 and returns with the male at 5:45. He goes into the box and she calls loudly from the ledge. He flies out after ten minutes and she follows soon after. He returns briefly at 6:15 and 6:35. The pair fly in at 7:05, the female carrying Feral Pigeon prey, and the male goes into the box but leaves five minutes later. The female partly plucks and eats the pigeon, stashing the remains at 7:25, and flies off. The male flies in at 7:40, picks up the stash and plucks and eats a small section of the prey, the flies off with the remains. He is back at 8:05 and sits on the ledge with a full crop until 9:45 when the female returns. He goes into the box and she follows but he does not stay long. After a few minutes, she moves to the ledge, going into the box at 10:50 when the male arrives. He flies out five minutes later and she returns to the ledge, leaving at 11:05. He returns briefly at 11:10 and then flies in with Blackbird prey at 11:25 looking for the female. She lands at 11:40 and takes it from him and stashes it; he flies off and she leaves soon after. He returns immediately and picks up the meal and takes it to the platform and looks over the city for the female. He starts to pluck it at 12:10 and the female flies in and takes it from him; he flies off. She stashes it and flies out. A pair of Stock Dove land briefly but leave quickly when the male flies in at 12:15. He picks up the Blackbird and takes it to the platform when he is relieved of it by the female. He flies off, she stashes it and leaves. The male immediately flies in, picks it up and flies out. He is back at 12:35 and sits on the ledge until 14:00. He is back 15 minutes later for ten minutes and then returns with the female at 14:30. They go into the box, but he soon leaves and she follows. He is back briefly at 15:10 and the female flies in with the Blackbird prey five minutes later. she feeds on her meal and then takes it into the box, then flies out. Typically, the male flies in, picks up the meal, plucks it and flies out with it in search of the female. At 16:05, the pair fly in and she takes the prey from him. They go into the box and there are a few minutes bonding before he flies off and she eats her meal. She flies out at 16:15 and he returns to the box, then the ledge. he remains there until 19:00 when he goes into the box on the arrival of the female. He leaves after a few minutes bonding and she moves to the ledge. she returns to the box at 19:20 and is joined briefly by the male. she is back on the ledge at 19:35. The pair are in the box again at 20:00 but the male leaves after five minutes and the female moves to the ledge, remaining until midnight at least.

3 April – the female is awake at 4:55 and is joined by the male five minutes later. She calls loudly to him whilst he is in the box until he flies out after 20 minutes. She leaves at 6:00 but returns with the male at 6:25 and takes the scraps of a previous meal from him on the platform. He flies off but returns after a few minutes and goes into the box, then on to the ledge when the female leaves. He is off five minutes later. She is back briefly at 6:55 and he makes a quick visit at 7:20. They both stop off momentarily at 7:40 and she makes a short visit an hour later and he likewise at 9:10 and 9:40. They fly in together at 10:50 and the female is carrying fresh Feral Pigeon prey. She mantles it on the platform calling loudly, as the male is in the box. He flies out and she goes into the box and plucks and partially eats her meal and stashes the remains and flying out at 11:10. The male immediately flies in, takes the stash to the platform and plucks and prepares the meal; feeding a little to himself. She flies in at 11:35 and takes the prey but in her excitement, falls backwards off the ledge; the male leaves. she returns at 11:45 and stashes the remains, then sits on the platform until 13:05 when she goes into the box when the male returns. He flies out at 13:10 and she follows. He is back five minutes later, picks up the stash and goes looking for the female. He returns at 14:15 and feeds on some scraps left of the platform before flying off at 14:20. He is back at 15:35 and ten minutes later, lands with the previously stashed prey. The female flies in and takes it from him. She feeds on it and flies off at 15:50 and the male soon follows. He is back at 16:15 until 17:05. He returns briefly at 18:00 and flies in with the female at 19:10. He quickly leaves but she sits on the ledge until 19:25. He is back briefly at 19:45 and she flies in at 20:35 and falls asleep on the platform.

2 April 2021 – Video: the new pairing are mating on the cathedral cross (c) John Ellis
2 April 2021 – Photo: the new pairing about to mate on one of the Cathedral crosses (c) John Ellis

2 April – the female remains on the ledge until 6:05 when she goes into the box on the arrival of the male; they both fly out after a few minutes bonding. The male is back briefly at 6:25 and 6:40. He returns again at 6:50 carrying some scraps of a previous meal and is followed by the female who takes the scraps from him. They go into the box after she has fed on the snack and they fly off a few minutes later. He is back briefly at 7:55, 8:55, 10:30, 10:55 and 11:10. At 11:30 he remains for 15 minutes and at 12:45 for ten minutes. The female flies in with Feral Pigeon prey at 13:20. It looks as if she has already feasted on it, so sits with it on the platform until 13:55 when she partially plucks then stashes the meal in the box. The male makes a brief visit at 13:50. She leaves at 14:05. The male flies in at 14:25, picks up the stash and flies off. He is back briefly at 15:35 and returns with the stashed prey ten minutes later with the female in tow. She grabs her meal and he flies out. She re-stashes it before leaving at 16:00. The male returns 15 minutes later, picks up the stash and flies off. He is back without it at 16:40 and remains on the platform until 17:00. The pair fly into the box a few minutes later but the male soon leaves; she follows at 17:10. The male is back at 18:05 with the stash and the female flies in and takes it from him; he leaves and she feeds on the prey. At 18:30, he is in the box watching the female. She calls to him loudly and after 15 minutes he moves to the ledge and she continues with her meal. She stashes the remains at 18:50 and the male immediately runs in, snatches them and flies out; the female follows. The pair are back in the box at 19:50 but the male leaves soon after. The female remains in the box until 22:30 when she moves to the ledge.

1 April – the male brings in a small item of prey at 00:20 which the female stashes. He is back at 1:35 but flies out as the female runs towards him. He tries to land a few minutes later but the female is blocking his route. At 1:50, she checks her stash then falls asleep on a very windy platform until 5:05 when the male arrives and goes into the box. She joins him and there are a few moments of bonding before he leaves; she returns to the ledge. The male is back in the box at 6:10 for ten minutes. The female flies off at 6:25 and the male flies in at 6:35 for ten minutes. Surprisingly, there is no activity recorded for over four hours! As 11:05, the female flies in with fresh Feral Pigeon prey which she plucks and eats on the platform. She stashes the sizeable remains at 11:30 and flies out a few minutes later to be replaced by the male. He sits on the platform for ten minutes looking at the stashed meal, then picks it up and plucks more of it before flying off with it. The female flies in at 12:05 with the stashed meal – no doubt having been found by the male – and takes it into the box. She moves to the ledge and leaves at 12:20 to be replaced by the male who recovers the pigeon and feeds on it on the platform. He has finished eating at 12: 40 but there is still plenty left, so he sits on the ledge calling for ten minutes then flies off, but he is back clutching the prey at 13:05. Thirty minutes later, he proceeds to pluck more of the meal. He flies out at 13:55 and returns with the female in tow. She snatches the meal from him, and he flies off. She stashes it at 14:15 and flies off but the male is back, picks up the meal, plucks a little more, feeds a little more then, sits on the ledge looking around until flying off at 15:30. He returns to the box at 16:05 for a few minutes and is back again at 16:10, this time with the prey and the female. He flies out and she leaves with her meal. They are back in the box 15 minutes later, the female carrying her meal which she stashes. There are five minutes of bonding before the male leaves with the female following soon after. The male flies in and grabs the stashed pigeon and leaves with it at 16:45. He makes five short visits before 18:00 when he flies in with the meal and the female. He goes into the box, she stashes the meal (again!), and there are a few minutes of bonding. Strangely, he picks up the stash and flies off whilst the female is still in the box! She soon follows. He is back at 18:55 for ten minutes. He returns at 20:30 and two females are seen to fly past in the lights of the Cathedral. He runs into the box and flies out immediately the female lands. She walks into the corner of the box and remains there until 23:50 when she moves to the ledge.

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