A big surprise when I looked at the webcam this afternoon to see the female sitting at the right-hand end of the nest platform, and no sign of the eggs at the left-hand end, where they’ve been ever since they were laid.
Fearing some disaster had occurred overnight (I’m sure they were at the left-hand end yesterday!), I held my breath until she moved and revealed the eggs still all to be under incubation. There has been a good bit of scratching around the eggs with talons extended today, and even as I write there’s ongoing activity, with the eggs making their way towards the middle of the nest. The method of moving the eggs is not to push them with the talons (as I’d imagined), but rather hunch over the eggs and pull them backwards beneath the body with the bill. There’s even been time to pull gravel in to make a new scrape.
I don’t pretend to know why they’ve moved the eggs along the gravel to the other end of the platform, but I’m guessing it’s a sign of things to happen imminently… My best guess is that the eggs will hatch in the next few days, and should certainly have done so by the forthcoming Bank Holiday Monday. Should be some egg-citing viewing (sorry) to be had over the weekend!!