A blog post by Phil Sheldrake on 23 March
I must have been one of the last few to see an empty nest box yesterday morning. And then, amongst the Covid gloom, Gary’s Facebook post jumped at me. An egg! A Mother’s Day egg! Isn’t it fantastic that nature can sometimes just stop you in your tracks? The blackbird that’s singing from your rooftop in the evening, the pigeon that was showering in the sun under the drainpipe next to Reeves in Butcher’s Row this morning – I love the way it demands my attention.
Now that first egg has got us, we wait for more. Our lady peregrine will go on to lay a clutch of 3-5 eggs, each being laid every two to three days. During the laying period she will sit on the eggs to maintain warmth within them when the ambient temperature dips, as she is now as I write, however, full incubation will not begin until the penultimate or last egg is laid. She will soon spend hours patiently sitting, steadfast to her task, only leaving to feed – a stark parallel to the lives we now find ourselves withdrawing to. Perhaps in some not insignificant way our peregrines will help us through.
And, of course…..I couldn’t let this go without mentioning it – I did say we’d have an egg before the end of March in my blog on Friday….and here we are!! In fact, this is the earliest 1st egg we’ve had since peregrines returned to nest at the Cathedral in 2014. I hope you’re all enjoying the live action on the webcam – a big thank you to Marie Thomas for once again making it happen. And you may well have noticed our brand new nest box this year – thanks to Gary Price, Clerk of Works and his team! Happy watching!