Friday, 28 June 2019

Watch Point reports and SHE HAS FLOWN

THE FINAL WATCH POINT this year was on Saturday 6th July.
Here's Mike Goold's report:
At the Watch point today were Andy, Chris, Dave, Helen, Gill and Mike...
While enjoying a pot of real tea and toast in the Cathedral cafe prior to the start of the Watch, we noticed a shower of feathers descending amongst the heavy rain from the top of the Tower and quickly worked out that something was being eaten high up on the south side of the Cathedral. 
We headed out to the green and while we set up our scopes and info desk, we could only see the adult female sitting on the platform with the other 3 family members either hunkered down on the tower or on the more salubrious hotel roof top nearby (!) Who could blame them in that rain!
After a bit of scouting along Full Street, Andy located the juvenile male tucking into brunch on top of one of the south facing grotesques thus explaining the shower of feathers from that side of the Cathedral. We moved one of the scopes down Full St where many passers-by stopped and admired the view of the young Peregrine who, fortunately for the squeamish, had stopped eating. He stood proud for a short while atop of the dragon grotesque but then decided the weight of the food in his full crop was too much so lay flat out and got his head down at the back of the ledge!
At this point the male adult appeared carrying a fresh catch and delivered it to the female juvenile tucked out of sight on the roof of Bennett's shop. After a feed she took to the air with several laps of the green and tower. She eventually joined her sibling amongst the grotesques!
Around this time the female adult re-located to Jurys Inn where she sat on the letter N for the remainder of the Watch, and the male adult, after a short spell preening on his favoured spire at the Cathedral top, took to the air again. He returned not long after with another kill grasped firmly in his talons. After of couple of 'look what I've got, kids' laps above the Skill Mill Green he dutifully stashed at it in the top of the bell tower louvres for later consumption!
From there all of the Peregrines kept a low profile with only the male adult visible high on the tower spire!
Despite the British summer dreek throughout the Watch with rain falling in varying degrees of intensity, nearly 90 members of the public stopped to look through the scopes and chat about the Peregrines. One gentleman from Edinburgh had come down the night before to see a gig by an ex-member of the Adverts (a great '70's punk band) and, as he has a passion for Raptors (not a '70's punk band), decided to take a trip up to the Cathedral to see the Peregrines before returning to sunny Scotland!
So an eventful end to what has been a great series of Watches with 2 chicks successfully fledged. They're now flying and landing in the right places confidently! Not a bad way to spend Saturday mornings!

Story of the second fledging:

Mike Goold was on the case yesterday (28th June)! He saw the juvenile female on the platform at 4pm but by 7pm she had taken off and successfully landed on the roof of the Premier Inn further down Full Streeet as his photo shows.
Close up......Photo: Mike Goold

Female chick on Premier Inn roof. Photo: Mike Goold

Report on the Watch Point on Wednesday 3rd July:

Today, Wednesday 3rd July 2019, was bright and sunny with a gentle, warm breeze.  As we arrived, an adult peregrine appeared, carrying prey.  The young female was perched on the rooftops of Bennetts shop, just along from the Cathedral, while the adult perched on the roof of the Premier Inn across the road.  We watched as the young female became very excited and she ‘flew’ across to the other corner of the roof – she obviously spotted the adult who landed with the prey for her, before taking off and landing on one of the Cathedral’s pinnacles where it could keep watch.  The adult was calling loudly all this time.  The young female spent the next half an hour eating her fill.
Meanwhile, we watched as a buzzard flew across above the Cathedral roof and off into the distance.  A little later we spotted the young male, high in the sky.  We could see the pale border on his tail as he flew above us.  He rose higher and higher until he was out of sight, and that was our only view of him during the session.  We think that the adult male was with him, but it was difficult to be certain, as they were so high up.
Once the young female had eaten her fill, she again took to the air, circling right over our heads, before wheeling round and landing rather unsteadily on the Cathedral’s castellations.  She had a further short flight, landing on the grotesques and hopping from one to the next, before again taking to the air and disappearing from our view.  The adult female also treated us to several overhead flights, one where she was carrying prey which she cached above the louvre windows.  Once the young female had gone, she also took flight and disappeared from our view.  The show was over for us on our last Wednesday session of the season.  We had 36 visitors in total today.
Joyce, Tony, Steve and Mike

REPORT ON WATCH POINT 29th JUNE:Mike Goold writes:
At today's watch point were Helen, Jane, Paul and myself and we had about 50 members of the public come along and use the scopes.
At 9am the female chick was feasting on a catch that an adult had delivered to her on the roof of the Premier Inn. She had obviously been up there all night since fledging yesterday evening.
Juvenile female on Premier Inn by Dave Farmer
By the start of the watch point at 10am, we had the female chick hunkered down sleeping off her feed on a ledge of the Premier Inn roof overlooking Cathedral Green; the female adult keeping an eye on the female chick from the nest platform; the male chick sunning himself on top of the right hand grotesque at the top of the tower and the male adult preening on top of the left hand spire at the top of the tower. This gave plenty for the visitors to look at even if the Peregrines were static for about an hour.

Around 11am the female chick took to the air and was immediately escorted by the male adult. She did a few circuits of the tower and out over the green and eventually settled back on the Premier Inn roof. The male chick also took to the air, flying with and around her at one point, and he also landed next to the female chick on the Inn roof and had a snack from the remains of a carcass that had been deposited there earlier!
From there the rest of the watch became very quiet; the adults and male chick flying off towards Pride Park and the female chick resting in the shade of the water tanks on the roof of the Inn. can't blame her in this heat!
Flying well. Photo by Mike Goold
The adult female keeps watch from above. Photo: Dave Farmer.

Just as we ended the watch one of the adults returned catch-less, to the water spout on the tower top, the female chick calling loudly for food...she was continuing to cry out for a feed from the Inn roof as we all left!
Juvenile male back on the platform. Photo: Dave Farmer

Meanwhile earlier Watch Points have been going well with plenty of action:

Report on Wednesday's Watch Point (26th):
Well, what an exciting morning we had!  The scopes had been set up for less than15 minutes when the adult female treated us to a fly past with prey, with the young male fledgling chasing her, loudly begging for food!

                                                Juvenile male chases his mother Joyce Sawford

This behaviour was repeated on several occasions during the session, much to the delight of our visitors, who were suitably impressed.
The young female watched with great interest, practising flapping her wings whenever she had the chance, at one point actually 'flying' from one side of the nest ledge to the other.
The adult male spent most of the morning watching over the young ones from the grotesques above the nest ledge, then from the lettering on Jury's Inn.
                                                      Siblings together Joyce Sawford

Above the nest ledge, the female cached away the food and later she was seen plucking it, sending feathers flying everywhere.

We had around 60 visitors, including a couple from Colorado USA, and a group from Loughborough U3A who had been visiting the Cathedral and Bridge Chapel.  They kept us busy, asking lots of questions about the peregrines and their young ones as they looked through the telescopes. We don't think it's going to be too long before the young female takes to the air, so Saturday's Watchpoint (on 29th) should be well worth a visit.
Joyce, Tony and Peter

REPORT on Saturday's Watch Point

Mike Goold and Helen Naylor sent in reports of what was clearly a very good Watch Point yesterday (22nd). I've combined their words below:

180 people came to look at our peregrines with Jane, Paul, Hilary, Helen and Mike there to help them get the best views and the latest news.

We had several flights from the male chick, at one point riding a thermal so high above the Cathedral we wondered if it knew how to get back to the tower. It didn't disappoint with a spectacular stoop at high speed, landing perfectly on one of the tower pinnacles. Judging from its developing flight skills, he has probably been flying confidently for a few days now after his falls of Sunday and Monday. On most of his flights the adult female was in relatively close attendance, although he did have a couple of outings from the tower on his own.
Juvenile male chases for his dinner. Joyce Sawford

The female chick remained on the platform, exercising her wings during our time there. While she was exercising, she perched on the edge of the scrape and I noticed her left foot slip from the edge and she almost fell backwards into space but managed to topple back to safety.
One of the parent birds appeared to bring back some cached food towards the end of the morning and took it to the platform. After stuffing herself full, the chick got her head down for most of the afternoon and didn't reappear until after the watch had ended. 
The male youngster was calling on and off begging for food but was out of luck.


Helen said...

During yesterday's watch point it was interesting to see how the parent birds responded differently to each of the juveniles. The young male bird has now been flying for two weeks and was clearly much more confident than his newly fledged sibling. As soon as the female juvenile took to the air the adult birds were immediately there to guide it back towards the Cathedral and the surrounding area. The male juvenile however, was left to fly alone on several occasions. He was later accompanied by an adult on a longer flight, whilst the remaining adult was left to watch over the young female. Peregrine's make such fantastic parents!

Kate said...

Thanks Team, Helen and (Peter for the cams/vids.)

Such detailed reporting, keeping us distant watchers well informed on the Healthy activities from the Nest.


Zebra Class said...

we have enjoid finding out about the peregrin folcons this year. we are hopping they can all fly well now and have a good and happy life were ever they go. maby the juveniels will have ther own baby chicks wen they are older.

Nick Brown said...

Hi Zebra Class: thanks for your comment and we are very sorry the web cams didn't work this year.
Meanwhile you might enjoy watching the osprey webcam at Arkaig Loch in Scotland where two very big chicks are in the nest: . They are getting close to fledging.....

The Project Team

Sjoberg Anna said...
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