7th Successive Brood at Church Nest Platform
Conservationists in Bath have welcomed the next generation of peregrines to hatch on the Hawk and Owl Trust’s well established nesting platform on the spire of St John’s RC Church.
The first egg successfully hatched on 1 May 2011 when one chick was observed as the female left for a brief break. The two remaining eggs then hatched, but one chick died, leaving the pair with two surviving nestlings.
The peregrine pair, which returned to the platform for the seventh successive year, originally laid four eggs but one disappeared.
Conservationists are able to keep the peregrines under observation via a video camera at the nest platform. This year it is hoped that the public will also be able to enjoy footage of the birds of prey thanks to an additional camera which the BBC installed on a pole (see above). It is hoped it will be shown on a future BBC programme, said Mike Rogers of the Trust’s Bath and West Wiltshire Group.
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.
The peregrine, which is the logo of the Hawk and Owl Trust, is the largest falcon resident in the UK. Numbers are increasing after being devastated by the effects of organochlorine pesticide poisoning in the 1960s. There are now thought to be 1500 pairs in the UK and although their natural habitat is cliff ledges, over the last decade several have started to breed on human structures in our cities.