THE first egg of the year has been laid by the peregrines at Salisbury Cathedral in time for Easter. 

The egg was laid by an unringed female during the early hours of this morning (Monday, April 8) which marks an end to the reign of resident female Sally. 

RSPB conservation officer Phil Sheldrake, who has been closely involved with the peregrines, said: “After all the trials and tribulations of last year, it is exciting to see we now have a new nesting pair.

"It is, however, tinged with some sadness that it is not Sally, our much-loved GPS tracked female, whose story was watched by thousands on Springwatch last year, and the year before when she raised an orphaned chick along with her own chick.

“Whilst we will obviously be watching developments on the tower very closely, it will also be interesting to see Sally’s reaction as her GPS tracker is still working.

"The last record we have of her was at 16.15 yesterday when she was near Coombe Bissett just a few miles from Salisbury. Will she interfere with the nest? Will she be content to remain on her own or will she move away? We’ll be watching.”

Gary Price, the cathedral’s clerk of the works, said: “I’ll be watching the nest cam closely to spot developments. It’s great to see these magnificent and fascinating birds to come to life here, and we still have eyes on Sally due to her tracker, who knows, maybe she will return next year.”

The egg is expected to hatch in early May. Cameras are live streaming at the cathedral and show feeds from a camera focused on the nestbox and a second camera on the parapet above.

Peregrines generally lay around three to four eggs in a clutch. 
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