Peregrines hatch at Malham

Friday 5 May 2017

At least three Peregrine Falcon chicks have hatched at Malham Cove - to the delight of thousands of people.

The chicks started to hatch on Monday night. There could be more than three, but views are obscured by the female who is brooding her young tightly.

Four thousand people have visited the bird watching viewpoint at the Cove since it opened for the breeding season at the start of April.

Amateur wildlife photographer Andy Pritchard made the journey from Barrowford in Lancashire on Monday evening.

He said: "The male Peregrine was hunting right in front of the nest site when I arrived at the top of the Cove at 16:30. It got me thinking something had happened.

"During the next four hours, I managed to get a good glimpse of the newly hatched first junior. The shots I took are poor quality, as they were taken from 100 yards away in bad light. But I was properly chuffed to get them, especially if they can be used to promote the welfare of these magnificent birds. "

Mr Pritchard urged the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) to "keep up the great work". He noted how important the on-site signage and restricted area had been to stop people disturbing the birds.

The viewpoint has been especially popular this year as the breeding Peregrines were the subject of Channel 5's "A Year In The Wild" documentary series.

The YDNPA's Wildlife Conservation Officer, Ian Court, said: "The female is doing a great job of brooding the chicks and the dry weather has had a positive impact. Peregrines tend to do badly in wet springs. Over the coming weeks, the male will continue to do most of the hunting, bringing prey to the site for the female to feed the chicks. It is an excellent time to come to the Cove to see them."

Paul Brady from the RSPB said: "It's fantastic news that the peregrines have successfully produced young ones again this year. The next few weeks are going to bring lots of exciting activity as the parents catch food for their hungry chicks, so I'd highly recommend a trip up to the viewpoint to see these birds in action and to get the latest updates from the staff and volunteers."

The free public viewpoint is at the base of the Cove, where Information Assistants and a team of volunteers are on hand to show people the birds through telescopes. It will be open until Sunday 30th July, Saturdays to Wednesdays (closed Thursdays and Fridays). This is the 15th year of the Malham Peregrine Project, a partnership between the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the RSPB.

The latest information on the Malham Peregrine Project can be found at:

www.twitter.com/malhamperegrine

www.facebook.com/natureinthedales

From tonight (Friday), you can also check out the first of our Peregrine video diaries:

www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/peregrine-diary

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: England Topic: Giving Nature a Home