I am testing the revamped website to see if it will allow stills to be added
Here is the link to the video
This is a test run to see if the website is operational. Huge relief to have it going again, especially with young ones imminent – hatching due from the beginning of October, but more likely from 2nd or 3rd.
Here is a video of Diamond arriving in a snowstorm (which was actually a bit of a non-event as the snow barely settled, but would have made hunting a bit interesting).
It would seem that I still cannot load stills, which is a shame, but hopefully that will be fixed before fledging.
Very little prey has been coming in recently, only one every second day or so, but that will change once there are mouths to feed.
One odd thing has been happening. We appear to have a visitor..I’m not sure, but I think a large male. He has arrived on the ledge and stayed for a while without trying to persuade Diamond off the eggs (as Xavier would). Diamond didn’t try and chase them away but made a strange keening call, which I’ve heard before when strangers are around.
Your comments are welcome! Cilla
I’m so sorry about the nest cam problems. James and Scott are both working hard to fix it. We really don’t want to have to get (or install) a new camera, especially just before hatching. Nor do we have the funds at present. We are still trying for a different solution.
I have some access to the nest cam when I’m at work as I have installed some surveillance software called Security Eye which seems to bypass the cam streamer to youtube and connect directly with the camera (which is working fine, so another reason not to replace if possible). This helps me fill in the gaps for my research.
So here is a video from that software of Diamond today getting herself in a bit of a muddle with the eggs and the walls of the box. let’s see if this works https://youtu.be/wWE8ONE59Rw. Woo-hoo it worked, well sort of. It’s very short. Now if I could just figure out how to load photos as I have nice new ones from both inside and outside the tower.
Here is another video from my youtube channel, which might be more successful. This is Diamond also trying to land sideways in the nest on a windy day. Apologies for the music. I forgot I had Spotify or something on in the background!
The other problem is that I can’t read your comments as an observer (I can through the back door, so to speak), which presumably means that you can’t read each others’ comments either. I’ve alerted Scott to this problem (and asked him how to insert photos, which I’ve uploaded to the library here). Hopefully this will be fixed soon.
I have updated this page (I didn’t realise that I had access…) with some very brief notes from each year that was missing. Should give you a bit of background.
I have my website access back, so can start doing my Friday (or more frequent) updates. We now have three eggs, as follows
This pair has never had more than three, so I expect that is our lot.
All are doing well. A lot of prey was coming in (mostly starling, with the odd rosella, galah, pigeon and various unidentified scraps) until recently when it almost petered out. I suspect they have a stash somewhere outside.
We had a drama with the nest cam being flickering and off, and mostly off, over the last few days, but that was fixed last night (thank you, Scott).
We think there is also another peregrine around, possibly two. A large female juvenile visited the box recently and we think there might be an adult around too. This makes our pair rather nervous as the concrete hilton as prime real estate!
We also had a drama with repairs being needed to a major leak in the water tower. Fortunately, common sense has prevailed (aided by an appealing image of Diamond incubating her three eggs), the water in the tower will be lowered to below the leak and repairs postponed until after the season.
I don’t seem to be able to add photos. I’ll check that with Scott. But I should be able to add links to my youtube account, so let’s try that out.
https://youtu.be/UnrnPYK8eRI RELUCTANT CHANGEOVER
Okay, that’s all for now. Scroll down for comments
It seems that Scott has repaired the website and I’m giving it a test run.
Here is the prey offering from Xavier this morning. Not sure what it was, but it was a reasonable size and Diamond seemed pleased!
Despite looking regularly in the usual roost trees, and elsewhere, Gaia has not been seen since the first week. There is some evidence that she was heard calling a few days after that, but nothing recent. I have not actually stopped looking for her, and unless one gets a report of injury, or finds a corpse, one cannot categorically state that she has died, but that would seem the most likely outcome. She is much too young to have set out on her own.
Even Pluto is not really hunting yet, although we have seen him catch a dropped prey a couple of times, once through the webcam and once in the field (sorry, no photo!). He is a feisty youngster, tormenting his parents (as they all do) for food. Here is seen interrupting his parents’ bonding ritual yesterday with demands for attention, managing to chase both adults out of the box. I think he will do well!
Here is our young male, in a calmer pose.
A few prey have been brought in by the parents (mainly Diamond), including the probable rosella caught by Pluto on 27/11. Here is the clip of that
We’ve also had a mystery prey (actually we have lots of these as much prey is brought in headless, wingless, tail-less and featherless:), but this one was a bit intriguing. It seems to be a medium sized passerine, with narrow beak, plumage dark in colour with a clear patch of yellow and possibly some white on the flank. Nothing springs to mind! I’ve enlisted some local sleuths (Sue and Tiffany) to plumb the depths of their knowledge…
Pluto will continue his training following his parents, who will drop prey to him to hone his flying and catching skills and I expect him to start catching his own prey fairly soon. Last year the youngsters took cicadas, but these insects come in waves and are unlikely to provide a feast this year. The parents will gradually loosen ties with Pluto until he is independent. This is unlikely before another three weeks and could take longer. According to the literature, once juveniles can catch their own prey, the parents drive them away, but I’ve never observed that. Our pair seem quite tolerant of youngsters, despite their sometimes appalling, nagging and even aggressive behaviour.
Chitra and I are going out in the field again this evening to watch the youngster. I prefer to do this when Pluto is in the box (as he has been a lot this last week, resting during the day and even occasionally at night), so I know that, should I find a juvenile, that is Gaia as they are quite hard to tell apart unless they are together.
I have to go to Sydney this weekend, but will be around next week to keep an eye on things.
As we know both siblings fledged really well and were found together on the familiar roost tree earlier this week. A colleague (Chitra Shanker, a visiting academic, with a very serious camera) and I have been having fun watching flying lessons around the tower and the roost trees.
Here is her picture of one of the adults flying, well beyond my photography skills:
One of the juveniles (we think probably Pluto, based on size) has come back to the box and has been resting during the day. Here he is with Mum, Diamond.
And the next day he came back.
this video shows Diamond leaving when he approaches and some ducking when an adult swoops from the top of the tower.
Here is one of the juveniles (probably Pluto) on the tower roof. Note heart-shaped spots.
Juvenile in dead tree, probably Gaia. But also has heart-shaped spots! Photo by Chitra Shanker.
Have a lovely weekend. Let’s hope some of that forecast rain evenutates.
And to avoid confusion, birds at this stage can be called eyasses, which simply means pre-adult birds, OR fledgelings, which means recently taken their first flight, OR juveniles as they have juvenile plumage. There is no ‘fledgeling’ plumage, so it’s a stage rather than a look, if you see what I mean!
There are other definitions in use eg eyas often means unfledged, but is widely used for all young peregrines in the literature. I’m sure falconers have their terminology as well, but their plumage can be affected by their diet in captivity!
I found Gaia this afternoon. She made her way to the roost tree very quickly (as did Pluto) and with no dramas or help from me, fortunately. I think the parents have decided this is a good area for them for flight practice and steer them here more quickly each year. I think this must have been the easiest year for them (and me!). I’ve included one of Pluto having a poo, as I know that will keep some of you happy.
Gaia fledged at 7 weeks and 1 day (from 1st hatch) ie 43 days. It was quite a good fledge, although she seemed to be on a downward trend to the right, so I think she landed not too far away. I’ve been out with Chitra looking for them both this morning. Found Pluto on the roost tree (not at all bad after such a short time), being guarded by Diamond (we didn’t go too close as I didn’t want to startle him into a flight for which he was not ready). And we found Xavier on the tower, later in the nest box. He didn’t bother us at all, but that doesn’t actually mean Gaia wasn’t close as he is much less aggressive than Diamond. Still I was a bit surprised at his nonchalence as she can’t be far away!
Here is the link to the fledge:
And here are Diamond and Pluto on the roost tree, with some shots of the tree from a distance to give you an idea of the surrounds. Sorry about the focus, the new camera is being a bit tricky and I was a long way away. I’ve compressed the pictures, but haven’t ‘tarted’ them up in any way.
And not to be outdone, here is Xavier on and in the tower.