Salisbury Peregrine Webcam goes Live

21st March 2024

Peregrine cameras go live on Salisbury Cathedral website, catching the courting couple on camera … and a new partnership for the season!

See all the live webcams here.

Since the middle of January the Cathedral team have been monitoring activity on the South Tower balcony, where a pair of peregrines have staked their claim to the nestbox, a prime piece of peregrine real estate. In the last week their ‘courting’ behaviour has intensified, with the couple bowing and ‘chupping’ to each other on the nest. A sign that they are ready to settle down.

And whilst this partnership is clearly thriving, another has been established this year, between the Cathedral and RSPB South Wiltshire Local Group. For the first time since the nestbox was established in 2014, volunteers from the RSPB South Wiltshire Local Group are taking charge of a joint Cathedral and RSPB South Wiltshire Local Group Facebook page and are helping to gather footage to share.

The Cathedral will still show livestreams from the three cameras on its website; two set up to catch the action on the nestbox, and one set up at the other end of the balcony, which has been dubbed the ‘larder’ because that is where the adult peregrines often store spare food.

Live webcam here.

In addition to taking a more active part in the management of the joint Facebook page and nest box cameras, the RSPB South Wiltshire Local Group will also be running their annual Date With Nature experience on the West lawn in June. Visitors will be able to use RSPB bird spotting telescopes to follow the progress of the peregrine fledglings when they leave the nest and learn hunt.

Granville Pictor, the peregrine expert from Wiltshire Ornithological Society, will be blogging throughout the season, keeping enthusiasts informed and updated. This year he will also manage the ringing of the chicks in May, along with the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works, Gary Price.

Granville and Gary have been involved in the Peregrine project since it was set up over eleven years ago by Phil Sheldrake, a former RSPB Conservation Officer. Until 2021 naturalist Ed Drewitt used to ring the peregrines, using his characteristic blue Darvic ring – a coloured ID ring placed on the left leg of each chick with unique initials for each bird. Since then, the ringing has been done by Nigel Jones from Hampshire, who uses an orange Darvic ring.

Tony Goddard, RSPB South Wilts Local Group Leader said:

“We are looking forward to the new season and are delighted to be extending our long-running partnership with the Cathedral. Sue Walker, our communications and social media volunteer will be helping to manage a joint Cathedral-RSPB South Wiltshire Local Group Facebook page and will be responsible for collecting recordings and pictures from the nestbox, working alongside the Cathedral Press Office to share news and exciting footage.”

Granville Pictor from Wiltshire Ornithological Society said:

“The nestbox has been going eleven years, so the site is well established and always provides interest and excitement to birdwatchers and livestream visitors alike. It is a privilege to share the lives of these amazing raptors with people from across the globe, and a great way to raise awareness and involve people in wildlife conservation.”

To date, thirty peregrine chicks have fledged from the Tower and thanks to their Darvic rings we have been able to keep track of some of them:

  • This year Flo (orange colour ring TND) has been spotted at the nest site in Welwyn Garden City after breeding successfully there last year.
  • Osmund (blue colour ring YK) was spotted on the coast of Guernsey in 2023 and 2022.
  • Peter (blue colour ring GX) has successfully raised chicks in a Hampshire quarry for the last few years.
  • Sadly, after a reported sighting near Milton Keynes in January 2017, we have heard no more about Aveline (blue colour ring SC) and Pansy, who fledged in 2019 was found dead in 2020 in Pitton, Wiltshire.

If anyone spots a peregrine falcon with a Blue or Orange ring on their left leg, just check the letters and let the Press Office at Salisbury Cathedral know.