The adult birds at the earliest known eyrie to produce young on our North Cornish study area are now a week into brooding three young eyasses. A fourth egg would appear to have either been infertile or may have chilled in some of the recent cold weather we have experienced. This particular site has consistently been the earliest to produce young, year on year since we have been studying this area since 2008. In all but one year ,when it was probably a change in one of the adult birds, plus a change in their chosen ledge that led to an unsuccessful breeding attempt, they have been known to produce young weeks before any other site we record. This year has been no exception ,although other sites close by are also well into the incubation stages, with one neighbouring site also this week producing one young at the last count.
The weather plays a major factor of course; and with food at times appearing to be scarce to come by, having witnessed many unsuccessful hunting forages by the male ,who it would seem at this site carries out the majority of hunting in the early stages of brooding; just getting through that first week is all important on improving the young’s chance of survival.
It was only last year when that last of the hatchlings failed to survive those all important first few days. Exposed to heavy seas and prevailing winds, we have also had numerous sleet and hail showers. It certainly can be a tough life for the coastal peregrine compared with their urban counterpart.
The ground work and close liaison with landowners for subsequent visits and potential ringing work is all ongoing , by members of the team all around the coastline. This certainly can prove to be quite challenging times, to ensure all resources come together at the right time.
Over the coming weeks we will try to keep all of our followers informed as to the progress of the young at numerous sites, and where possible bring you more video footage via the blog and our twitter account.