Pigeon Sandwich

I was excited to see both parents and two of the youngsters in sunlight this evening.  Seems like a very long time since that happened.  Recently I’ve seen both adults, but rarely a juvenile, and they’ve tended to sit in the shade on those odd occasions when the sun has made an appearance.  Anyway, back to this evening…

I arrived to see dad in his favourite spot high on the spire, mum on the north blind window, and no. 35, our young boy, having a bit of a snooze on the east blind window.  I walked around the cathedral to see if any others were around, and while I was in the west, I heard loud squawking.  I rushed back around to the north and saw a female juvenile had landed next to mum, squawking at her – presumably asking to be fed.  When mum didn’t take any notice, the juvenile dropped its head and called more quietly, just like a child going from screaming demands, to quiet pleading.  It was quite extraordinary.  After only about 30 seconds of that, mum flew off – I assumed to get dinner.

Dad and no. 35 had both ignored the commotion, keeping a low profile.  The girl moved and perched behind the central pinnacle, against the spire – it was a fabulous position, showing her off clearly against the blue sky from the east, and with the sun on her back from the west.  A while later, a pigeon flew in to the cathedral – not normally noteworthy, but this one made me laugh, appearing to have a much lower IQ than an average pigeon.  I don’t know how it managed to fly at all, it had more gaps in its wings and tail than feathers to fly with!  I wonder why…  You’d think it’d move house!

Back to the peregrines…  I was still waiting for mum to reappear with food, and enjoying the lovely views of the juveniles.  Then another pigeon came in.  This one flew level with the female juvenile, dropping briefly onto the pinnacle alongside it, then changed its mind and left.  Our girl looked utterly perplexed, and very much awake!  Shortly afterwards pigeon number three perched level with dad, on the next panel around (the spire is octagonal).  The panel in question was the one immediately above our girl.  She looked as though she might have a go at it for a few minutes, staring upwards and standing as if about to take off – I told her to go for it, I dared her, I double-dared her…  Eventually, she resigned herself to having to wait for mum to bring in food and sat down to preen.

I waited, and waited, and mum didn’t reappear.  I decided to walk around again and see if she’d come in without me noticing – she had!  Where was she?  Sitting on the spire, next panel around from the pigeon, so the pigeon was sandwiched between dad to its east and mum to its west, and a hungry juvenile below.  Brave?…

Incidentally, mum didn’t have any food with her – perhaps the juvenile hadn’t been asking for dinner after all, maybe she was just saying to mum “hey mum, guess where I’ve been today?…”  Probably not.  Mum probably just wanted peace and quiet!

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The life of the famous Chichester Peregrines that live on the cathedral spire.
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