Every time I have visited there have been no climbers on Lewes Castle, which has been a great relief to me. I would like to thank any climbers who have deliberately kept away from the site in order to help to ensure this bird's survival. It is now OK to climb there again for a few months.
This is the chick when I first saw it at the nest site on July 30:
Three days later, on August 2, the chick had visibly developed:
A further five days later, on August 7, the bird was substantially larger and had some staining which may indicate that it had recently been fed:
When I next visited, on August 16, the bird was almost bald:
At this stage the bird was very preoccupied with preening. This was still the case on August 27, and the bird was now looking quite mature and only very slightly smaller than adult-size:
At this stage (August 27) the bird still had some fluffy down on the head. I caught glimpses of the wings, which appeared to have well-developed coverts and secondaries. I did not see the primaries. When I next visited, on August 31, the bird looked very much like an adult:
On this visit I could see that it had well-developed primaries. It looked as though it should be able to fly perfectly well. It was therefore no surprise, when I visited on September 2, to find the nest site empty. This suggests that it took about 48 days from hatching to fledging, which is about normal, I understand. I returned to the nest site early on September 5 and found that the young bird was present again: I presume it had roosted there. It was preening and doing a lot of wing-stretching, showing a perfect pair of wings:
It has been very interesting to watch the development of this bird. I hope there will be a repeat performance next year.