Guest blogger: Louise Smith, Scotland's comms pro
The difference in the Edinburgh sparrowhawk chicks is crazy. Those bundles of fluff that we saw a few weeks ago have transformed into 6 miniature sprawks. They're an inquisitive bunch too and regularly seem to be exploring their surroundings, edging along the tree branches and having a little flutter about. We’re expecting them to fledge in the coming weeks.
The one thing they're missing though are names and we need your help! This weekend we're asking visitors to suggest names for our chicks. There's five males and one female so get your thinking hats on! The team will be in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh on Saturday and Sunday from 1 - 4 pm.
Tracey, our girl on the ground, thinks it's time to show the celebs how it's done: “Celebrity babies always have weird and wonderful names so we think it’s only appropriate our sparrowhawk family enjoy the same treatment. I’m sure our visitors can come up with something to rival Harper Seven Beckham, Suri Cruise and Shiloh Nouvel Pitt in the name-stakes. We’ll be drawing 3 winning names on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. We’ve got some great prizes up for grabs, as well as lots of interesting and fun sparrowhawk games and activities planned.”
The six lucky winners will not only have the honour of naming one of the chicks, but each will walk away with a special prize pack containing a bird feeder plus food, a set of family tickets to the Scottish Seabird Centre and a set of family tickets to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Glasshouses.
At lunch time today, the groundsman from Yale College in Wrexham called at the Peregrines Date With Nature stand to tell us that a Peregrine Falcon had flown into a window of the college building and been killed. I went with him to retrieve the body and saw that it was one of the chicks. It had left its imprint on the window that it had hit.
We handed the body of the chick to the Wildlife Crime Officer, who checked the bird over and took it away. The details from its ring will be reported so that we can, hopefully, find out which chick it was.
It looks like our Bath peregrines are proving to be a handful even after they've fledged.
A few weeks ago the female chick, CV, disappeared. She can usually be found on her favourite perch on St John's church, sat with her brothers, but she went missing for a couple of days. Then Mike Rogers, from the Hawk and Owl Trust, received a phone call from Gillian Barrett, the lady who helps run the RSPB local group in the area, to say that a peregrine had come down her chimney and was currently sitting in her dormer room. Mike quickly gathered together his equipment and headed over to Gillian's. When he arrived he found CV perched on a table, quite relaxed if not a little dusty with some bent tail feathers.
CV in her temporary digs
Despite seeming rather comfortable, it was time for CV to go home. Mike released her back at the church, but despite a strong start, CV flew back down to the pavement and it become apparent that she needed a bit of R n R before returning home. Mike took her home to recuperate in one of his avaries where she was treated to pheasant, rabbit and squirrel. Not bad service at all!
After four days she was ready to go home and Mike took her to Pratts Hotel, where she was released from one of the bedroom windows. This time she flew away strongly and disappeared off, later to be spotted back on her favourite perch settling in for the night.
CV enjoying the view from the roof at Pratts Hotel.
Big thanks to Mike Rogers for the update and the brilliant photos.