Tuesday 14 June 2011

Drama at Quadrant House as first peregrine chicks fledge!

We knew it could be any day this week but when it happened, none of us was prepared for it. At about 08.30 one of the chicks, No.1 suddenly threw himself off the top of Quadrant House. Clearly it was his/her maiden flight because his feet were down awkwardly and he lost height during the brief circuit. Although dad flew with him on the approach, he didn't quite have enough height to land on the roof again. He clung for a minute or so to the concrete before launching himself again and landing on a lower tower block on the other side of the railway line. Here are some photos showing the heart-stopping sequence.

Dad (top left) shadows his chick on his maiden flight.
Unfortunately the chick is unable to gain enough height.

He clings on for dear life with his claws to the sheer side of the concrete slab

"Can't hang around here all day. I'm off!"
"This is better. I've got my legs up now and life is in the fast lane!
I think I'll head for that other building!"
"Ooops. That building is looming very quickly!!
I'd better put the brakes on"

"Ouch!! Who put the spikes there".
Shortly afterwards, chick No.2 followed suit but just managed to scramble back onto the roof of Quadrant House! Here are his pictures:

No. 2 approaches the top of the Reed Building after a short flight.
It looks as if he won't make it!

Will he?  Won't he?

Oops! Not quite high enough!
Wow! Just made it.
Later, dad patrols the skies.
We're still not sure whether there are still four chicks. The longer we can see only 3 chicks the more likely it is that the fourth one has died or flown off alone.

Watch this space for more news.


  1. I work in an office nearby and have clear view of the peregrines from my desk. Unfortunately I missed the maiden flight yesterday and the youngsters seem a bit reluctant to fly this morning. So its really good to see your pictures from yesterday, it's hard enough just tracking them by eye so to get then in frame with a long lens must be incredibly difficult, well done!

  2. Well done, Phil. I regret it not being convenient to join you on one of your vigils, especially now that the main event has occurred!



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