Tuesday, 2 June 2009

This week


There will be Watch Points on Thursday (4th), Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June this week.

As the chicks begin to exercise their wings and lose their fluff, so the day of their fledging edges ever nearer. This is a worrying time for the team and we usually have to rely on local folk to alert us to the presence of a fledgling on the ground somewhere nearby the cathedral.

Our theory is that the cathedral is too narrow. On a natural cliff, the first time fliers would be able to semi-circle round and land back somewhere else on the cliff. With a narrow tower, they can't manage a tight enough circuit to arrive back on the tower, instead missing it completely and landing either on a roof on the west side or even down on the streets.

The photo shows the feisty female youngster we rescued in 2006 - the only one to come to ground it that first year. You can see how big she was - males by comparison are much smaller in the hand - and easier to grab too!

Nick B (DWT)

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the chicks does't look to be moving, maybe the heat?? Hope its ok, the others look so grown up

Karen Anne said...

It's dinner time. All four and Mom are eating, although it is a bit hard to see.

Anonymous said...

Little beggar has moved now its tea time, looks like a rugby scrum!

Karen Anne said...

I just uploaded a pic to flicker, you can see all four and mom if you look closely.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

I've always loved that picture that you've used on the header of this diary section - what a fabulous, gorgeous bird! I think I would cheerfully sell my soul to be able to hold a bird like that! I'm green with envy. However, lets hope they all make completely successful maiden flights. As I said in an earlier post, if anyone thought the egg hatching was tense, just wait until fledging.

Karen Anne said...

Yes, Sue, I really really like that picture too :-)

Colin said...
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Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@Colin; Fantastic pics on your page, they certainly are getting adventerous!

Breakfast being served over in the West wing this morning, although two chicks don't seem too interested. looks like a slightly cooler day in the scrape today, i'm sure some welcome cloud!
Hoping to get to the watchpoint tommorow for the first time, i'm just hoping I don't have to work!

Phoebe said...

@ Colin
Great photos on your page! They are so daring now!

Phoebe said...

There is lots of wing stretching going on at the moment. and I see there is also some food left in the LHS.

Tom said...

I've just been watching our Peregrines on the church here in Bath. Also I've just heard that this year's brood was fathered by one of last year's chicks with his own mother, having scared off his father in order to have his wicked and incestuous way! No wonder I am getting no response from the church authorities with regard to setting up a webcam for next year!

Phoebe said...

@ Tom
As far as I know they pair up for life, so maybe something happened with the father, which is sad.

Tracey said...

Can anybody tell if all 4 are there ? Getting nervous that I will come and have a look and they are all gone :(

Tracey said...

Pheew :) Just spotted number 4 hid behind the other on the right.

Phoebe said...

@ Tracey
Yes they are all definitely there lol but I know what you mean... looks like two of them are helping themselves to a snack! As i type three are eating now.

Phoebe said...

@ Project Manager

Do we know what ring numbers are on each chick male/female - especially what number did Tinker get?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Phoebe: I'm trying to ascertain this now from the ringers - I wasn't there that night!
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

Thanks Nick B, I will be at the watchpoint on Saturday.

They are all very active now, and they have polished off the food Mum left for them. Mum came to check what was left. And I think Dad is near the pudding cam - his wing keeps flapping over the lens.

Karen Anne said...

Tom, how do they know it's last year's chick, did they manage to get a readable photo of his ring?

Although they mate for life, sometimes an intruder will drive away one of the pair. It often is a fight to the death, but not necessarily, I remember some site where the driven off individual set up housekeeping with another bird some place close enough so that the watchers identified him.

Karen Anne said...

Or maybe the chick didn't drive off his Dad, maybe the Dad had some accident.

Tom said...

Karen - I don't know any details, but I'll try to find out and get back.

Tom said...

Well I've just watched this video clip below (hopefully it will appear as a live link) and that is said is that the present father is a chick from the same mother of 2007. I can't find any reason as to why the father disappeared - maybe an accident, or maybe this happens more than we know.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/bristol/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8063000/8063538.stm

Tom said...

re the above 'link' looks as though you'll have to paste it in manually I'm afraid.

Phoebe said...

@ Tom
I just watched it, they do seem sure that it is the 'son' of Mum! Yet they mention 'the chick just handled' which afterwards was called a female?

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I was chatting to one of the RSPB people down at Worcester and they were telling me that this years male is different to last years, apparantly he saw the older male off. This years Daddy is an unringed male.

simon said...

is it me or is there only 3 chicks in the scrape.

Tom said...

I've just seen 4, Simon. We're getting a bit twitchy!

Ed Drewitt said...

Bath Peregrines

In 2008, just as the chicks were hatching the male of the breeding pair disappeared (presumed dead).
Meanwhile, one of the chicks from the year before, a male ringed AA was still present - often breeding pairs will allow one of their offspring to stay around. After the male's (presumed his dad) disappearance he stayed on and helped rear the chicks with his presumed mum. If neither were his parents it seems unlikely he would have be allowed to stay.

This year AA is still present and paired with the female, presumed his mum from all the behaviour and circumstantial evidence. We are doing a DNA test when the two moult to confirm 100%.
In the future it may even be possible to catch the adult female and ring her.

Such a pairing is not so unusual in the raptor world apparently and is not especially damaging to the genes of the offspring. It would be however if the two siblings paired up together.

The pair this year had four eggs. Two hatched and one survived. This seems to be a common trend around the west of England this year with just single chiks surviving - perhaps there is less food.We have had the same thing happen at two other sites (although we don't know how many eggs were origianlly laid) where two chicks are now one.

The chick we ringed in Bath this year was a female.

Ed

Ed Drewitt said...
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Phoebe said...

@ Ed Drewitt
Thanks that clears up what I posted earlier about the ringed female. Interesting and good to hear that a family member helps out if needed! Sad to hear only one chick has been surviving.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I have to work tomo, i'm so miffed! I really wanted to bring the children to see some peregrine action! And i'm working Saturday too........ They really are getting difficult to see in the scrape now!

Phoebe said...

@ Project Manager and DWT
I'd just like to say thank you for putting my captures on the front page.

Tom said...

Thanks to Ed Drewitt for that - I only saw one today, and didn't know if there were any others behind - now I know.

Any chance of a live webcam next year?!

Phoebe said...

feed time...

Tom said...

This morning I saw a feed and the bird brought back seemed to be distinctly black and white, and not too big - woodpecker, maybe? Let's hope it wasn't a dipper! (though I think they wouldn't be high enough right now to present a target).

Tom said...

It's about 9.30, and one of the adults is tucking into a fat pigeon on her/his own, up on the stonework!

john(wigan) said...

great to see that all chicks are doing well been to bolton, manchester and darwin today all have done really well this year

john(wigan) said...
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