After yesterdays slow start it was a welcome sight to see the peregrines at the eyrie first thing. Their presence was surely a sign of things to come.
Sure enough at 11:30. After a morning of calling to each other, they were seen mating in the large oak tree opposite the watch point. If successful, the falcon could lay their first egg by Wednesday or Thursday this week!
After mating, the tiercel performed a territorial display flight, which basically meant he flew around a lot showing off to the falcon. This demonstrates to her his fitness and ability to chase off unwanted intruders like other peregrines. The falcon then inspected the eyrie which the tiercel had been scraping yesterday.
The pairs’ bond for the season is clearly growing, as the tiercel delivered food to the falcon during the afternoon. The tiercel had already had a good go at plucking the prey item by the time we had a look at it, but it was most likely from the thrush family, either a song thrush or fieldfare. He also visited two different ledges in the gorge to retrieve and deposit prey items. These caches or larders are used when the birds know bad weather is on the way to make sure they don’t go hungry if they can’t hunt. Or perhaps the tiercel is stocking up in anticipation of having to keep the falcon fed as she incubates eggs…
Bye for now,
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger