Amgueddfa Cymru

Hafan

April 10th: There are eggs

The female started incubating on the 20th March so, all being well, we can expect the first chick to be hatching in the latter half of April. There was relatively little sign of the pair earlier in the year and the report of a dead Peregrine in Alexandra Gardens just before Christmas was a cause for concern!

With so little displaying and calling around the tower I was quite surprised to see the female begin brooding in late March, let's hope this pair is successful.

As with last year the Peregrines were around over the winter, I could see, or hear, them from the office most days. It seems August/September is when they are least visible, probably while they are moulting their feathers after the breeding season.

The camera was back up and running in mid-March just in time to see the female start incubating eggs some time around the 20th.

Let's hope that they have a better season than last year!

Or at least the Peregrines do. There was a worrying moment yesterday morning when I didn't see any activity around the nest for hours, I couldn't see a bird on the nest - and it was raining. I eventually saw the female at the nest late morning but she just had a cursory glance at the nest then flew off.

She returned a little while later and then sat on the nest for the rest of the day. The male flew in a couple fo times and on one occasion I am pretty certain brought in a little lump of food. The female didn't stir but it's possible the chick hatched sometime yesterday (or over the weekend).

When I switched the camera monitor on in my office this morning I saw the female was sitting on the nest then the male popped in with a morsel of food. The female stood on the edge of the nest, started tearing small chunks off and was stretching into the back of the nest to offer the food to the chick. This went on for about 10 minutes until the female resumed incubation.

Peregrines normally lay 3-4 eggs and start incubating as soon as they lay the first one, which means the first egg laid hatches first. Assuming the other eggs hatch there will likely be more chicks over the next few days but it could be a couple of weeks before they are big enough to be seen over the rim of the nest.

Welcome to the 2011 season of Peregrines on the Clock Tower.

There has been plenty of activity around the tower in the last few weeks - in fact the adults have not left all winter. Perhaps more surprising is that 2 of the youngsters from last year have also been putting in occasional appearances.

3 weeks ago the young female was flying around calling for food when the adult male flew in clutching a bird in its talons. Then last week I was lucky enough to see the young male tearing at a carcass alongside his mother - who didn't seem to mind the intrusion, although he only butted in once she had eaten her fill!

The bad news this, as far as we're concerned, is it looks like they're going to use the nest on the north face of the tower. This will make life difficult for all of us trying to watch what's going on.

It's not all doom and gloom though, we can still see the nest - just not as well as the one on the east side - and we'll be able to see the adults bringing food into the chicks a little later in the summer.

Here's to a successful 2011 season.