A few days on from the first flights of three of the juvs, two of them remain closely connected to the church tower. A visit on Sunday evening revealed two were on the ledge next to the nestbox, with both adults nearby. A third juv could be heard calling from a rooftop somewhere in the vicinity and eventually flew into view, circled the church and headed back to the east, where it landed on the roof of one of the University’s buildings just beyond the church grounds. After a spell there it took off again, showing good flight ability.
Just to prove the point it returned to the church and landed in one of the windows. It seemed to be looking for a roost site, but the window stonework wasn’t proving comfortable and it flew off again after a few minutes. This one definitely has the hang of flying.
From there it flew up to land on the east-facing ledge and shuffled along to join the other two by the nest box. The three of them then took to preening and settled down for the night, under the watchful eye of the adults both perched nearby.
The whereabouts of the fourth juv is something of a mystery and the four juvs have not, to my knowledge, been seen either together or at the same time for several days now. A couple of concerned e-mails on Monday evening (thanks to Kayleigh and Patrick, whose photos are below) revealed that one of the juvs had spent a few hours on the roof of one of the University’s buildings nearby, where it seemed to be a bit stuck in the eyes of those who saw it. Whether this was the fourth ‘missing’ juv or one of the three increasingly mobile birds that have been returning to the church tower we can’t tell, but from the length of the middle toe it looks like a young female.
However, it wasn’t there the following morning, so had presumably found its way off the flat roof. It showed very little fear of people in offices overlooking the area and was even investigating an open window!
During a quick visit on Tuesday evening the adult male was on the perch, which suggests that the juvs are not too far away, but there was no sign of any of them, which will be increasingly the case as they – hopefully – become more confident in the flying abilities.
If anyone based locally does see the young birds, do let us know, perhaps via a comment to the blog. Anxious times, but the birds are definitely moving onto a new stage in their lives. Fingers crossed for them.