This week my workload had me working mainly in North Derbyshire, this was the first time I had seen so much of the county and in places it is spectacular particularly the High Peak district. On one day Thursday to be exact I had early start and decent finish time and place which enabled me to call into Belper on the way home to see the Peregrines which once again have reared chicks, three this year were about to fledge.
I got the information on these birds from a Facebook group for Derbyshire birders which for me as my office is in Derby is useful to keep tabs on for bird news in this county and also a fellow Tweeter and Derbyshire Birders Facebook group member, Steve Thorpe gave me the site specifics for which I was grateful.
Above image from https://florenceandbelle.wordpress.com/tag/derbyshire - thank you!
Within 15 minutes of arriving at Strutt's East Mill which is next to Riverside Gardens I saw one Peregrine chick fly from the nest end of the mill to the other side and this I believe was its maiden flight – nice! The bird flew from the nest on the right to the left side in the image above with it landing safely near a parent bird on a window ledge a level higher than the nest.
The other two chicks were calling loudly with them both working their wings, edging close to the edge to take the plunge and fly for the first time but then backing off and re-thinking their strategy! The parents were either dropping in (quite quickly!) to see the chicks, trying to catch one of the many feral pigeons around the location or soaring high in the sky targeting their next prey from way, way up above.
The light was good then not so as clouds moved in but after an hour or so I got a few decent images that made the stop over worth it.
I read on the Derbyshire Birders Facebook group today (Friday June 10th) that a member had said that his visit today to the East Mill was a disaster! Upon his arrival yesterdays fledgling had been grounded. It was recovered and taken to an Ashbourne vet. When brought back to the mill it was set on the top of the Main tower of the East Mill with the bird being in a poor condition. The parents did not appear to go to the fledgling at all whilst the birder was there.
Fingers crossed this bird and the other two all make it.
More photo's with the same words can be seen here >> http://www.lincsbirders.org/2016/06/10/belper-peregrines/