JUNE 2020

As there is now a new female in situ and the daily courtship process continues, each day is following the same routine. There is little chance of any successful breeding this year and I will therefore be scaling down the extent of this daily commentary.

1 June – the female remains sleeping in the box and moves to the ledge at 3:40. The male flies in at 4:00 and the female leaves. He flies off at 5:25. The pair are back and forth for the rest of the morning making occasions scrapes in the stones and bonding. There is little activity in the afternoon/evening and neither bird occupies the ledge in the evening.

2 June – the male flies in at 4:05 and the female visits 20 minutes later and there is a bonding session in the box. The male brings in a pre-plucked item of food at 6:40 and eats on the platform. He spends the rest of the morning on the platform and flies off at 11:50. They both visit a couple of times in the afternoon and the female is in the box at 18:05 and remains until 20:00. The male is on the ledge at 21:15 and remains until midnight at least.

3 June – the male remains on the ledge from the previous evening and is joined by the female at 4:45. There is a bonding session in the box. Both birds visit briefly during the morning. There is another bonding session at 15:55 and the female remains in the box for 90 minutes. Neither bird occupies the ledge in the evening.

4 June – the pair fly into the box at 4:50 and there is a short bonding session. They are back again two hours later when the male brings in fresh Stock Dove prey which he gives to the female, and she eats on the platform. He leaves and she sits on the ledge after feeding. There is another bonding session when he returns at 8:10 and again at 11:15. They both spend over two hours together, the male in the box whilst the female sits on the ledge. They fly out at 13:50 and return for another bonding session at 16:15. She then moves to the ledge until 17:50. The male brings in another Feral Pigeon at 19:15 which he presents to the female, then flies off. She feeds on the platform before flying off with it at 19:40. She is back ten minutes later. There is more bonding a few minutes later. She then sits on the ledge with a full crop for the rest of the evening.

5 June – the female is on the ledge when the male flies into the box at 2:15; he flies out at 3:45. The female follows at 4:05. The pair are back at 5:00 and one or other is on site until 9:00. The pair are back at 12:00. The male leaves 30 minutes later and the female until 12:40. There is little activity until the pair return at 18:10 but the male soon leaves returning at 20:40 for 40 minutes. The female remains until midnight at least.

6 June – the male joins the female at 2:35; she flies off at 4:10. She is back with the male in the box at 5:15 for a brief bonding session; they leave after ten minutes. They are back at 6:40 until the male flies off at 8:30. They are bonding again 20 minutes later. There is no activity from 9:50 until the male makes a brief visit at 19:25. The pair are bonding briefly at 21:10. They have both left by 21:25.

7 June – the male arrives at 3:55 and is joined for a bonding session by the female at 5:15. He soon leaves, and she goes an hour later. They are back bonding at 8:35. He leaves, and she sits on the ledge until 10:35. He is back with a full crop at 10:50 and is joined by the female at 12:00. She soon moves to the ledge, and he flies off; she leaves at 13:45. There is little activity for the next three hours until the male flies in at 16:50 until 18:00. She is back with a full crop at 20:00 and sits on the ledge until at least midnight.

8 June – the male joins the female at 4:10 and there is a bonding session. She leaves 15 after minutes and he goes at 5:05. She is back two hours later until 9:55. The pair are back in the box at 13:10 for five minutes. The male soon leaves, and the female at 13:25. One or other is on the ledge through the afternoon until they both go into the box at 17:15. He leaves soon after and she goes at 18:00. The male is back with a full crop at 19:20 but soon leaves. Neither bird returns to the ledge.

9 June – the male arrives at 4:20 and is joined by the female 25 minutes later for bonding. There is another session an hour later and the female does a bit scraping in the stones. The male spends a lot of time on the ledge during the day and makes 7/8 short flights until 15:20 when the female returns. She goes into the box 30 minutes later and returns to the ledge at 16:10. The male arrives at 16:35 and the pair go into the box for a bonding session. he leaves ten minutes later but she moves to the ledge and remains until 17:30. The male is back an hour later and makes a number of scrapes in the stones in the box and on the platform, then sits on the ledge until 21:00 taking a number of short flights during that time. He is back at 21:50 until 22:15.

10 June – the male arrives at 4:05 and calls from the ledge. He is eventually joined by the female at 5:35 and there is a short period of posturing before he leaves, and she soon follows. He is back with a full crop and half-eaten Feral Pigeon meal at 7:10 but leaves quickly. He is back, without his meal, at 10:55 and mainly remains on the ledge until he is joined by the female at 15:00 and they go into the box. he flies out 15 minutes later and she makes a scrape in the stones before moving to the ledge. She flies off at 16:30 and the male returns. She lands briefly at 18:15 and after a few moments calling, they both fly off. The male is back briefly at 19:55 and again at 21:00. The female drops in for five minutes at 21:10 but there is no further activity.

11 June – the pair arrive at 5:50 and go into the box. The male leaves after a few moments and the female leaves at 6:10. The male spends 15 minutes on the ledge from 7:00. The female lands at 14:15 and is joined by the male 40 minutes later but they immediately fly out together. She is back an hour later, leaving at 17:00. The male is in the box at 18:10 but leaves after 15 minutes. The female lands briefly, calling and looking skyward at 18:50 – the final action of the day.

12 June – the pair arrive at 4:45 and spending five minutes bonding. The male leaves soon after and the female at 6:25. She is back at 13:40 for five minutes and the male returns at 16:25 for ten minutes. He is back again at 17:55 for another ten minutes.

13 June – the male arrives at 4:25 and remains on the ledge until 6:20 when he goes into the box to make a scrape. He returns to the ledge until leaving at 7:15 when the female flies in; she leaves at 7:40. The male is back at 8:15 for ten minutes and at 10:30 he returns with a full crop; he is off at 11:20. He is on the ledge at 12:05 and goes into the box when the female arrives 15 minutes later. He leaves after a few minutes bonding and she sits on the ledge, also well fed, until 13:05. The male is back for another ten minutes at 13:35. The female is back at 16:10 and spends 15 minutes moving stones around the box, then walks to the ledge and flies off at 17:10. She is back in the box an hour later and then on the ledge until she is joined by the male at 19:35. They are in the box bonding but he leaves after a few minutes whilst she remains until midnight.

14 June – the female remains on the ledge from the previous evening until flying off at 3:55 to be replaced by the male with a full crop. He is joined in the box by the female at 5:45 and there is an intense ten-minute bonding session before the male flies out. She leaves at 6:20 and the male arrives soon after. At 8:15, he goes into the box and spends five minutes making a scrape around the left-hand egg. He returns to the ledge, flying off at 8:40. He is back at 9:10 for ten minutes. The pair fly in at 9:55 but the male leaves after 15 minutes. He is back at 11:40 and the pair go into the box for 20 minutes. The female moves to the ledge whilst the male falls asleep in the box until flying out at 12:25; she leaves at 13:10. He is back on the ledge at 15:25 for two hours and at 18:50 until 19:05. He is back ten minutes later carrying Feral Pigeon prey with the female closely behind. She snatches the meal, and he flies off. She plucks it and flies off with it at 19:35 as the male returns to the ledge where he remains until 22:00.

15 June – the male arrives at 4:15 and is quickly joined by the female. He leaves soon after, but she remains. The male is back at 5:35 and there is bonding for five minutes. The male leaves whilst the female remains until 6:30. She is back at 7:40 and sits on the ledge before making scrapes in the box an hour later, then returning to the ledge. There is more bonding at 9:20 and the female leaves after a few minutes and the male sits on the ledge until 13:05. During the afternoon, both birds visit the ledge sporadically for varying lengths of time, either separately or as a pair. At 18:20, the male is back with a full crop and sits on the ledge until 21:20 when he goes into the box on the arrival of the female. She flies off 15 minutes later and he follows.

16 June – the male arrives at 4:00 and is joined by the female 40 minutes later but she does not stay long. She is back at 5:45 and he leaves after a bit of bonding; she soon follows. He is back at 7:15 until 9:40 and again at 10:55 when he makes scrapes on the platform, then returns to the ledge until 13:10. He is on the ledge again at 14:45 and joined by the female at 15:10 for some bonding. He flies off at 15:35 and he leaves after 15 minutes; she sits on the ledge until 16:00. They are back at 19:15 for another bonding session but he leaves soon after; she flies off at 20:10. The female is back at 22:35 after a severe rainstorm and remains on the ledge.

17 June – the female is asleep on the ledge until the arrival of the male at 4:35 and they go into the box where there are ten minutes of bonding before he flies out. She returns to the ledge until 5:55 and flies off. She is back briefly at 6:45 and the male is in the box at 7:30, moving to the ledge after five minutes. He is back in the box at 8:15 when the female lands; they leave together a few minutes later. The female is back briefly at 9:35 and is on the ledge an hour later remaining until 11:05 when she moves into the box when the male arrives with Starling as a prey gift. He flies off with it but she remains in the box making a scrape next to the left-hand egg. She moves to the ledge at 11:30. The male flies in (without prey) at 11:50 and goes into the box where he remains until they fly out together at 12:50. They are back together at 14:10; the female on the ledge, the male in the box. They are off together at 15:30 and the male is back at 18:45 looking rather dishevelled and sits on the ledge preening. The female takes his place 20 minutes later until 19:40. The male is back ten minutes later and continues preening, leaving at 21:10. He returns with the female ten minutes later, but she quickly flies off and he moves to the ledge, leaving at 21:30.

22 June – UPDATE: for regular followers, you may have noticed that two of the eggs have ‘disappeared’. Finally, after almost eight weeks since taking over the box, the new female has started to take control. On the 18th at 18:35, she makes a break in one of the eggs. Over the next 24 hours she stands on the egg and nibbles at the shell. Then on the 20th at 8:30, she stands on the egg making a larger hole before removing it to the platform. Later in the day, at 20:45 after some bonding with the male, she breaks into another egg on the right-hand side of the box and carries it to the platform. She drops it by the original egg which she then picks up and carries to the left-hand column where she stashes it. On the 21st at 8:05, after more bonding with the male, she walks from the box to the platform where she picks up the egg and takes it to the ledge. holding it in her talon, she picks at the contents and a small bundle of feather are removed which she drops over the edge. She then picks up the egg and carries it to the right-hand column where she stashes it. At 2:45 on the 22nd, the male arrives and walks over to the egg stashed by the left-hand column. He picks at it for a few moments before settling on the ledge.

23 June – UPDATE: at 4:35 on the 23rd, the male walks from the box towards the platform. On his way he kicks the empty egg over the edge. This leaves two untouched eggs still in the box and one crushed egg by the right-hand column.

30 June – UPDATE: throughout the month both birds were regularly in the box and continued the bonding process. This became less intense towards the end of the month as they became more comfortable with each other’s presence.

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