05 June 2022
After the frustrations over the intruding drone in my last update, I’m happy to say that things have settled down again. I still haven’t heard the male’s enticement displays coming from the nest box, and also haven’t seen the female at the box again but the pair mated again on Friday evening. These activities seem to be more courtship/pair-bonding than actual fertilization of eggs at this stage though.
The female arrived at her spot on the parapet at 17:35 and, apart from a brief glance in my direction, completely ignored me. At 17:43 I heard the male calling softly . . . and the female was peering intently at something out of sight below the parapet. She also hooted softly – the white feathering of her throat puffing out and showing clearly with each call.
The male appeared, perching just over 1 meter away on the parapet, and called again before striding across to mount the female. After mating, he flew back onto the parapet near the female for a few minutes before heading out into the park.
Great to have both birds their normal relaxed selves again and to be able to watch their behaviour from so close without disturbing them.
By Geoff Lockwood