A quick visit before work this morning (4th June) showed no change since yesterday evening, with one juv on the ledge and the other on the camera housing and not a great deal of action according to someone who’d been there since early doors. I was busy all day, but the juv on the ledge became the juv on the roof at about 2 p.m. Speaking later to some local residents who’d been watching the action most of the day the juv slipped off the ledge while feeding on the remains of a pigeon brought in and flew across the main road that runs by the church, landing in a reasonably controlled manner on a roof about 50 metres away. Once there she seemed to enjoy the ability to stretch her wings and flapped from the pitch of the roof with some short practice flights. Andy J was on hand and sent me a series of fantastic images – jealous much!
The stuff of dreams, and many thanks to Andy for sharing these. She’d settled down by the time I got there, but her increasing confidence in her wings may mean she doesn’t stay there for long.
The mystery of the first chick’s maiden voyage has also been partially cleared up by Rachael T, who sent a comment to the blog to say she was watching the webcam just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday when one of the chicks toppled off the edge of the nestbox! It seems she was preening and lost her balance, though there’s a good chance the wind played a part in this. So it was not a planned departure and how she managed to land on the narrow ledge below will remain a mystery, but it’s an impressive feat given that she wasn’t quite ready to leave.
By this evening the second juv has left the nextbox, though in rather less dramatic fashion, hopping onto the ledge, where she’s spent the evening shuffling to and fro, scavenging remains from the larder the adults keep up there.
At times, she’s less obvious and still looks to be quite attached to the box, lying next to it tonight, where I guess she’ll sleep. In the screengrab below you can just about make out a tail sticking out below the line of the box on the far side. And by nightfall the adult male had taken up station on the perch pole, keeping watch.
They’re not likely to spend much time in the box from now on, though they may return to it at night once they become more confident flyers. At least the second camera will allow us to see a bit more of what’s going on and further blog posts will follow to update on developments, whether these mean travel in an upward direction or down.
Stop press! A flat tyre meant I couldn’t get down this evening (grrr) but Andy J has told me the juv on the roof has flown back towards the church and is in one of the trees in the churchyard. It’s likely she’ll stay there overnight and then try to get back to the church tower tomorrow at some point.