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After the dramatic battle for the nestbox, which Sally won, we thought the male might take up with her. At that point there was still time for her to lay eggs and fledge the chicks before winter.
However, a few days after the fight, however, the un-ringed peregrine pair return to the nest and resume courting. Sally wis never far behind and her tracker shows that she is often perched on the Tower.
The cameras are monitored at intervals and the footage shows that the last time the courting pair are seen together is 5 May. In early June one un-ringed peregrine is absent while the other remains, sharing the Tower with Sally.
There has been much discussion about the events of March, April and May and there are two theories. Either Sally disrupted a pair and prevented them from laying – or Sally lost Sebastian, found a new un-ringed mate and then a new un-ringed female swooped in and stole him.
We may never know the truth but the GPS tracker and blue ID rings have opened our eyes to a new world up on the Tower. Without the means of identification we would have had no idea that the male was not Sebastian, or indeed that Sebastian had gone missing….and Sally’s tracker tells us exactly what she has been up to.
It’s sad there are no chicks but it has been a fascinating episode from which are learning a lot and gathering fascinating material.
Many thanks to all who have helped and supported this project including Phil Sheldrake (RSPB Conservation Officer), Gary Price (Salisbury Cathedral’s Clerk of Works), Paul Smith (who tirelessly helps to make it all work) and Huw Edwards from iCode.
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