Birds of prey return to nest in church

The female peregrine falcon incubates her four eggs on the tower of St Wulfram's Church in Grantham.
The female peregrine falcon incubates her four eggs on the tower of St Wulfram's Church in Grantham.
0
Have your say

OUR feathered friends have returned to the tower of St Wulfram’s Church.

Two love birds - which are in fact peregrine falcons - have returned to the tower to nest and they now have four little ones on the way.

Their arrival is great news for those involved with the Grantham Peregrine Project, who regroup at around this time every year to monitor the beautiful birds of prey.

It is a joint project between the church, the Lincolnshire Bird Club and the Wildlife Conservation Partnership.

The project is spearheaded by Bob Sheppard, from the Lincolnshire Bird Club.

He said: “I am thrilled that the peregrines are back at St Wulfram’s Church again this year.

“Locals will have noticed scaffolding on the walkway and up the steeple during the winter. This kept the peregrines away for much of the time but the architect was in constant touch with me and he was very helpful in agreeing to cease operations from February.

“Soon after that, birds were back and we were able to see the falcons scraping in the gravel in the tray which is a prelude to mating and egg laying.”

A coloured leg ring on the female bird confirms that she is the same bird that nested at the church in 2007, while the male’s behaviour has led Bob to believe he is the usual male.

The mother has laid four eggs, a full clutch, which are expected to hatch at the beginning of May.

A ‘pegcam’ is set up by the box with footage streamed over the internet to allow other bird hobbyists to watch the birds as they go about their business. Not only does the footage attract views from hobbyists across the UK, but also far-flung countries including Taiwan, Bulgaria and Malaysia. Topping the international chart last year was America with 175 viewers, followed by the Netherlands with 103 viewers. Live images of the peregrines’ nesting box can be viewed at http://www.lincsbirdclub.co.uk/pegcam.html