29 July 2022
Still only two chicks . . .
The female was off the nest just after 18:00 this evening and I could at last check on progress. The two chicks are growing well, but I couldn’t see any sign that the third egg has started to hatch yet. It may turn out to be infertile, and unfortunately it is impossible to tell which egg – (first, second or third?) it is. Either way, the incubation took longer than normal, and the two eggs hatched much closer to each other than expected!
Interestingly, the female flew closer when she saw me at the corner taking photos. She also gave a few warning bill clicks – so nothing wrong with her maternal instincts at this stage!
Another interesting aspect today was that Facebook shared a memory from last year’s breeding season. On 29 July 2021, the female had only just started incubating – so she is more than a month earlier this year!
By Geoff Lockwood