THERE was a special delivery on Mother's Day at Salisbury Cathedral.

An unringed female that has been regularly visiting the nest located on the cathedral tower over the last few weeks laid an egg.

It was spotted by the cathedral’s peregrine specialist Phil Sheldrake.

He said: “It’s great that we have an egg – and quite a bit earlier than last year. We can’t be sure it is the same female as last year though it is highly likely – sadly she’s not ringed."

Sally the peregrine who has been a regular visitor to the cathedral over the years has not yet been spotted.

Phil said: “The news on Sally, the nation’s favourite peregrine courtesy of BBC Springwatch is that the last signal we got off her GPS tracking device was on the 3rd November when she was in the Coombe Bisset area just west of Salisbury. Is she still alive? Well we don’t know; we haven’t seen her on the cameras at the Cathedral and it’s quite possible the tracking device has just stopped working after nearly three years. She was estimated to be about seven years old when we ringed her so possibly 10 now, and whilst the oldest peregrine known was at least 24 the average lifespan will be around ten years.”

There are generally around three to four eggs in a clutch and incubation does not start until the last egg is laid, so the pair will sit on the egg at intervals to keep the eggs warm.

Incubation lasts 29 to 32 days, with the nesting pair sharing egg duty and hunting. It is expected that the chicks should hatch in early May.

To watch the webcam footage go to