Yesterday evening, the female accidentally knocked a chick out of the nest. It rolled into the gorse bush area near the nest, where she immediately tried to retrieve it. Having got hold of the chick in her beak, she took off trying to free herself from the gorse, unfortunately dropping the chick in the process. In a flash she managed to catch the chick by its tiny wing again in her beak, but she did not have a good hold and sadly dropped the chick whilst in the air over the quarry. To her credit, she tried to retrieve the chick for a third time when we lost sight of her below the tree line; unfortunately she came up empty-beaked and returned to the nest site.
By luck more than anything we were able to find and retrieve the chick from the quarry floor. Wrapped in a fleece to keep it as warm as possible, we drove it to a specialist who is currently monitoring its condition and looking after it. The chick has survived the first 24 hours since its ordeal but it is very weak so at the moment it is touch and go. We will, however, keep you posted on its progress.
After this incident it appears we still have two chicks in the nest. Simon – NT Ranger