18 May 23 — Day 37

It’s been a typical day in the life of a young Peregrine. Long periods of inactivity with pancaking or sitting watching the world go by and preening. Bursts of mad activity with running around, jumping and flapping. P6T’s flapping is getting stronger and longer.

P6T stretching his wings
P6T stretching his wings – a lot less down than a few days ago

He was fed twice, pigeon both times.

P6T pancaking
P6T pancaking – he seems to have adopted that corner for it

Today’s shots:

Fledge Watch

I have put the #FledgeWatch notices up around the hospital this morning. P6T is in the second shot, he was preening on the left hand side corner of the ledge.

P6T observing the world around

I really hope there won’t be any accident during the weekend because I have to go away. I will be keeping an eye on the cameras when I can. I have asked some friends and neighbours to keep watch and help to rescue P6T if necessary.

I will start Fledge Watch on Monday morning.

Anyone is welcome to come and help watch, keep me company or relieve me for a while. I hope he fledges on Tuesday or Wednesday but, with young Peregrines, you really can’t tell!
Indy had her accident on Day 40 (that’s Monday for P6T) but really didn’t fledge until 4 days later, Walnut fledged on Day 43 (Thursday), Jack fledged on Day 44 (Friday).

He again spent the night out on the wall, in the same spot at the night before. He hasn’t been in the box since Monday unless going after a parent. Which has given Tom the opportunity to go and do a bit of housekeeping in there. It’s needed!

17 May 23 — Day 36

Today is P6T’s five weeks birthday!

P6T observing
P6T observing the world around

He’s had a great day full of running around and flapping, with plenty of resting and preening in between. He can sprint along the runway at a fair speed! And does it sometimes while flapping (clip below for example).

He also pancaked on the wall for the first time, which means he now feels very confident on it.

First pancake on the wall
First pancake on the wall

He again spent the night out on the wall, in the same spot at the night before. He hasn’t been in the box since Monday unless going after a parent. Which has given Tom the opportunity to go and do a bit of housekeeping in there. It’s needed!

Name. A few people have asked if I’m going to name him. To be honest I am quite happy calling him P6T (it’s easy to say, which is usually my criterion for giving a name) and I haven’t been inspired so far. Maybe something will come during fledging but for now I will stick to it.

Funny clip to finish with before today’s album:

Today’s shots:

16 May 23 — Day 35

P6T spent the whole night on the wall. And, apart from 3 1/2 hours where he pancaked on the ledge and 15 minutes for a feed, he spent the whole day on the wall too. Minus a few minutes here and there where he went on the floor.

He’s sat, preened, flapped, walked, run, eaten… The only thing he hasn’t done is pancaking, maybe it doesn’t feel safe enough yet.

Nothing more to report. He’s still looking very bright. And to be honest the more he is on the wall the happiest I am as it’s away from possible contamination on the ledge.

Wildlife Aid have published a story on Chick #3 with photos of what made her ill.

Today’s shots:

15 May 23 — Day 34

The chicks spent part of the night on the ledge, until it started raining and they took refuge in the box.
We went to ring the chicks this morning with the thought that we would assess Chick #3’s condition and act accordingly.
Chick #2 weighed in at 750g, which is a good weight for a young male. He was fitted with an orange ring with code P6T.
Chick #3 weighed in at 760g, which is very low for a young female. And she felt thin. There were plaques in her throat, which are signs of frounce, and explained why she had difficulty swallowing food. It was then decided to remove her from the ledge and to take her to Wildlife Aid (I had contacted them previously to check that we could).
I put her in my cat basket (the same I’ve used at FledgeWatch) covered with a blanket and drove her there. They quickly admitted her. I was quite relieved when they replied to my tweet and said they’d started her treatment. She is far from out of the woods yet but she’s been given a chance.

Back a the hospital P6T was in shock for a while but finally settled down around 12:30 and pancaked for a few hours. He woke up around 4:15pm, went out and found some food Azina had cached earlier to feed himself. He jumped on the wall at 4:48pm and has been there the whole time since apart from about a minute. It’s past 9pm as I’m typing this and he’s still there. He’s sat, flapped, preened on there. He’s walked it from one end to the other a couple of times. He even had dinner on it when at long last Azina brought him food and he had his first and only feed of the day. He seems very comfortable on it and has even sat on the outside edge.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that P6T is turning into a stunning dark young Peregrine!

You can donate to Wildlife Aid to help with the cost of taking care of Chick #3.

Today’s shots:

14 May 23 — Day 33

The situation is pretty much unchanged. Chick #2 still looks 100% fine and Chick #3 doesn’t look neither worse nor better.
Chick #2 managed to jump on the wall three times, twice at the nestbox end and once at the opposite end.

Chick #3 has tried too seven times but didn’t succeed.

They didn’t get fed until very late. 6:20pm! Then they had another feed two hours later and ‘have gone to bed’ with full crops. Chick #2 was struggling to swallow the bigger pieces but managed the smaller ones. Strangely enough on day 33 last year Indy wasn’t fed until the afternoon too. But not quite that late.

Azina feeding the chicks on the ledge
Azina feeding the chicks on the ledge

Around 11 today I saw Tom attacking a Buzzard. This Buzzard wasn’t having it and was twisting talons up to par Tom’s attacks. It was pretty epic. This Buzzard called a few times during the attack, not a sound you hear much in Fulham! Usually Tom manages to get the Buzzards to lose a fair bit of height with his attacks but not this time. He must have judged after a few minutes that the bird had got the message, stopped and returned to the hospital while the Buzzard flew East. It was arriving from the North initially.

Today’s shots:

13 May 23 — Day 32

Today was Chick #3’s four weeks birthday. It tried jumping on the wall five times, without success. I’d say the situation is otherwise the same as yesterday. It is still quite lively, has been going up and down the ledge a few times, has a big appetite but doesn’t pancake or preen much. And when it pancakes it doesn’t look restful. It needs to preen to break the pins and remove the down.

Chick #3
Chick #3

Talking of removing down, there isn’t that much left now on Chick #2’s back. That chick is still looking 100% fine. It pancakes a preens a lot. And it’s very lively. Much livelier than Chick #3 but, first, it’s three days older and, second, I think it’s a male and Chick #3 a female and males tend to be a bit more tightly strung.

Chick #2
Chick #2

Big achievement for Chick #2 today with a successful jump on the wall at its first attempt. It tried where it’s marginally easier (from experience of watching the chicks through the years) but, still, it’s a great achievement.

Chick #3 also attempted to jump on the wall but failed each time. Here are four of her five attempts.

The chicks were only fed three times today, once by Tom and twice by Azina. Again it was Pigeon on the menu all the way.

Today’s shots:

12 May 23 — Day 31

Chick #2 is still full of energy and has been exploring the ledge multiple times today. It is turning into a beautiful dark Peregrine as revealed in the last couple of days with a lot of down falling off. Soon it’ll be just those fluffy pantaloons left!

Chick #3 on the other hand is still causing me some concern. I go back and forth on it as on one hand it is spending a fair bit of time sleeping sitting up like Chick #1 used to do. But on the other one it is still showing big bursts of energy, bouncing and flapping. And a big appetite. I am crossing everything.

Azina finally brought some Parakeet at the end of today. A break from that endless Pigeon diet. She fed it to them in two feeds. The two previous feeds were more Pigeon.

Tom moved the body of Chick #1 by the entrance of the nest box. He was trying to haul it inside, presumably to feed it to the chicks, but it was proving too heavy for him. Later, he started plucking it but gave up very quickly. So it’s now in an awkward spot for the chicks going in and out of the box.

Not many shots again today. I love that first shot of Chick #2 and its reflection in the water!

11 May 23 — Day 30

It has been a tough day. It all started last night after I posted the daily update and I checked the cameras. I noticed that Chick #1 had either been crying since the last feed or had trouble breathing. When I checked this morning, it wasn’t any better. We made plans to pick it up tomorrow at ringing if it wasn’t improved and have it checked up at Wildlife Aid.
Throughout the morning it seemed to perk up from time to time and ventured outside a couple of times. At one point it lost its balance and fell on the ledge floor but picked itself up again. It pancaked with Chick #3 in the box for a while. Then around 12:30 it got up, went out of the box, to the hidden corner for a while. At 12:55 it came back to the wall in front of the box, collapsed and drew its last breath.

From the start last night I suspected it may be frounce/trichomoniasis. From a clip I sent Sean confirmed that it is the most likely cause. But, obviously, without checking the bird physically, we cannot be 100% sure. It is not avian flu. It will have come from one of the pigeons they ate. With hindsight, what I called being weird a few days ago, that it pretty much stopped pancaking and was spending its time sleeping standing up, was probably due to the illness. So it’s been going on for a few days. I didn’t say anything yesterday, in part because Chick #2 had stolen the show, but I had noticed that it seemed a bit lethargic. And thinking back on it, I don’t think it had done much flapping.

Now the sad thing is that it has felt like Chick #3 has been a bit off today, and has been sleeping sitting up a bit. But at other times it seems to perk up, and to pancake. Hopefully it is me being paranoid. Chick #3 is also the one that seems to be missing Chick #1 the most. It’s sat by or pancaked on it a few times. The rest of the family have completely ignored it.

The good news is that Chick #2 on the other hand has been very perky. It’s been up and down the ledge a few times, enjoyed a few paddles and did a lot of flapping.

There were just three feeds today, two by Azina, one by Tom. Again only pigeon on the menu.

Ringing tomorrow has been postponed until Monday.

A reduced album tonight:

The whole family
The whole family