I wrote last year about the peregrines that were nesting on the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, and for the first time in 61 years had successfully hatched chicks—three of them.
Good news—they’re back, they’ve nested, and this year they’ve laid four eggs!
The eggs were laid over Holy Week and over Easter, which seems satisfyingly appropriate for an ecclesiastical nest site. The first egg was laid on Tuesday 31 March 2015, and with an approximately 33-day incubation period, it should hatch in the first few days of May, with the others hatching around the end of the first week of May (the Cathedral’s press release says mid-May. I’m not sure how they arrived at that date).
Last year there was a live webcam on which you could follow the progress of the family. The press release says the nest is being monitored by two cameras, but I’ve had a good poke around on the Cathedral’s website and they don’t seem to have provided a link to them yet. Maybe they’re going to wait until the eggs have hatched. I’ll add the link (or write a new post) as soon as I find it.
2 MAY UPDATE: The webcam is back – link here (webcam at the bottom of the page).
Even without pics, this is terrific news.
The last year that peregrines successfully nested at Salisbury Cathedral prior to last year’s brood was 1953. And lo! One of my favourite websites, Britain From Above, has a series of photos taken of the Cathedral in September 1953. I like to think that as the pilot circled above the Cathedral, somewhere alongside him in this photograph are the fledged chicks from that year’s brood:
Rather belated update: A total of four eggs were laid in the 2015 breeding season, and all four chicks fledged successfully in mid July.