Another dramatic chapter played out in the struggle for control of Salisbury Cathedral’s celebrity nest box last night, May 10. Just before 5.30pm, Sally the peregrine returned to the Tower, disrupting the incubation of the four eggs being brooded. Staff were alerted when the deputy head guide, Tricia Glass, spotted Sally on the nest via the Cathedral webcam. Both peregrine parents were absent but there was a huge amount of noise.

A spokesperson for Salisbury Cathedral said: “Sally commanded the nest for over an hour but the course of the evening a fight appeared to take place in the trees behind the Chapter House and by 19.30 the eggs were being incubated again by one of the parent peregrines. The situation remains the same this morning.

“So close to hatching, if the weather is fine the eggs can be left uncovered for a while without damage. We shall just have to wait and see.

This kind of behaviour is not unusual. The female falcon that is currently resident in Norwich (she has a blue ring indicating 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.

We are not out of the woods yet.”

No photographs were available at the time of the news release.

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