We had a disappointing start today – the electricity was down in the Cathedral, so we couldn’t get live views of the nest until mid afternoon. When it came back on, the sun was out, and the chicks were all sitting in the shade, hard to see clearly. On top of that, the adults were both out of sight for most of the day, so all we had was video. It was very frustrating.
Around 4.00 we saw dad fly south and expected him to return with dinner. About 20 minutes later, we noticed mum was looking twitchy and somewhat irritated. She then headed out to find dad, returning after only a few minutes with him in tow. They gave a wonderful display for several minutes, flying leisurely together over the Cathedral and surrounding gardens.
Then, time for action – mum suddenly headed north-west and stooped in a fast dive, disappearing behind buildings. She returned to the nest a few moments later clutching a pigeon. She dropped into the turret and proceeded to pluck the pigeon as normal. The chicks were all hungry, and approached the front of the nest box, lining up for their share.
After a bit of feeding, mum returned to plucking the rest of the pigeon, with the hungry chicks watching intently. Then one of them decided he (or she) had had enough of waiting, and stepped off the edge of the box into the turret below! What an exciting moment for our young chick! Well, it was exciting for us watching it anyway, I think he was too focussed on reaching dinner to realise the big step he’d just taken! Two of the others followed when they saw he was being fed out of their reach. It wasn’t a very dignified drop, but they made it. One walked around exploring the turret a little before heading for food. We thought the fourth (who had been the first to be fed) was going to stay in the nest, but just before 5.00, he joined his siblings on the turret floor. Now the parents have got no chance of controlling them – they’re off!
If you saw mum catch the pigeon, please add a comment and let us know where it happened – thanks!