RICHARD WILLIAMSON Chichester Cathedral Peregrines...It’s time for the 42nd chick to make an entry

OUR cathedral peregrine should hatch the first of her four eggs now. The others soon after. If all hatch successfully this will give her and her younger mate 42 children. Ornithologists seem to agree that this makes the famous pair the most successful peregrine pair ever known in recorded history.

Mum is now probably 16 years old, which puts her well into the pensioner class. Most do not live or breed beyond 13 years. The reason is that the cathedral at Chichester’s centre is the most des res of all eyries in Britain. First the nest in the stone turret is secure against egg collectors and falconers. It is sheltered from storms and cold winds. But mainly the huge “supermarket” of Chichester and Pagham Harbour is there for their own use, especially in winter when their need is for plump, easily caught fast food such as godwit, teal, redshank among the 70,000 other birds that spend the winter with us out of Russia.

The RSPB cameras are there now until early July at the cathedral restaurant so go along to see them now.