May 26, 2013
What seems like a couple of weeks ago I was at Cottsgarth for the nature festival day. There were shown Food passes at this years nest site and as a bonus its not to far from the hide. All in all things looked cushtie. Several visits later and things look a bit different now. Over six visits I have seen hardly any contributions from the male bird and the female was often off the nest hunting. Last time I was here the female dropped a young rabbit into the nest area from a dive with a release from sixty or seventy feet !! before continuing hunting.I assume the presence of hoodies in the vale prompted this action. Today on arrival the male was preening on a post above the nest site so I guess he had brought in food and was hanging about whilst it was eaten. It was soon off and a wait of an hour and a half ensued before it reappeared. This time it quartered the hill side and circled about the landslip before I lost it from site, I assumed it had floated over the top of the hill. Another fifteen minutes and a ringtail started in from the far right of the hill quartering low and slow. About half way up the heather. As it came in the male took off from the head of the landslip some where and soard down at it. The ringtail started calling and the pair tumbled together split and tumbled again. With this the female began a circling climb calling softly with the male following, they gained a lot of altitude before the male pulled away and I lost sight of both by taking the bins off them. Almost immediately tho coming in from the right fast and low to the nest the female glides over it dropping prey to the ground. She soon turns again and quarters the ground heading into the wind, over the greenest patch of of ground she wheels and drops on some thing. This time she stays put and quickly eats it for herself before disappearing over the ridge line. All in all its a bit concerning, it looks like this female is a victim of a polygamous relationship and having to do a lot of fending for her self. Things might go her way tho, the ground is full of young rabbits and every thing is hatching out food is looking more abundant. It will be interesting to see how she goes !
at 10:13 PM