A pre-Easter egg from a nesting pair of peregrines, back on the Cathedral Tower, is raising hopes of another fledgling being born.
At 2.04 this morning, Monday, April 8, the unringed female visiting the nest regularly over the past few months laid an egg. She remained on the nest until around 2.30 and then returned later with her mate.
The reign is over for GPS-tagged and ringed peregrine Sally, although she appeared to triumph in the recent fight over the nestbox.
Phil Sheldrake, RSPB Conservation Officer, who has been closely involved with the peregrines since the first chicks were raised on the Tower in 2014 said:
“After all the trials and tribulations of last year, it is exciting to see we now have a new nesting pair. It is, however, tinged with some sadness that it is not Sally, whose story was watched by thousands on Springwatch last year, and the year before when she raised an orphaned chick along with her own chick.
“It will be interesting to see Sally’s reaction as her GPS tracker is still working. The last record we have of her was at 16.15 yesterday near Coombe Bissett. Will she interfere with the nest? Will she be content to remain on her own or will she move away? We’ll be watching!”
Gary Price, Clerk of the Works at Salisbury Cathedral and the man responsible, along with his team, for installing the nestbox and cameras said:
“It’s great to see the nest in use again. Last year was a bit of a roller coaster and we did wonder whether we have missed changes of ownership like this before. Until Sally was ringed and GPS tagged it was hard to know from one year to the next whether it was the same pair. I’ll be watching the nest cam closely to spot developments. It’s great to see these magnificent and fascinating birds to come to life here, and we still have eyes on Sally due to her tracker, who knows, maybe she will return next year.”
There are generally three or four eggs in a clutch and incubation doesn’t start until the last egg is laid. If all goes well, we should be seeing chicks in early May.