Things are hotting up on the Cathedral Tower as our peregrine cameras go live. The resident female Sally has been seen on the nestbox and balcony but there are challengers…
An unringed pair have also been caught on camera, making themselves a home on the nestbox, and on the morning of 21 March, a food exchange was observed on the parapet above the nest. First the unringed male flew in with a sparrow in his talons, then he was joined by the female, who took his gift.
A male has been hanging around with Sally too. On 17 March she was spotted on the nestbox and within minutes was joined by an un-ringed male, who sat above her on the parapet. Was he there to court Sally, or was he the other female’s mate keeping an eye on the nesting site? Watch this space?
There didn’t appear to be much love lost between the two peregrines. He departed the moment she moved up onto the parapet and later on she is seen chasing other peregrines that swoop by. So the million dollar question is:
If Sally fails yet again to find a mate, will there be a repeat of last year’s battle for the nesting site?
The unringed pair certainly look like they intend to stay. When they meet on nest they are most definitely courting, bowing to one another and scraping a hollow in the box’s gravel. This doesn’t augur well for Sally…
Fights over nest sites can result in the death of one or other bird. Those who followed the peregrine saga last year may remember the battle for the nestbox that was shown on Springwatch. Sally and a challenger female fought for nearly an hour. Luckily both escaped the encounter with their lives and Sally held her territory, but she did not breed. 2018 was the first time since the peregrines returned to the Cathedral six years ago that no chicks hatched on the Tower.
The view from the top is changing too. This year there will be a split screen display in the Cloisters showing feeds from a camera focused on the nestbox and a second camera on the parapet above. This means viewers will be privy to all the comings and goings, as well as the action on the nest.
In the meantime, the peregrine team have been we have been gathering footage to share. Check out our latest videos on YouTube.
For any other enquiries or further information contact: Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral firstname.lastname@example.org 01722 555148