The Manchester peregrines are back! For the seventh season, peregrines have chosen to nest and raise their young high above the city centre and we'll be there every step of the way. The event kicks off tomorrow and our friendly experts will be on hand in Exchange Square every weekend from 11 am to 6 pm and across the city during the week showing people all the action until 21 July.
Photo by Ben Hall
There's currently four eggs in the nest, which the pair are busy incubating, and they should be hatching in the next couple of weeks. We'll let you know as and when things kick off, but until then you can watch everything live on the webcam.
Over the last 12 years, spring at Chichester Cathedral has seen the return of the same pair of peregrines and over that time the pair have successfully raised a whopping 42 chicks. Now it looks like there could be a new man in town!
And here he is! (Photo by Luke Dray)
The first people to suspect the female may have found herself someone new were local wildlife photographers David and Janet Shaw and Luke Dray, who between them run the website and blog Chichesterperegrines.co.uk, monitor the nest site all year round, and work closely with us to identify any changes that might happen. From the male's strange behaviour (lots of showing off and displaying) and the different body shape and posture to a preference for a different perch, they're sure that this year's male is new, but it's hard to tell for certain as neither of the males have been ringed.
Though there might still be a way of telling if we're looking at a new male. Our woman on the ground, Lauren, explains:
"It will be interesting to see if the male feeds the chicks, as this will be almost certain proof, as the previous male wasn't trusted by the female to perform this task until seven years into their partnership."
So we'll have to wait a little bit longer to be sure. The eggs are expected to start hatching anytime now and we'll be sure to keep you posted when they do. In the meantime, you can watch all the action from the nest on the Chichester peregrine webcam.
Just a quickie to say there's been more egg action over on the Loch Garten osprey diary. Check it out!
The third egg has arrived at Loch Garten, but has Odin finally finished his game of egg football and accepted it as his own? To find out, hop over to the Loch Garten osprey diary for the latest.
It's always nice to see a familiar face. It's even nicer to see one that you haven't seen for the best part of a year! This week the Argaty red kites team were treated to a surprise visit from one of last year's chicks who they haven't seen hide nor hair of since July.
This young red kite was particularly memorable thanks to the nest she grew up in. Red kites have extravagant tastes when it comes to home decoration. Not satisfied with the usual nest building materials, kites have been known to feather their nests with cuddly toys, England flags and even (ahem) knickers! Our returning kite's parents decided to go for something a little shinier last year and used a deflated helium balloon to line its nest.
Above is the kite last year after she'd been ringed and tagged with the remnants of the balloon (photo by Mike McDonnell) and below is a shot of her taken last week (photo by Victoria Hume).