Apr22 update – our female and male Peregrines have been incubating their eggs, 4 in total, for a month now, and we estimate the “due date” for hatching to be around 29-30 April; just a week to go, so keep watching. It seems there is another younger female in the vicinity, flying in from the south-west to try and attract the male’s attention while our female is sitting on her eggs. Although showing some interest, the male is maintaining his part in incubation duties, and hopefully he will be active with hunting and feeding after hatching.
Apr5 update – Easter Egg News; it’s definitely 4 eggs being sat, as the female (I presume) left the eggs visible at about 12.30 on Easter Sunday for 10 minutes or so for a comfort/food break. Surprised that she didn’t call the male to take over, as often happens, but the first week of incubation seems to have gone smoothly.
Mar30 update – Nick Dixon is pretty sure he saw a 4th egg at about 1pm on Monday 30th March. If the female was keeping to a 64 hour interval, it would have been expected around 7am Monday morning, but the adults have been sitting tight since incubation proper started with their 3rd egg, so it’s only possible to check when the female goes off for a break and the male takes over. We would be pleased to hear if anyone can confirm and give a more precise time for the 4th egg.
Mar27 update – a 3rd egg has been laid, at 15.05 on the afternoon of Fri 27th March, again some 64 hours after the previous one. As high-status falconry birds in the Middle Ages, it is perhaps appropriate that our Peregrines have laid 3 eggs in this Richard III week.
We now wait to see if that is all; last year our pair laid a 4th egg, which seemed to be unusual for them, although only 3 hatched. Meanwhile, the Peregrines on the Catholic church near Bath railway station have laid their 2nd egg today (Friday) and those on Norwich Cathedral now have 4. The pair at Nottingham Trent Uni are busy incubating their clutch, but Derby Cathedral are still awaiting their 1st egg.
Mar25 update – a 2nd egg was laid sometime between 22.15 and 23.08 on the evening of Tue 24th March, some 64 hours after the 1st egg, longer than the typical 48-57 hour gap expected. If anyone can tell us the exact time, we would be pleased to hear. The female is now sitting the eggs more regularly, but still not all the time.
It seems there were more than one intruder bird last week; the juvenile offspring was observed soaring with the adults, but other(s) were seen aggressively expelled from the territory.
In other news, congratulation to St Michael’s choir member Graham Keitch whose anthem “In Memoriam Ricardus Rex” was sung during the Requiem Mass for King Richard III at the Catholic Holy Cross Priory Church in Leicester on Monday. It has been good to see most religious commentators emphasizing the many strands of continuity with the medieval English church, as we also try to in our website’s History Timeline.
Mar22 – Spring is in the air and egg-laying has commenced in the Peregrines’ nest box inside the south face of St Michael’s spire. This will be an updating Blog, hopefully documenting the laying of more eggs during this week.
I’m pleased to say that both Nick Dixon, our local Peregrine expert, and Jason Fathers, who has installed the camera and hosts the live streaming, were online at 6.30am on Sunday 22nd March to witness the laying of the first egg of the 2015 season at 06:36. This is just a day or two later than the first eggs seen on camera the previous 2 years. Thanks to Jason for this picture…
Typically our Peregrine female lays her eggs at 2 day intervals, and will start serious incubation of the eggs only when 2 or possibly 3 have been laid. So it’s alright that the first egg is being left mainly unattended at present. Also really good to see the egg laid in a scrape well visible in the camera field of view.