Right, so the blog is back online. Apologies to you all for the hiatus, work, illness then family commitments rather put a spanner in the works over April. Normal service should now be resumed. Webcam watchers and Twitter followers will know that rather a lot has happened since I last posted (a bit of an understatement) but I’ll deal with all that drama in a separate blog shortly. In the meantime let’s deal with things as they stand….
We currently have 4 eggs being incubated. The last one arrived on 4th of April. Like many other birds Peregrines will keep their eggs warm as they arrive, one at a time, usually a day or two apart but they may leave the eggs unattended from time to time for short periods. This is perfectly normal. Only when the final egg has been laid does the diligent, round-the-clock, constant incubating commence. During this period the eggs will only ever be exposed to the outside temperature for very brief moments and this very infrequently, for example when the birds change over or if the female turns the eggs.
Since the Webcam was installed in 2012 we’ve been able to follow and record the nest activity and the data across that time tells us that generally the first egg has started to hatch 31 or, more commonly, 32 days after the last egg was laid. Now this year was a little different with all the commotion and goings on in late March but as things have been pretty settled and routine since the last egg was laid let’s hope that things carry on as in previous years with no nasty surprises – which would mean we’d be looking at the first egg pipping on Sunday 5th or, more likely, Monday 6th May. Fingers crossed everything will run smoothly and we get a May Day chick but if this year so far has taught us anything, it is that we can’t take anything for granted in nature, so keep your eyes peeled as of now! There are no guarantees, but whatever happens, good or bad, it all adds to our knowledge and understanding of how these birds live their lives and the trials and tribulations they face. By this day last year we already had our first chick despite the fact that the birds had incubated through the “beast from the east” and a covering of snow. The challenges this year have been somewhat different but our fascination and anticipation remain the same…. Fingers crossed.
Photo: David Wood