We've been watching with baited breath in Manchester for the first of our four beautiful peregrine chicks to take the leap of faith and fledge the nest. On Friday morning (8th June) we were greeted at the watchpoint in Exchange Square, Manchester by a lovely member of the public who asked the simple question
"could you tell me what this bird is please?" and produced his mobile phone with a photo of one of our juvenile peregrines perched on the edge of his sitting room window ledge.
I'm not entirely sure he was expecting the very excited round of "oh my gosh's" and "is that your windows" that followed but after we'd got our excitement in check we explained that it was a juvenile peregrine falcon and it had left the nest for the first time and decided to land on this gentleman's window. He continued to fill in the details, explaining that he lived in an apartment block in the city centre and that the falcon had landed on his window ledge up on the fifth floor at about 8pm on the Thursday evening and stayed there all night until it decided to return to the nest ledge at 7:30am the following morning. Our first chick had ventured into the world and we'd almost missed it!
Manchester was blessed with grey skies and rain all over the weekend which is far from ideal weather for our juveniles to venture out into the world, but obviously envious of their siblings journey away from home, slowly but surely they braved the weather and took the plunge. We think the second chick fledged on Friday evening during a clear spell, and the watch point was a buzz of activity over the weekend as visitors were greeted with views of two juveniles perching and flying round the city on Saturday despite the downpours, joined by a third on Sunday as the skies cleared, and finally, after much deliberation and wing flapping the fourth and final chick joined the other three this morning. A family reunion on the Premier Inn in Manchester completed the family story and wowed visitors.
All they have to do now is work out how to catch those pigeons for themselves...roll on the skyrobatics!
Photo of chick number 1 flying around Manchester courtesy of Adrian Dancy.