A few developments to report from the last week, most notably the establishment of a sensitive ‘reader’ on the webcam that triggers an alert to the Twitter feed when a bird comes into view. And it’s evident from the amount of ‘Activity alerts’ on the Twitter feed that there’s been a fair amount of activity! Once birds start to be a more regular presence on the platform this will be turned off. Thanks to Ian Knowles for setting this up and for sending me a series of images such as the one below, which shows that both the female and male are using the platform, occasionally at the same time.
It’s quite clear to see the difference in size here, with females typically around 15% larger, and again the ring on the male’s right leg is visible. There’s been no sign of mating yet, though that should come soon, and what seems to be taking place here is re-establishing the pair on their nest with a view to a breeding attempt. There have been a few reports from around Sheffield of 3 birds in aerial dispute, so it may be there is another adult bird looking to oust one of the established pair.
If you would like to know more of the situation of Peregrines in the Sheffield area and beyond the Sheffield Bird Study Group’s 2012 annual report, published in early January, has an article that documents in detail the breeding success of 2012 as well as featuring them on the front cover. The new atlas ‘Breeding Birds of the Sheffield Area’, also published by the SBSG in January, includes an account for Peregrines and charts their rise in our area since the 1970s. Both of these excellent publications are available via the SBSG website (www.sbsg.org), or can be purchased at SBSG indoor meetings, with details again on the website.