Last night found Dad sitting high up on the spire with a feather sticking out of his ‘nose’ (see picture) – even after a speedy flight it had not become dislodged.The juveniles performed to perfection giving us several wonderful displays of their prowess in the sky to the strains of Mozart and Beethoven (equally performed to perfection by the Boston Youth Symphony) from the Cathedral.
Archive for June, 2010
On a glorious Sunday afternoon the juveniles took to the sky as a family and what a spectacle it was too! Some very fancy flying as well as practising turning upside down. Even though they were playing quite a long way away I didn’t manage to get all 4 in the lens so here is s sample of what 2 of them were up to.
The Peregrine family have continued to provide great entertainment in the last week. Notable moments include one of the adults taking a Pigeon over the shops in East Street in front of many shoppers, and lots of mini-stoops by both parents right around the Cathedral resulting in no reported captures. Yesterday an adult carrying prey was sighted heading into the north of the city at low altitude with two loudly squawking juveniles in hot pursuit. It seems that the parents are beginning to demonstrate their hunting technique to the youngsters.
One young bird amused watchers by electing to perch on the end of the white crane north of the Cathedral, where he or she continued to sit unpeturbed as the crane rotated as it went about its work.
Lots of opportunity yesterday evening to watch all the youngsters fly now that the girls have joined their brothers in the air. Such a beautiful evening is ideal for gazing skywards and seeing the antics of 4 young peregrines learning to fly like their parents. Landings are still a bit dodgy and sometimes the point is missed so they have to go round again.
The two female juveniles followed their brothers into the air this weekend. Number 43 seemed to have taken her first flight early on Saturday morning, with her sister (number 42) following in the middle of the afternoon. The males are now noticably improving their flying skills, chasing each other and the adults around the Cathedral throughout the day.
Today we had to go out and do other stuff much to our disappointment but our return journey meant we had to pass close to the Cathedral. What a treat female 43 sitting on the bell tower. What luck I had my camera with me, she flew back to the nest turret, some great pictures. We were treated to a great flying display by the adults as well. I will wait to be posted by the RSPB as to when or if 42 has made her maiden flight. What a great time to visit Chichester and see some of the greatest flying you are ever likely to see. A rare privilege.
Female juveniles numbers 42 and 43 spent the majority of the day looking like they might fledge at any moment, but by evening had yet to do so. Mum and Dad continued to attempt to lure the female youngsters to fledge, circling above them often. They even delivered most of the days’ prey into the southwest turret (rather than that on the southeast of the building, in which the nest resides) in an apparent act of bribery! In the early evening the parents relented and brought a meal to the nest site for the young females.
On such a windless day it was perhaps unsurprising that the girls chose not to take to the air today. It is often said that Peregrines prefer to make their first flight into a headwind. Perhaps if there’s a breeze tomorrow they will finally take to the air.
Two of the juveniles have now fledged – 40 and 44 both males. This afternoon female 43 was seen surveying Chichester from the nest turret – will she be the next to take to the air? Mum and Dad were close at hand watching from their vantage points in the air and then on the south and east side of the spire. They are keeping a close watch on the proceedings.
I’m sure everyone will be excited to hear today’s news. After a few days of waiting for the big event, Peregrine number 44 plucked up his courage and took his first flight this afternoon. The big moment came at 3pm, and was completed by a successful landing on the Cathedral a few seconds later.
After all of the preceding days’ activity a period of blazing heat appeared to slow the birds down on Saturday morning and early afternoon. Mum, Dad and the juveniles barely moved a muscle during the hot part of the day. Mid-afternoon the sun went behind some cloud, the temperature dropped and within minutes the adult birds went back to circling high above the Cathedral. The youngsters immediately responded by resuming flapping their wings and hopping into view on the sides of their turret.
At 3.30pm Dad took a Pigeon in straight pursuit right over the centre of Chichester, around 200 yards north east of the Cathedral. This was passed straight to Mum, who flew around the turret carrying the prey for a minute or two in plain site of her offspring before bringing it into the nest area. This certainly appeared to be evidence of the adults having decided it’s time to tempt the youngsters into the air.