Peregrines lay four eggs at Chichester Cathedral

Male and female peregrine in March, 2015. Picture by RSPB volunteer Jim Langiewicz
Male and female peregrine in March, 2015. Picture by RSPB volunteer Jim Langiewicz
  • Last year’s Chichester Cathedral peregrines have returned this year
  • Four eggs have been laid in the nest box on one of the cathedral turrets
  • The RSPB’s Date With Nature project starts on April 11
0
Have your say

FOR THE 15th year, peregrines have returned to start a family at Chichester Cathedral.

FOR THE 15th year, peregrines have returned to start a family at Chichester Cathedral.

The female peregrine in flight at Chichester Cathedral in April, 2015. Picture by RSPB volunteer Jim Langiewicz

The female peregrine in flight at Chichester Cathedral in April, 2015. Picture by RSPB volunteer Jim Langiewicz

Last year’s male and female returned to the nest in March and as of yesterday, four eggs had been laid.

For Lauren Culverwell, the RSPB officer who looks after the project, she can still remember as a teenager seeing the first pair of peregrines in 2001.

“I live in Chichester and have always been a bit of a birdwatcher,” she said.

“My dad said ‘there’s peregrines over the cathedral, we should go and see them’.

You don’t know what’s going to happen but knowing that the peregrines always produce some amazing stories and some amazing things to witness.

Lauren Culverwell

“I had never seen a peregrine falcon before that.

“That was in 2001. After that I kept coming up and being a bit annoying I suppose with RSPB staff. I used to come up here 
every day.”

Now, she looks after the RSPB’s Date With Nature project, which runs in the Cathedral Cloisters cafe from Saturday until July.

“About five years ago I did sessions volunteering and I just got hooked on the birds themselves and it was just great to meet people from all walks of life and get them excited about the peregrines and wildlife as a whole,” she said.

While volunteering, Lauren worked in hospitality at Chichester Yacht Club.

“It’s thanks to the peregrines that my career changed,” she said.

Now aged 28, after volunteering she got a job with the RSPB at its reserve in Pulborough Brooks.

Working across the south for most of the year, between April and July she sets up at the cathedral, where her love of the peregrines first started.

The Date With Nature project helps bring wildlife to people’s attention and the project is visited by hundreds of people each year.

The RSPB also tells people about its Give Nature a Home project, encouraging people to make space in their gardens for wildlife.

In addition, the Sussex Ornithological Society has been there for 15 years, with one of its trained members ringing the chicks each year.

Chichester Cathedral is also a key player in the whole process, with staff now accustomed to their feathered friends above their heads.

Even in her 15th year, Lauren is still excited about what this year has to offer.

“It’s the anticipation,” she said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen but knowing that the peregrines always produce some amazing stories and some amazing things to witness.

“But for me, it’s about engaging with all sorts of people and getting them interested in the wildlife and the peregrines. That’s what keeps it fun every day.”

The RSPB believes this year’s pair is the same as last year, which was a new pairing after the original pair returned every year from 2001 until 2012.

Then, in 2013 the same female returned, but with a new male.

In 2014, the current male and female arrived after seeing off competition from other peregrines.

To watch a live webcam feed of the nestbox containing the four eggs, visit www.carnyx.tv/CarnyxWild/WildlifeCameras/Chichester.aspx