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Peregrines on the Clock Tower

May 2009

New Camera!

Posted by Sarah Lewis on 16 May 2009

There is no sign of second clutch, although the birds continue to spend much of their time around the nest on the east clock face.  The birds are still showing some pair bonding behaviour, spending time together and today putting on an aerial display.    Despite showing this behaviour the birds have not been seen mating.  The longer we wait, the less chance of success.

At last we have some good news to bring you!  Our fantastic new camera is up and running!  It even has its very own windscreen wiper-what will they think of next!  We have much improved views of the peregrines and now have a full screen image to show visitors.  Unfortunately, the new camera image is not yet available to internet viewers (but we're working on it!), so why not come down to the museum to check it out for yourself?!  See you there... 

Fresh Hope??

Posted by Sarah Lewis on 5 May 2009

Another day of interesting behaviour!  Today, (Tues 5th May) the birds have spent the majority of their time on or around a new (old raven’s!) nest positioned on the east facing clock face.  They have been sitting very close to each other, often both in the nest together, and also have disappeared on hunting trips together.  Such “lovey dovy” behaviour is not the norm for peregrines, except during the pair bonding period, which usually occurs before laying in Feb and March.  The female then spent the afternoon “scraping” the nest.  This is a natural behaviour to create a bowl shaped “scrape” on the nest ledge, which prevents eggs from rolling off the cliff. 

It is unusual, but not unheard of, for peregrines to lay a second clutch of eggs after sitting for the full incubation period.  When it does happen, it tends to occur only in city nesting peregrines, reflecting the greater availability of food in cities later in the year. 

 

Could Gavin and Stacey be attempting a second clutch??  Watch this space!!

Bad News

Posted by Sarah Lewis on 4 May 2009

It has been a depressing few days for the PoCT team.  After a completely normal day on Sunday (3rd May), at about 3.30pm the birds suddenly became very agitated and active around the Clock Tower.  At first we thought their excitement was due to the eggs hatching, which was supported by the fact that the one of the birds appeared to bring food to the nest.  However, no chicks were sighted and the feed didn’t take place.  The birds then left the nest completely unattended for the next hour or so and could be seen perched at the top of the tower.  As I left the site at the end of the day, one of the adults was seen forlornly circling the tower, occasionally landing at the eyrie (but not sitting) and looking generally lost.

Monday (4th) confirmed our worst fears.  The eggs had failed and the Peregrines had abandoned the nest.  They spent most of the day sitting on the clock tower and ignored the nest that they had been working so hard to incubate.

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