Thursday, 18 April 2019

Incubation

Bella does the majority of the incubation, but she does have to leave the nest to feed, in which case CR takes over.


Here she is returning, and CR leaves the immediately so that she can take over again. 

On another occasion, he ignored her for 50 minutes before he gave in!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

And now it's three!

The third egg arrived sometime on Thursday night/Friday morning.


Here is CR bringing some breakfast to Bella.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Live video feed

Just like last year, I've set up a live video feed so that anybody in the churchyard to the east of the Abbey can watch the activity on the peregrine nesting tray. While the birds are incubating, they are usually out of sight behind the edges of the nesting tray, so this is the only good way to see them.

(Note that the video is not available on the internet as there is no connection up the tower.)

Here are the setup instructions which have been tested on an Android phone and an iPad. Hopefully they will work for you too!

With an internet connection (eg at home), go to the Google Play store (Android) or the App Store (iPad). Search for and install the application called KViewPro.

Now standing in the churchyard between the Abbey and the Gander Lane car park where you can see the nesting tray, search for and connect to the WiFi network called “Falcons”. The password is “peregrine”.

Now run the KViewPro application, choose "config" (or "device") and create a new device and set it up as follows :-

Device Name = tower
Login Type = IP/DOMAIN
IP Address = 192.168.2.2
Media Port = 9000
User Name = guest
Password = peregrine

Then select channel 1 and maximise the screen to get the best picture.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Change over

Bells seems to want to do the lion's share of the incubating the two eggs so far laid, but she does let CR do some of it.

Here they are changing over.


The second egg arrives

The first egg was laid at about 16:00 on Sunday 7th April, but the camera didn't get a good enough look to know exactly when it happened.

The second egg arrived in the early hours of Wednesday 10th. Here is the moment shortly afterwards when Bella carefully stepped away.


Chances are that there will be another egg over the next few days.

Two eggs, so far!

The waiting is over!
 
Bella has laid two eggs so far. The first one was on April 7th, the second on April 10th.

There could well be a third over the next few days.

(Apologies for the low quality screenshot. Hopefully I can get some better photos/video shortly.)

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Mating

It can't get more promising than this!


Thanks to Dave Keen for this photo.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

CR bringing prey

It is usual for the males to bring prey to the females to prove they are able to provide for any offspring.

Here is CR bringing something for Bella.


What's not easy to see is that she rather clumsily grabs his leg instead of the food. That must have hurt!

Friday, 29 March 2019

Making a scrape

Here is a video of the male CR making a scrape in the gravel on the nesting tray.



Peregrines don't bother with making a nest as many other birds do!

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Back again

It certainly looks like Bella and CR are ready to breed in 2019!


Friday, 22 March 2019

Lots of activity!

If you were lucky enough to be visiting Tewkesbury Abbey today you will have heard and seen lots of peregrine activity!

What is really exciting is that there were THREE birds flying around, but my photographic skills didn't manage to get a picture with all three of them. Here is a photo of a male (CR? aka Christopher Robin, upper) and female (Bella?, lower).  They were putting on a great courtship display, sometimes holding talons in mid flight, spiralling towards the ground.

The third bird, who I only caught a brief glimpse of as he left a tree in the churchyard, had juvenile plumage with a lighter coloured front. It (I couldn't be sure if it was male or female) was being noisily chased off by the other two birds between their displays.

It is highly probably that this is Paddington, as I understand that a juvenile may come back to the place where it hatched at the beginning of the following season.


Afterwards, Bella sat on the tower while CR flew around and around defending his territory, keeping en eye out for intruders.

I have also heard on the grapevine that CR and Bella have been seen mating on the tower, so all is looking very promising indeed for the 2019 breeding season.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Bella visits the nesting tray

Bella has at last made a brief visit to the nesting tray.


She came back an hour later as well.


This time she flies away just as CR dives by. You can just see him in the top right part of the screen about 2 seconds after she flies off.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Keeping us guessing

Just as in previous years, Bella and CR are keeping us guessing! Will they or won't they breed?

The usual sequence of events is that in March, they are rarely seen, but that in mid April they start to appear on the nesting tray calling noisily to each other.

CR usually sits on the right hand edge of the tray, so this year, a new camera has been positioned to get a bird's eye view of where he lands.

In the absence of a peregrine, a pigeon kindly acted as a stand-in to test the motion detection function of the camera!


Monday, 25 February 2019

Bella in the sun

Bella was sitting on the west end of the Abbey today.

She was keeping watch for CR, who didn't seem to be around today...

Sunday, 17 February 2019

More sightings

There have been several more sightings recently.

Bella is on the tower and CR flies around (sometimes quite fast) trying to impress her! This is usually accompanied by lots of noisy screeching.


 Here she is sitting on the NW corner of the tower.


and here inside the NE pinnacle. I've never seen her sitting here before.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Welcome to the 2019 breeding season (hopefully!)

Things are starting to look promising!

Peregrines are not the quietest of birds, and several people have commented to me that they have heard lots of squawking coming from the direction of the Abbey.

I popped in tonight to see if I could hear or see anything. Only one (quiet) bird was visible right on top of the SE pinnacle, and from its size, I think that this is Bella.


The other feedback I have had has been about the talk which took place on the 19th of January. There have been lots of positive comments which has been very nice to hear. The evening raised some £300 for Tewkesbury Abbey, and also nearly £100 for the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group. Very many thanks to all who supported this event. Chances are that it will be repeated in a couple of years time.
 
The Tewkesbury Civic Society have already booked me for their meeting on January 9th 2020 to talk about the Abbey's Peregrines. Hopefully there will be something about the 2019 season to talk about!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Peregrine Talk

On Saturday January 19th at 7.30pm there will be an illustrated talk in the Abbey's visitor centre. This will be a chance to learn all about peregrine falcons from the experts of the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group. 

You can also hear the story of Christopher Robin, Alice, Bella and Paddington at Tewkesbury. 

Tickets will be £5 and are on sale in the Abbey shop or at the door. 

An evening not to be missed!



Friday, 12 October 2018

Preparing for 2019

2018 was certainly an exciting year for Tewkesbury Abbey's peregrines.

Paddington hasn't been seen for quite a while, but there no reason to doubt that he's fully fledged and is looking for somewhere to over winter.

Meanwhile, Bella has been seen on the nesting tray which is a promising sign for 2019.


At some stage, the gravel will be replaced so that they have a nice clean nest for next year's breeding season.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Noisy Paddington

I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, and the views from the other cameras don't make things much clearer.

It looks like Paddington chases hid dad CR away, landing awkwardly on the tray. Then a few seconds later, mum Bella turns up and he flies off.


There's lots of noise as well - a type of call I can't remember hearing before.

Either way, it's really good to see that Paddington is alive and well and driving his parents up the wall!

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Paddington - an update

Since he fledged, getting any update on Paddington's progress has been difficult. I have often wondered if he's OK?

 Here is a somewhat rare visit to his birthplace as captured by the video camera.


Firstly, Bella is seen on the tray, and then Paddington appears, but only for a short time as Bella then returns. Paddington then flies off making lots of noise!

I think it's safe to say that he is doing just fine.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Glimpses of PDN

Although Paddington has left his nest, he has returned once or twice.

This visit was so brief, that the video has been slowed down 8 times!


Rather longer, and better controlled, was this visit which lasted some 4 minutes in all.


He seems to be doing well, but unless he visits the tray it is difficult to find out exactly what he's up to.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Visiting the nesting tray

The video camera is back and working again. I had to remove the recorder to trawl through hours of video to try to see when Paddington's first flight was.

Now that it's working, a few days ago it captured a visit from CR.

Here he is having a scrape in the gravel. A few minutes later, he brought in some food, but there was nobody there to feed it to, so he had it himself.

Next to visit was Bella....


And then, Paddington himself, taking some prey from CR!


However, since August 5th, neither bird has been seen by the camera.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Video analysis

Having viewed a week's worth of videos, I can confirm that Paddington's first attempt at flying was indeed the moment he left the tray on the morning of Saturday 28th July at 10:39am

The same day, both his parents have visited the tray with food for him.

There was also a brief visit from a pigeon, a live one that is, for the first time in months.

Because there was so much footage to view, I have had to remove the video recorder to download the video files. It takes about an hour to download each day's video from each camera. Anyway, I will put it back in the next day or so to see if there is anything else going on.

If anybody does see Paddington around the tower, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Flying off

This is the moment Paddington flew off, only to have to be rescued!


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Paddington on tour

Paddington's had a very exciting day!

At 10:39 (this time has been confirmed from the video footage) this morning (Saturday 28th July), he flew off the tray. This was no accidental flight of fancy, but a deliberate and well planned flight. It didn't look like the first faltering flight, so maybe he has been off the tray before. I will go back over hours of video footage to check.

Anyway, this flight didn't end too well, leaving him stranded on the ground nearby. Some very kind person (I don't yet know who) managed to catch him and took him to the Vale Wildlife Centre at Beckford. This is where the ringing system really works well, as within a few minutes, the Gloucester Raptor Monitoring Group received a call to say he had been rescued. The GRMG arranged to collect him and bring him back to his home at Tewkesbury Abbey.


Having decided (the hard way - after climbing all the way up) that it was far too windy to let him out of his cardboard box in the top of the tower, we descended to a lower, safer, roof on the east side of the Abbey, just under his tray.

Here, the box was opened and we retreated.


By the time we got down the tower, Paddington was sitting on the parapet none the worse for his day out.


Many thanks to the person(s) who found him, and for doing the right thing. Also thanks to those at Vale Wildlife (click here) and the GRMG