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LOOK: Peregrine falcons on BT site return to nest for second year

PUBLISHED: 07:31 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:29 02 April 2020

The peregrine falcons have been seen in the BT water tower in Adastral Park in Ipswich. In 2019, two falcons reared three chicks there Picture: ADASTRAL PARK

The peregrine falcons have been seen in the BT water tower in Adastral Park in Ipswich. In 2019, two falcons reared three chicks there Picture: ADASTRAL PARK

Archant

A pair of Ipswich’s peregrine falcons look likely to become parents for the second year in a row – with three eggs spotted in their Adastral Park nest.

BT engineers and Suffolk hawk specialists worked together to install the bird box at the top of the research centre’s water tower some years ago, providing a place for the birds to shelter in the colder winter months.

The pair of falcons first raised three chicks in 2019, and the sight was captured on a webcam installed by the telecomms company.

Now three more eggs are being guarded by the birds, and Peter Merchant of the Hawk and Owl Trust hopes 2020 will be as successful as 2019.

Mr Merchant said: “Last year was a wonderful success – three eggs, three chicks and three fledged the nest.

Three eggs have been laid at this peregrine falcon nestbox at Adastral Park at Martlesham. Picture: BTThree eggs have been laid at this peregrine falcon nestbox at Adastral Park at Martlesham. Picture: BT

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“There’s always a chance with peregrine falcons they might do something different, but there’s no reason we won’t have a pair of birds nesting there indefinitely now. It could be the same birds for several years.

“There has been a pair nesting near the Orwell Bridge since 2008 and in that time only one of the birds there has changed.”

The pair of birds at Adastral Park were identified as the same birds that reared chicks in 2019 by the rings on their legs.

The chicks they raised have not yet been tagged as peregrine falcons do not make a nest until they are three years old.

There are peregrine falcons nesting across the region, with more birds in Lowestoft, in Felixstowe and even in Jumbo, the water tower in Colchester town centre.

“I have been working with BT on this for a number of years and their co-operation is second to none,” he added.

“Under normal circumstances they have to access the water tower for maintenance work, so to make sure the birds are not disturbed they have boarded off more sections to prevent the falcons seeing them.”


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