Update From The Bristol and Bath Peregrine Group – Incubation Well Underway!

Bristol and Bath Peregrine Group
A blog all about the comings and goings of Peregrines living in the west.

 Sunday 7 April 2013

Hamish reports in on the eggs:

Who is looking at who? The female peregrine at Bath. Photo by Hamish Smith
Who is looking at who? The female peregrine at Bath. Photo by Hamish Smith

I got a good look at all four eggs today when the pair changed over; no signs of damage. Interestingly, the eggs have been moved significantly from the original scrape which was towards the camera side of the box and the back. On a couple of occasions last week I saw the male being blown back off of the eggs. Today when I switched on the monitor the male had the duty, and he was lying head on to the mullion that runs down the centre of the ‘window’. When he got up to leave, the eggs were clustered together right in front of the mullion, effectively shielded from the wind blowing through the tower. This change has happened in the past day (I wasn’t there yesterday) and I would love to believe it was a plan, and not just where the eggs ended up after turning. When the female took over, she had to lie diagonally across the box.
Thursday 4 April 2013

Another timely update from Hamish Smith:

Now four eggs at Bath.  Male and female continue to share the incubation.  The female was being ferociously territorial today, flying CAP against the gulls for some considerable time before taking over the egg duty.

I was checking on my monitor outside the church and couldn’t tell whether one of the eggs is damaged or not.  As this is the best view I can get I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Three eggs at Bath! To confirm my earlier e-mail, still only three eggs at Bath.  Male and female sharing the incubation and food.  I’ll check again tomorrow PM.

I can confirm the report of a third falcon, but don’t know if it was the same one as sighted yesterday.  Just before I left, the male was on the eggs and the female came in empty handed and screeching. The male came out, circled the tower and went back on the eggs.  The female lifted and started circling and climbing rapidly.  From Parade Park area I saw her home in on a high falcon and fly straight at it.  They headed off in line astern towards Widcombe but I ‘lost’ them at that point.

FYI: A couple of pairs of interested binoculars at the church today, one of whom expressed surprise when I told him there were three eggs now.  He’s been following the website and thought there was still only the one as there had been no further updates.  The other chap was very taken with the ability to link to the camera, but sounded disappointed when I said there wasn’t an online feed!

Sunday 31 March 2013

Hamish Smith report|

Two eggs at Bath. Female headed off towards the Abbey. Male escorting a buzzard out of his airspace.

Thursday 28 March 2013

First egg laid! A message from Hamish Smith:

To confirm my messages of earlier, when I checked at 10:00 this morning there was one egg in the box. It wasn’t there at 18:00 last night, so we have a pretty reasonable start to a timeline. The pair have been taking it in turns to keep it warm in the cold weather, but they’re not on it all the time. The routine looked like, turn it, sit on it for about 2 mins then leave it for 10 -15 mins. If it gets much colder however, she might end up incubating it by default even before the others are laid.

This year the scrape is on the left hand side of the box, looking out and in full view of the camera.

AA has started taking his pre-natal classes seriously. With the female in the box he lifted from the church, called twice then headed off. Minutes later he returned with something that looked like a thrush, called four times and landed above the box. He then lifted calling continuously, she came out of the box, in-air transfer, he went straight into the box and she landed on the church with the kill.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

A scrape was noticed in the nest box.

Monday 25 March 2013

Having a plucking good time!
Having a plucking good time!

Latest on the Bath Peregrines

Female having a plucking good time. Photo| Hamish Smith

Earlier last week, Hamish and Colin were out watching the Bath pair of Peregrines. Hamish spotted them mating for the first time on Tuesday 19th March, and Colin (Hawk and Owl Trust) checked the camera view on the nest box – there was no sign of a scrape or eggs.

And on Wednesday 20th Hamish says,
‘No birds on the church at first, but very soon a flock of pigeon lifted from the surrounding buildings as the female came in from the direction of Parade Park, carrying a pigeon which she proceeded to prepare on one of the turrets. Bath Peregrine Watch veterans will be only too well aware of AA’s (the male) attention to catching and sharing of prey. In essence, what he catches is his, and what the female catches is his also. AA flew through a shower of pigeon feathers directly at the female, and amid much vocalising but very little debate, AA was left on the turret with nothing but feathers as the female headed for a gargoyle with her catch. She proceeded to eat her fill, then flew off to the Abbey, presumably to cache the remains as she returned ‘empty handed’ a few minutes later.

Keeping a beady eye on her mate!
Keeping a beady eye on her mate!

Female safe on her gargoyle, but keeping a close eye on her mate. Photo| Hamish Smith


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