Things are ticking along nicely with the St George’s pair, with both adults regularly tripping the webcam’s sensor and feeding to twitter alerts, as well as being seen with increasing regularity perched elsewhere on the church tower’s stonework.
Today saw a development in the female taking a Feral Pigeon to the platform, as above, showing comfort in the surroundings, and she was back later too, as below.
I know a few people are frustrated with the angle of the webcam, but there’s nothing to be done about it at this stage, as changing it would entail significant disturbance to the platform. It has also been deemed unpractical to install the hoped-for second webcam. Despite this, we hope the current arrangements will provide some exciting viewing over the months ahead.
And now the less good news
A phone call received today revealed that not all Peregrines locally are faring so well. John Coopland rang to tell me that a pair at Maltby Pit are in imminent danger of losing what was thought to be their nest site. The Pit closed in April 2013, and the buildings associated with the coal mining are being taken down as activity there comes to an end. A tower there has provided a ledge that the Peregrines possibly used as a natural nest site last season, and they have returned to the area this year, with activity noted. Unfortunately, the tower is due to be demolished in the coming weeks – exact date unknown.
Peregrines are protected as a Schedule 1 species under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, according to which it is an offense to disturb them at the nest. The nest – and eggs – also enjoy the same legal protection. If anyone has any advice or experience they can share with John as to how he might proceed, please post a comment on the blog here and I’ll put you in e-mail touch with him.
UPDATE (7.25pm, 26th Feb) – The RSPB’s Senior Investigations Officer Mark Thomas has replied on this blog post’s comments: “We are meeting various folk on site tomorrow, let’s see what we can do. Had good conclusions from these situations in the past. RSPB will pursue this fully”.
UPDATE (11.40pm, 27th Feb) – It seems further investigation has reached a positive conclusion – see https://sheffieldperegrines.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/peregrines-in-peril-update/