Last time we updated you a month ago there were still ongoing ructions around the nest as the resident male Peregrine and the “new” female (formerly known as “the intruder”) continued to show their dislike and mistrust of one another. In the intervening period the two birds started to first tolerate and then accept one another to the point where regular bonding could be seen in and around the nest platform. Further evidence of their establishment as a pair could be inferred by the broody nesting behaviour displayed by the female, her scraping out of nest depressions characteristic of that we usually see in March just before eggs are laid. All this augers well for the continuance of breeding at St. Georges, if these two birds stay together then it may well be business as usual nest spring. The birds have certainly been very faithful to the platform and perhaps have stayed around longer than we might have expected without chicks to rear. It’s a long time between now and the next breeding season and anything could happen in the intervening period but there’s no doubt that this territory remains occupied. The circle of Peregrine life carries on.
One constant during this period of entente cordiale has of course been the remaining unhatched eggs. Plans are afoot to recover these eggs for examination and analysis at the University of Sheffield Dept of Animal & Plant Sciences as has happened in previous years to any unhatched eggs.
Although the nest has been deemed a failure this year it is still subject to the laws which protect Schedule 1 bird species from disturbance during the breeding season and, as the breeding season is still officially ongoing, the recovery must be done under licence by a trained and permitted person. Plus there’s rope access to arrange and the accompanying H&S protocols, all to be performed by volunteers in their own time. Once arrangements are made it is hoped we will be able to share a guest blog here from the team who will be doing the lab work on the recovered eggs, with a further blog later in the year once the results of the egg analysis are known. Watch this space!
There will also be a further blog post here in the next few days regarding other Sheffield Peregrine related news…