The chicks (well, three of them) are a week old today and continue to grow quickly, with the parents bringing food in on a regular basis. It’s not always easy to see all four chicks, even when the adults are off the nest. In the picture below, only three are visible and it’s hard to imagine one out of view sheltered behind them, but it’s there all right.
It’s increasingly difficult even for the female to brood the four chicks, as can be seen below.
In this screengrab she’s looking up at something passing over and at the first Peregrine watch on Sunday morning we didn’t see the chicks but saw plenty of action from the adults. Crows were twice chased off as they got too close for the comfort of the adult birds. The chase that followed the picture below was spectacular, with a couple of full stoops from height at the Crow.
We had great views of the male perched on one of the turrets and were able to watch as both birds visited the larder of prey items stored around the ledge of the church and carried them into the nest to feed the chicks.
The female (above) took the lead in the feeding, but the male brought food to the ledge next to the nest a couple of times and today I watched as she took the food from him, just as the books say the bigger female (on the right below) does.
Good flight views of both (male below) were also enjoyed at the watch over the course of a couple of hours.
The Peregrines aren’t the only species with chicks around the church and Starlings, Blue Tit, Goldfinch and Woodpigeons are all busy feeding young, as was a male Blackbird.
Perhaps the most surprising sighting on the watch on Sunday morning was a pair of Mallard that appeared on the grass next to us, flying off shortly afterwards, perhaps back to Crookes Valley Park. They seemed unaware of the Peregrines, but Woodpigeons continue to push their luck, with one again on the ledge next to the platform on Sunday morning.
The Crows do seem to have learned to skirt the church instead of flying over it, and in case there’s any doubt the Peregrines even have a caption to let you know they’re there.
This is a shot I’ve had in mind for quite some time, ever since I noticed the sign on the crane on the building site across the road, but getting all the pieces in place has taken a while. I hope you enjoy it!