The history of the Grantham Peregrines.
Peregrines nesting on man made structures in Lincolnshire are only a recent phenomenon.
Birds have bred on Lincoln Cathedral since 2007.
The nest tray has been on the walkway of St Wulframs, Grantham since 13th December 2007. Bob Sheppard made the tray and installed it with his colleague Alan Ball with help from Derek Jackson. Earlier in 2007, a pair of Peregrines had nested on the west side of the walkway of the Church on a tiny patch of gravel. They laid two eggs and one chick successfully fledged.
In 2008, the birds did not nest on the church, but a pair nested nearby and raised three male chicks. In 2009, Peregrines returned to St Wulframs, laid four eggs and raised two chicks in the nest tray. There was one female chick and one male.
These chicks were ringed at 16 to 18 days old by Alan and Bob, under BTO licence.
A brief look at the 2011 nesting season by Bob Sheppard
Once again the Peregrines at St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham had a successful breeding season in 2011.
They have nested on the walkway in four of the past five years, raising eight young. The female began her nest scrape on 24th March. She was the same female that had been ringed as a chick in 2006 on the East Lancashire/West Yorkshire border. On 30th March she laid the first egg followed by three more on 2nd, 4th and probably 6th, although the last egg wasn’t actually seen until 8th April. The three chicks hatched on 8th, 9th and 11th May, the fourth egg failing to hatch.
On 17th June the chicks were ringed under licence by Alan Ball. They were all females. By 17th June the chicks were no longer seen in the nest tray and could be observed taking short flights by 22nd June.
One remarkable observation on 16th May was that of two adult birds feeding the chicks. Although juveniles from the previous year are occasionally seen around the nests of peregrines, adult females together have not been observed before and this has baffled peregrine experts.
The project is a great example of cooperation between the Lincolnshire Bird Club and St Wulfram’s Church. In addition, a new 32” LCD screen was presented to the Church by Belton Garden Centre for the public and churchgoers to observe these enigmatic birds.
A brief look at the 2010 nesting season by Bob Sheppard.
The 2010 Peregrine project was a huge success, not only for the Peregrines but also for the Lincolnshire Bird Club and St Wulfram’s Church. After the success of 2009, the tray was replaced on the walkway on February 5th and a camera placed to the North of the tray to beam pictures to a 32” LCD screen alongside the Church office and to the LBC/St Wulframs website.
By 22nd March the female was making a nest scrape in the gravel.
Soon she was roosting overnight on the tray and on 29th March the first egg was laid. Others followed on 1st, 3rd and 6th April and her clutch was complete. There then followed a quiet month where the pair took turns at incubating although the female did most of the longer sessions. On 9th May the first chick hatched followed by another later the same day. The other two failed to hatch, a similar situation to 2009.
The chicks grew well and on 22nd May the public were invited to watch from the Church grounds as the adults brought prey. This watchpoint was manned by LBC members and was very popular. On 26th May the chicks were ringed under licence and sexed as females. Around this time it was confirmed that the colour ring on the adult female’s right leg confirmed that she was originally a chick born in a nest in 2006 on a cliff on the East Lancashire/West Yorkshire border.
By the end of May the chicks’ darker tail and flight feathers were very obvious. On 22nd June they went for their first walkabout as they explored the walkway. They took their first flight on 26th June and were flying well when the public were invited to another watchpoint on 26th June.
|Click here to download a PDF of the 2010 Grantham Peregrine Blog. This document is 1MB in size.|
Identified remains of Peregrine prey at St Wulfram's Church
|Prey Species||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||Total||prey %|
|9||Little Ringed Plover||0||1||0||0||0||1||0.1|
* Collected prey remains included one complete Quail. A leg (and Belgian ring) recovered from an earlier Quail in July.
NOTE. Not all birds will have been taken in the period since the previous prey collection date, as they may have been cached nearby. It is also possible that prey remains may be inaccessible in roof gutters but can subsequently be washed out and later collected.
We would like to thank the following people who have contributed to this venture...
From St Wulframs Church....
Revd. Canon Christopher Andrews
Jason Fathers, Wildlife Windows
Colin Shawyer, Wildlife conservation Partnership
Lincolnshire Bird Club
Behind the scenes
Loan of TV screen in Church
Belton Garden Centre - http://www.beltongardencentre.co.uk/
Andrew P Chick
To contact the Peregrine Project Team, please contact email@example.com