After the drama in the struggle for control of Salisbury Cathedral’s nest box, latest picture shows another audacious move.

Just before 5.30pm, Sally the peregrine returned to the tower, disrupting the incubation of four eggs that had been going smoothly. Staff were alerted when deputy head guide, Tricia Glass, spotted Sally on the nest via the Cathedral webcam. Sally marched in from the far end of the balcony, attacked the incubating mother and chased her off, then commandeered the nest.

Marie Thomas, cathedral spokesperson at the battle front, said: “Sally held the nest for more than an hour but did not damage the eggs. During the evening, she returned three times to harass the incubating parents, and after dark, a fight in the trees behind the Chapter House ensued. Sally has not been since. Has she left – or is she biding her time?

 

“So close to hatching, if the weather is fine, the eggs can be left uncovered for a short time without damage. This kind of behaviour is not unusual. The female falcon currently resident in Norwich (a blue ring indicates she comes from the South West) moved up from Bath about three years ago and saw off the breeding female, who had chicks at the time. The male reared them all and then the Bath female killed them one by one, apart from the adult male. She paired up with the him and laid eggs there the following year – and still commands the nest today.

“Nail-biting stuff.“

 

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