A peaceful Sunday (apart from the thundering of the industrial-sized extractor fan at the nearby Mansion House restaurant with accompanying rancid oil smells). PTL brought in prey around 17.00 and quietly devoured it, then the tiercel arrived at 20.00 and called briefly. No sign of the others, but it's about time they moved on!
A rare sighting of both adults perched together on the east side of the tower. Quiet for much of the day now, with some calling by one, sometimes two juveniles early morning and late afternoon.
During a hot, sultry day, there was little activity, with juvenile (PTL) resting high on the spire and another juvenile on the north side of the tower in the shade. Around 15.00 PTL flew off, returning at 15.45 with prey – a wader. Around the same time I had a call saying that 'our' peregrines had been chasing prey over the saltmarsh at Rimac Nature Reserve. So, our juvenile made a 20-mile round trip, caught and returned with prey, in 45 minutes.
Click on the image below to see a video of the proceedings.
The juveniles are thriving, though the young female (PSL) seems to hang around the church, calling from daybreak, rather than getting out and hunting!
A noisy day! Lots of prey caught (and some dropped) by the juveniles, but the photo below shows the adult falcon with a feral pigeon, which she kept to herself.
A rare sight of all five peregrines this morning. A juvenile (PSL) brought in prey that it shared with PTL, while at the same time, the adult falcon brought in another catch that was plucked round the corner. Regular food-passes are now seen.
Click the image below to see a video of the feeding.
Good to see all three juveniles on the wing together, presumably enjoying the blustery conditions. The rings of all three have been read over the past couple of days.
This evening for over an hour until around 22.30, the adult female (falcon) circled the church shrieking her alarm call. Too dark to see what the problem was, but the male (tiercel), who had been ever-present high on the spire all day, was nowhere to be seen. She has finally settled on the tower, so we'll see what tomorrow brings!
All three juveniles have been seen away from the main body of the church, so, although we haven't identified the young female (PSL), she is flying around. It looks as if barring disasters, all our yougsters are healthey and happy (do peregrines experience happiness?)
This will be the first year since 2016 that all our birds fledged successfully, though one was subsequently found injured and had to be euthanised.
Much activity this morning between 08.30 and 09.45. An adult was seen to try an arial food-pass to a juvenile, who caught it then dropped it. The adult swooped to retrieve it, without success. Both adults spent much time flying and gliding around the church, presumable trying to coax the juveniles into the air. Certainly one (PVL) is flying well, but difficult to identify whether the other two are doing much more than hopping from one piece of stonework to another. All activity ended when the adults spotted buzzards, gave the alarm call and went after them.
This afternoon, the other juvenile male (PTL) was seen to be flying confidently. Just need to see the female (PSL) on the wing.
The male (PVL) has been flying strongly today, while the other two, after their escapades of yesterday, have spent the day on the gargoyles on the east side of the tower.
First flight this morning by one of the males (PTL). Conveniently landed on our garden shelter! I eventually caught it 3 hours later and took it to the church, only to discover another juvenile (the female PSL) had come down in the Rectory grounds last night and that had just been returned to the tower. Much shrieking by the adults.
The photo below shows the state of the tower walkway.
The juveniles very active today, with forays onto the gargoyles. First flights soon!
Below, a cracking photo of two juveniles. Courtesy of Steve Plant.
The peregrines have just attacked and killed a passing buzzard near the church this afternoon. The buzzard was quite high and minding its own business, but the peregrines were not taking any chances
All three juveniles now visible on the tower walkway this afternoon
First photo of one of the juveniles, taken from the garden. On the south walkway.
First glimpse of one of the juveniles this morning, looking through a gap in the crenellations. They had been calling for food since 5am – and it will only get louder!
The chicks/young juveniles were heard to call for the first time today, showing that they are growing and demanding food. The falcon was seen to pluck prey on the east side of the tower below the ringing chamber this afternoon.
The juvneniles should be visible on the castellations of tower walkway in the next couple of weeks.
Stunning photos from Steve Plant taken yesterday evening. Shows what patience and a good camera can achieve!
The chicks were ringed this week by Alan Ball under strict health security conditions, and thought to to be two males and a female. His photos below. The rings are: PSL (female), PTL and PVL (males).
The drone was back again today, circling the church. Fortunately it didn't seem to disturb the peregrines this time. Both were flying late afternoon and the falcon brought in prey that was plucked high on the spire, then taken to the nest tray.
A drone was flying this morning over the town and church, putting the pair to flight. It eventually flew high southeast. Illegal, of course, but when the police phone number puts the caller through to Lincoln, one loses the will...
Dale Walker has had access to the church just in time to see the birds feeding. We have 3 chicks and all look healthy. It's thought they are 2-3 days old, so the earliest so far.
Mostly quiet over the past few days. The tiercel has been keeping watch, often from the north side of the spire, with just a couple of brief visits from the visiting falcon. This time last year, the 5th egg was laid, so at a guess, without sight of the TV screen, we can expect the first egg to hatch around the 12th May.
A quick check of the nest tray via the TV screen, showed that the falcon is brooding at least two, and possibly more eggs. The three birds were flying together briefly this morning, before the visitor flew off south.
After a few days when the 'ménage à trois' saw the 3 birds flying around, it's now become quiet again. In the last 4 years, at this point in the calendar the falcon was sitting on 3 eggs (in 2016 and 2018, she'd laid 4 by now). With no access to the TV screen, it's anyone's guess what's happening!
The three birds (two falcons and the tiercel) took to the air during the afternoon. Eventually, the interloper flew off and the resident pair were seen to copulate, after which the falcon spent 30 minutes preening before moving to a ledge on the bell tower where food (probably woodcock) was cached. Photos below.
A quick check on the TV screen by Verger Dale Walker this afternoon revealed the falcon is now installed on the nest. She may have already laid, but with the weather being so cold, she wouldn't expose any eggs.
There have been regular sightings of another falcon associating with our pair. All three fly together, though the visiting bird doesn't linger. It's possibly a juvenile from an earlier brood as there is no antagonism shown.
There are no clear signs that the falcon is laying yet, but with the church locked, ther are no reports.
The TV screen will not be switched on for visitors to view the peregrines activity, but any information on their progress will be posted here. In the meantime, here are 4 fabulous photos taken by Steve Plant last week. Perseverance pays off! Thank you Steve.
This morning, the falcon was observed inspecting the nest tray and enlarging the depression. Click on the image below to watch the video.
The falcon was photographed this morning enlarging the depression in the nest tray. Earlier, both birds flew after a sparrowhawk that was passing.
The tiercel was seen scratching around in the nest tray.
An opportune visit by Chris Marshall at 5pm resulted in this great photo from the TV screen.
The pair have visited the nest tray – there is a depression in the gravel. They were both around this morning.
The pair were displaying in coutrship flight this afternoon, using the high winds to their advantage.
The RSPB's Investigations team has revealed that rates of raptor persecution are showing no signs of slowing down across the UK. In the last 12 years, there have been 131 incidents of Peregrine Falcon persecution with two in Lincolnshire.
View the RSPB's Raptor persecution map HERE.
13 February 2020
The pair were cavorting together on the south walkway below the ringing chamber this afternoon. The TV screen is on, but it shows no disturbance of the gravel in the nest tray, however, it was the end of march when this was noted last year, so plenty of time!
24 January 2020
The Nest tray with new roof is now installed. Just waiting for the camera to be positioned – then the birds to take up residence!