Observation date: 23 April 2015
Soon after I arrived at the rock this morning, within minutes the tiercel careened into the nest site carrying prey. I could hear squealing coming from inside the hole where he landed. They should be six days old today and becoming ravenous. He had brought in three prey items in 4 1/2 hours. Sometime after the first hour of observation, I was watching him as he launched off a high perch then across the bay at speed towards where the south jetty meets the sand spit. As he stooped to a flock of shore birds, I lost sight of him in the dark background of vegetation, then caught sight of him again as he swooped up into the grey sky.
I had my back to the nest site overlooking the bay when someone yells, “There goes the female.”
I look up to see her going over my head out to meet the tiercel as he is incoming. A food exchange takes place 300 yards out over the bay. I thought she might eat it herself, but instead went straight to the nest site for a second feeding.
On the tiercel’s third foray, he made it all the way back to the nest site with no exchange. Within seven to ten days we should see one or more chicks make their debut at the edge of the eyrie to defecate. This first sighting never ceases to amaze me, as they are totally fearless, just inches away from death, teetering on the lip of a hole with nothing below, but a sheer rock face 200 feet down. They then turn around, bend over and let it fly! If we were to try this, most of us would be experiencing the “pucker factor.”
Happy trails, Bob