It looks like our male has dropped the ball again. He took over incubation at 17:32 and an hour later he upped and left the nest. There were no alarm calls or anything to suggest any form of disturbance. As ever our vigilant team checked everything to be absolutely sure and it looks like he just took himself off. The eggs were left unattended for over an hour and half before the female returned. It’s likely she was elsewhere and didn’t realise he’d left the nest as she is now incubating the eggs. We are now very concerned about their viability as they’ve been left for so long. However we are grateful for small mercies in that a crow didn’t spot them and come in for another snack. It’s possible the clump of moss he put on the nest last night, which is obscuring the camera’s view of the eggs, is hiding them out of sight from others.
I know how worried everyone will be but we’ll just have to watch and wait and see what happens next. Fingers crossed.