Two Youngsters Prepare to Leave Church Nest Platform
8 June 2012 | These two young peregrines, growing up on the Hawk and Owl Trust nesting platform on a Bath church, have been starring on BBC TV all this week. (Click here for extracts.)
The picture shows them trying out their wings in this week’s driving rain, ready for the their first flight. However, previous year’s chicks have sometimes launched off before they can fly properly and ended up on the ground, unable to get back to their nest on the spire of St John’s Church without expert human assistance.
If anyone finds a hapless peregrine youngster, they should contact Mike Rogers of the Trust’s Bath and West Wiltshire Group which installed the platform (tel: 01225 744290). He and the team are skilled and experienced in retrieving young birds and either putting them back into the box or releasing them on neighbouring rooftops.
These are the seventh successive brood to hatch on the Hawk and Owl Trust’s well established nesting platform on the spire of St John’s RC Church.
The first of four eggs successfully hatched on 1 May. Two of the remaining eggs then hatched, but one chick died, leaving the pair with two surviving nestlings. The fourth egg disappeared.
Conservationists are able to observe the peregrines via a fixed video camera at the nest platform. This year, Springwatch viewers have also enjoyed footage of the birds of prey thanks to an additional manoeuvrable camera which the BBC installed on a pole.
Members of the public watching activity live from street level in Bath usually have great views of the peregrines flying in and out of the nest site – in South Parade, not far from Bath Spa railway station. This is especially true after the young hatch and require increasingly frequent deliveries of prey.
This year also saw the first successful hatchings on another Hawk and Owl Trust peregrine platform, on Norwich Cathedral spire. For live video from Norwich click here.
Photo Hamish Smith