As mentioned in the previous blog, the peregrines are wasting no time in restarting their courtship behaviour and have been nest scraping at least 3 possible new nest sites. The falcon was even scraping a ledge that Ive not seen a record of them nesting on (click here for video) , but like most of their favored ledges it comes with the infamous favoured large rock, in the way of our view. Understandable, as the rock is likely to provides some shelter form the wind and I imagine the peregrines don’t want to make their eggs too see to spot after. Certainly, give us a good challenge anyway. Although it is rather unlikely we will have to worry about spotting new eggs again this season. After all, the pair would have to go as far as to copulate again first and before we start to even think about eggs. Hopefully we would have some warning first, as copulating is a brief but rather noisey affair.
Sadly, time is against them and traditionally its against their nature. Peregrines are considered a one brood a year bird and although there are cases of falcon relaying when she has lost her eggs within a week or two or laying them, it would be very usual for them to completely start again so late in the year.
Here is a 30 second sample of what you might see at the watch site this week. The video is of the peregrines performing a mutual ledge display, this was on the eyrie last used in 2013. Full display lasted over 5 minutes. You can even see the tiercel feeding the falcon if you watch carefully. You can also hear the birds too, so keep the volume turned on and listen for birds “chupping” calls to each other. There was at least 5 of these displays today with plenty of nest scraping, fighting over food and general tom foolery chasing each other up and down the gorge to go with it.
It might not be grumpy looking eyasses showing of its shinny new rings, but theres still plenty to see and hear at the peregrine watch site. They are certainly keeping me on my toes.
Hope to see you soon.
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger