Both birds continued to incubate today, although there were still long periods where no bird was on the eggs. This shows that we have not got the third egg, just yet. Although not constantly occupied with incubation, there is always one of our pair in the vicinity to keep guard.
Now that our pair have eggs, I have noticed they have been doing more of their own hunting than when they were courting. Today though, the male did bring a starling for the female. He was incubating until around 09:50 this morning, left the nest and then returned just 20 minutes later with the prey.
Later in the day, after incubating for a half an hour, he flew to the pairs food larder, known as a cache. Peregrines can store food in here for up to 3 days, this one did look rather stale! He then proceeded to tear it apart, giving the visitors at the time a very graphic view of nature….
The tiercel then flew up onto one of his favourite perches in an old oak tree, near their plucking branch. The falcon returned calling (captured brilliantly in chas moonie’s shot above) and he went to get the rest of the starling from the cache to feed to her. He later begged to get some more, but she gave her upright threat display, with her wings out to make herself look as large as possible. The falcon flew off to elsewhere on the cliff to finish the bird, leaving him just a few less desirable looking parts on the branch.
It was a great day for our launch, thank you to everyone who came along! Our pair performed accordingly (most of the time!), its great to see them doing well and progressing in their breeding cycle.
Tom Wells – Peregrine Protection Officer