After all last week shenanigans. It looks like the pair have settled on the top eyrie, lasted used in 2008. Although all previous courtship behavior had suggested the falcon had chosen to nest on her favored ledge, as used in 2012 and 2013. She has decided to lay her eggs on the alternate ledge. Despite spending 4 nights roosting on the favoured ledge, and making us all assume she had started laying her clutch there. She seems to have changed her mind at the last minute. The “2008” ledge provides the best rain shelter and maybe that, combined with the failure to hatch her only egg on the favoured ledge last her had given her second thoughts. Good news, the pair both seem well settled up on “08” and are now 4 days into around the clock incubating and are no longer mating. Although we have seen not visual confirmation of eggs, we can safely say both adult birds think there is something worth sitting on up there and that good enough for me.
Just to make things a little clearer, here is the story so far:
10th March – Nest scraping and pair bonding courtship on 2013 eyrie.
25th March – Mating first recorded, raising up to 3 times a day during watch site open hours.
27th March – Falcon brooding eggs and roosting on 2013 eyrie. Copulation continues.
29th March – Egg laying suspected on 2013 eyrie. Copulation continues.
1st April – Change of heart, falcon now scraping and roosting on “2008” eyrie. Copulation continues.
4th April – Around the clock incubating by both birds. Clutch complete. Copulation continues.
5th April – No more mating recorded.
This is too good a shot not to share, thanks to first time visitor Raymond Leinster for the cracking copulation picture. I have it on good authority it will not be Raymond’s last visit.
Hope to see you soon.
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger.