Archive | April, 2017

Rochdale Peregrines – update

Many of the children at Lowerplace are aware that I have been following the fortunes of the pair of Peregrine Falcons at Rochdale Town Hall. This has been made possible by the recent installation of a webcam overlooking the nest. When I’ve had the chance, I’ve been putting the webcam feed on the big screen in the ICT suite and it’s been great to see how interested the children are in the progress of these amazing birds.

The last couple of weeks have been eventful and at times worrying for the Peregrines. Late March/early April is their nesting season and is the time of year they should be laying eggs. Just as it looked like female was ready to begin laying a series of events put the whole process in jeopardy. It began on Wednesday 22nd March, when heavy, persistent rain caused a blocked drain to overflow directly above the nest. The nest, which was already low on nesting material flooded, leaving what was left floating – not ideal conditions for egg laying. At this point the council said that the nest would be cleared and the drainage problem rectified in time for the egg laying season, but obviously time was tight. The following day ropes were visible on the webcam, the nest was cleaned and the nesting material was replaced.

Interference with the nest at such a critical time was a real concern, and a further visit was required to repair the drainage problem a few days later. During this time the pair were not present and there were real concerns that they had abandoned their nest. Fortunately, they returned on the 28th March and the female was on the nest almost all the time, often accepting prey deliveries from the male – a great sign that egg laying might be imminent.

It was with great delight, therefore, that when I checked the webcam this morning (2nd April) there was an egg clearly visible at the feet of the female. All morning the pair have been taking it in turns to incubate it, a pattern that will continue for the next 4-5 weeks. We can now expect a further two or three eggs, laid at intervals of 2-3 days. Exciting times!