Peregrine watch

by Helen Hooker May. 15, 2009 4064 views

I had a couple of hours to kill between appointments in Chichester today so I decided to take my camera with me in search of some photos of the peregrine falcons which are currently nesting on the Cathedral spire. This pair has been nesting on the Cathedral for nine years now and has raised 30 chicks during this time, including the four which hatched about 3 weeks ago. They are truly amazing creatures ?? they are the fastest creatures on earth, diving at speeds of up to around 200mph to catch their prey. They can frequently be heard calling in Chichester and you always know when they??re out and about by the number of people looking skywards! Their nest is in the south east turret of the Cathedral spire, in a wooden box provided by the RSPB. Each year the RSPB take up residence in the cathedral café with a television showing footage from the camera which overlooks the nest box. They also check on the chicks and ring them so they can be tracked through their lives.

I spent an hour or so taking photos (and discovered I could do with a lens about twice as long as the 280mm I had!) then dashed inside to see the footage on screen when the male came back with some prey for the chicks. The fourth shot is one I took of the TV screen which shows the father and chicks (two are hiding behind him) and the fifth is a scene I spotted in the café garden which I couldn??t resist shooting. At one point the robin actually hopped onto this chap??s plate and helped himself to his fish and chips! They??re not the best photos I??ve ever taken but probably the best I could do with the equipment I have ?? they??ve been heavily cropped so you don??t have to squint to see the birds. However, when the chicks fledge and start exploring more in about 3 weeks time I??ll be going back to see if I can do any better! For more information about the Chichester peregrines visit here [] .

Mrs Peregrine taking off from one of the Cathedral's many turrets.

You wouldn't want to mess with those claws!

Resting between flights.

A shot of the RSPB TV footage in the Cathedral tea rooms. Not brilliant quality but the nearest I was going to get to the nest! There are 4 chicks (3 female, 1 male) but two are hiding behind Dad who has just fed them.

Look who's being cheeky! This little fella had his eye on some fish and chips…

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Lynda 8 years, 5 months ago

Great shots

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Aaron Kinzer 8 years, 5 months ago

Great shots!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Simon Giles 8 years, 5 months ago

number 5 is priceless! great work.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Neil Rosenberger 8 years, 5 months ago

I think you did get a great job on everything, the shots and information, Well Done !! cd

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Ania 8 years, 5 months ago


8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Marsha 8 years, 5 months ago

Wow, the falcon shots are great! #2 almost looks scary - nicely captured! Haha - I'm surprised the robin got on the plate - the guy looks like he's ready to protect his meal ;)

8 years, 5 months ago Edited