First Chick Hatches…

The first chick hatched this afternoon, Tuesday 7th May, a day later than had been expected.  In any other year this would be a cause for celebration but in this turbulent year, nothing is straightforward.  After all the trials and tribulations of the last 5 weeks it would have been nice to have things go smoothly, as hoped for in the last blog, but it doesn’t look that way so far…

The first sign of something  happening was when web watchers saw the male, who is brooding the eggs currently, apparently eating egg shell.  A little while later, after some shuffling about the male moved to reveal a fluffy white chick.  So far, so good.  However it wasn’t long before an intruding Peregrine arrived and the male fled the nest.  The intruder hung around in the nest platform for a while, ignoring the chick and eggs, but eventually left.  Once gone, the male returned but eggs and chick had been left unattended and cooling for 40 minutes or more by this time. From this point the paternal instincts of the Peregrine seem to have gone a bit awry.  The newly hatched chick appeared to be getting pecked at by the male and was not being brooded properly when compared to the diligent brooding which has occurred in previous years.  The fragile looking little chick was stuck out of the side of the adult male, who was paying much more attention and care to the eggs, and whether it was being kept warm enough to last through the night was uncertain to say the least…

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 20.55.24

The chick didn’t look particularly strong but then if it had been pecked at, and left in the cold, and had not had a chance to get its strength up, so it’s hardly surprising it looked weak.  The male certainly didn’t like the look of it and just after 9pm took matters into his own hands, picked up the weak or lifeless looking chick and flew off with it, presumably to dispose of it.  He came back shortly afterwards and continued to brood the remaining 3 eggs. It’s tough going this year but certainly not dull!  Keep watching!


CG 7/5/19




  1. Have been following this sad turn of events David & tweeted several vids & comments, was amazed others didn’t seem to have noticed given all the interest that was shown recently! What amazed me most was that this chick came from that first egg which most had written off even after being left exposed for such lengthy periods… does this indicate a while to wait for further hatchings provided eggs are still viable?

  2. Something to add, which might be significant. Soon after the chick had hatched, the intruder appeared in the nest, and seemed to frighten the male off. It stood in the nest for a while, and then flew off, the male didn’t return until after the intruder had gone, and it was only then that he didn’t brood the chick and started pecking it. The chick was left exposed, in cold and wet weather for quite a while, It was looking really poorly before he came back, and he may have realised by then that there was something wrong or that it was dead already. It’s proving to be an interesting, if sad, year!

  3. The chick was definitely dead when Mr P disposed of it. It and the eggs had been left unattended for quite a while. The chick was moving but then I think it died before the male returned. He looked confused, I think the pecking was him trying to get it to move 😦

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