Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the Peregrines Project over the last few weeks. It’s been moving to see so many words of support from near and far, and from all ages. The donations will enable us to do more with the project, especially in terms of drawing on the St George’s birds to extend our knowledge of the species through scientific analysis of the data we collect. Thank you all!
Today marks the date when the first egg has been laid in both of the past two years, as can be seen in the table below, which also sets out incubation and fledging periods over the last few years for the St George’s pair. So an egg laid overnight or tomorrow would be right on cue.
As the breeding season looks about to get under way again in earnest, judging from the female’s occupancy of the nestbox tonight, it’s also a chance to look back to see how things have changed for Peregrines in the Sheffield area over the last 50 years, although sadly the story of illegal persecution has not changed in some parts of the Peak District.
It really is heartening to feel that we are watching a real change in the fortunes of this wonderful species in the UK, especially as they become increasingly established in urban settings such as St George’s. For those interested in such things, next month’s Sheffield Bird Study Group talk will be a treat, as it will bring Esther Kettle from Nottingham to talk about her PhD research into urban and rural Peregrines. For details see the SBSG website.
Still no egg as I sign off, but I don’t think it will be long… Keep watching!
And finally, if anyone would like to see the slides from the talk that Nicola Hemmings and I did as part of the Sheffield University Festival of the Mind back in September, from which the two tables above are taken, you should be able to look through them from the link below.