Thanks to a very keen visitor this morning we know there are certainly 3 eggs. He was able to see in briefly during a changeover from further down the path and reported to me that he could see eggs. We had looked at this point before, but had been unable to see anything. It looks as though the high winds earlier in the week have cleared the view slightly!
Later on in the day, I noticed the tiercel was stood up off the eggs, and was generally being quite restless (I think he was ready for incubation relief!). I thought I would take my chance head down the path slightly and use the children’s box to be able to stand high enough to see into the nest. Sure enough I was able to see that there was definatly 3 eggs! 2 of them were very brown coloured, looking rather like a hens egg. The other was much paler, this is usual as the female starts to run out of pigment after 2 eggs are laid.
The brown colouring is very camouflaged on the earthy, leaf covered ledge, the paler one stands out a bit more. Unlike the first 2 eggs laid, the third one will never be exposed for any length of time so this should not be a problem.
The persistant rain today led to both adults spending their break from incubating just sheltering on the cliff. This was the kind of day peregrines prepare for by storing food in caches. Nothing was brought out during the time I was observing today, however. It is possible they had fed earlier on this morning and were just happy to wait for the rain to subside. The falcon did go out hunting once the rain stopped this evening and therefore hopefully didn’t go hungry!
Tom Wells – Peregrine Protection Officer