Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Day 13, chicks are growing

A selection of shots from the past few days.

On Friday morning, the chicks were fed a Parakeet. Parakeets are quite abundant around here (it being West London) and quite a favourite with Peregrines and in particular this pair.

Day 10, parakeet for lunch

Day 10, parakeet for lunch

On Saturday, I saw the male feed the chicks for the first time:

Day 11, Dad is feeding the 3 chicks

Day 11, Dad is feeding the 3 chicks from another angle

By the evening, the first projectile poop had hit the camera, thankfully not impinging on the view of the chicks, which is still only partial for the moment.

Day 11, first smudge on the camera

On Sunday, the chicks were fed yet another pigeon...
Day 12, Dad brings in a pigeon

Day 12, Mum takes pigeon from Dad

... leaving them to sleep in a bed of pigeon feathers:

Day 12, chicks in a bed of pigeon feathers

For more shots, visit the flickr album

Thursday, 26 May 2011

one week old

The 2 oldest chicks are now one week old and have grown quite a bit as you can see from this comparison montage:

Comparison shot: the chicks at hatching and 1 week later

Today's shot was taken at the end of the morning when the chicks were fed another pigeon:
Day 8, late morning feed

This was before we had some rain. In the gap between 2 showers, the female looked like having a sip from the puddle in front the nestbox:

Day 8, having a sip?

We had some thunder and Dad popped on the ledge to check on the rest of the family:

Day 8, Dad checks on the family

Then we had a lot more rain:

Day 8, more rain

Monday, 23 May 2011

Day 5, 3 little heads

Day 4, do you want my portrait?

Pretty good view of 3 little heads at an early feed time:
Day 5, 3 little heads at feeding time

Day 5, close-up

The falcon has been doing most of the brooding and feeding as far as I have seen.Unfortunately, the chicks are still out of view for most of the time.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Day 4

There was rain overnight and the chicks were moved towards the back of the nestbox.
Last night:
Day 3. proud/surprised Dad

This morning:
Day 4, Mum has moved the chicks towards the back

Various prey items have been brought in and out:
Day 4, Dad retrieves the prey

Day 4, Dad arrives with another prey item

Friday, 20 May 2011

And then there were three!

The 2 chicks hatched yesterday were fed quite regularly today:

Day 2, going to get prey from male

Day 2, bringing prey to feed

Day 2, feeding the chicks

At around 5pm, there was clear view of the chicks and the remaining egg. I thought I could see a crack, but with the resolution could not be too sure. Then at 7:15pm, the falcon was discarding a piece of eggshell and eating it.

It wasn't until 8:45pm that she finally got up and revealed that, indeed, the 3rd chick had hatched. I think it's the one on the left on the shot below, it looks a little bit less fluffy and fat...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

First chicks!

Last night, the pair switched positions around 8pm, revealing 3 eggs neatly positioned by the male:

20:06 3 eggs

When I checked the cctv stream this morning I thought I caught a glimpse of something white and fluffy, but it's only when the falcon moved a piece of eggshell that I knew: at least one chick had hatched:

6:24 egg shell

I had to wait for another 40 minutes before seeing the first chick properly:

7:07 male brings prey

7:08 First view of first chick

7:09 1 chick

Then, towards the end of the morning, surprise, surprise: 2 chicks!

11:40 2 chicks

Notice that a piece of eggshell has fallen out of the nestbox. It was subsequently picked up by the female and brought back in the box

11:46 first feed

11:48 first feed

11:50 first feed

Unfortunately the recording equipment broke down so we do not have video clips to show you and can't pinpoint hatching times more accurately. Hopefully, this should be fixed tomorrow.

Talking of recordings, nearly 2 weeks ago, a podcast was recorded at the London Wetland Centre, which will be hopefully the first of many. On the menu, latest sightings from around the reserve, photography tips and a short summary about the Peregrine pair.
You can listen/download it here on iTunes.

Monday, 9 May 2011


We are in the doldrums of incubation and, thankfully, there isn't much to report. Both birds have taken their turn at incubating the eggs and below are a few screenshots of both of them on the eggs and some nest reliefs.

The male pops in on the ledge but the falcon didn't want to be relieved, he left 15 minutes later.

Having a snooze

The male arrives for an early evening shift, he was to leave at 9:53pm that day.

Check the difference in size between the female (above) and the male (below).
No, they don't spend their time looking at the camera, very little time in fact, but it makes for nicer shots.
The female has arrived to relieve the male who seemed reluctant to leave, often he's out like a shot before she's even landed...

Day 24, not too long to go now, the first chick should start to hatch within the week now.