Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Peregrine Talk

On Saturday January 19th at 7.30pm there will be an illustrated talk in the Abbey's visitor centre. This will be a chance to learn all about peregrine falcons from the experts of the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group. 

You can also hear the story of Christopher Robin, Alice, Bella and Paddington at Tewkesbury. 

Tickets will be £5 and are on sale in the Abbey shop or at the door. 

An evening not to be missed!

Friday, 12 October 2018

Preparing for 2019

2018 was certainly an exciting year for Tewkesbury Abbey's peregrines.

Paddington hasn't been seen for quite a while, but there no reason to doubt that he's fully fledged and is looking for somewhere to over winter.

Meanwhile, Bella has been seen on the nesting tray which is a promising sign for 2019.

At some stage, the gravel will be replaced so that they have a nice clean nest for next year's breeding season.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Noisy Paddington

I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, and the views from the other cameras don't make things much clearer.

It looks like Paddington chases hid dad CR away, landing awkwardly on the tray. Then a few seconds later, mum Bella turns up and he flies off.

There's lots of noise as well - a type of call I can't remember hearing before.

Either way, it's really good to see that Paddington is alive and well and driving his parents up the wall!

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Paddington - an update

Since he fledged, getting any update on Paddington's progress has been difficult. I have often wondered if he's OK?

 Here is a somewhat rare visit to his birthplace as captured by the video camera.

Firstly, Bella is seen on the tray, and then Paddington appears, but only for a short time as Bella then returns. Paddington then flies off making lots of noise!

I think it's safe to say that he is doing just fine.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Glimpses of PDN

Although Paddington has left his nest, he has returned once or twice.

This visit was so brief, that the video has been slowed down 8 times!

Rather longer, and better controlled, was this visit which lasted some 4 minutes in all.

He seems to be doing well, but unless he visits the tray it is difficult to find out exactly what he's up to.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Visiting the nesting tray

The video camera is back and working again. I had to remove the recorder to trawl through hours of video to try to see when Paddington's first flight was.

Now that it's working, a few days ago it captured a visit from CR.

Here he is having a scrape in the gravel. A few minutes later, he brought in some food, but there was nobody there to feed it to, so he had it himself.

Next to visit was Bella....

And then, Paddington himself, taking some prey from CR!

However, since August 5th, neither bird has been seen by the camera.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Video analysis

Having viewed a week's worth of videos, I can confirm that Paddington's first attempt at flying was indeed the moment he left the tray on the morning of Saturday 28th July at 10:39am

The same day, both his parents have visited the tray with food for him.

There was also a brief visit from a pigeon, a live one that is, for the first time in months.

Because there was so much footage to view, I have had to remove the video recorder to download the video files. It takes about an hour to download each day's video from each camera. Anyway, I will put it back in the next day or so to see if there is anything else going on.

If anybody does see Paddington around the tower, please leave a comment below. Thanks.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Flying off

This is the moment Paddington flew off, only to have to be rescued!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Paddington on tour

Paddington's had a very exciting day!

At 10:39 (this time has been confirmed from the video footage) this morning (Saturday 28th July), he flew off the tray. This was no accidental flight of fancy, but a deliberate and well planned flight. It didn't look like the first faltering flight, so maybe he has been off the tray before. I will go back over hours of video footage to check.

Anyway, this flight didn't end too well, leaving him stranded on the ground nearby. Some very kind person (I don't yet know who) managed to catch him and took him to the Vale Wildlife Centre at Beckford. This is where the ringing system really works well, as within a few minutes, the Gloucester Raptor Monitoring Group received a call to say he had been rescued. The GRMG arranged to collect him and bring him back to his home at Tewkesbury Abbey.

Having decided (the hard way - after climbing all the way up) that it was far too windy to let him out of his cardboard box in the top of the tower, we descended to a lower, safer, roof on the east side of the Abbey, just under his tray.

Here, the box was opened and we retreated.

By the time we got down the tower, Paddington was sitting on the parapet none the worse for his day out.

Many thanks to the person(s) who found him, and for doing the right thing. Also thanks to those at Vale Wildlife (click here) and the GRMG

Friday, 27 July 2018

Still here!

Well, Paddington hasn't left the tray yet....

... but if he carries on like this, it won't be long before he falls off!

He's lost 99% of his fluff and is looking just like a juvenile peregrine should do, having a tawny coloured underside with vertical blotchy streaks. He will have this plumage until he is about 10 months old when he will start to get his full adult feathers.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Not long before fledging?

Paddington is now growing so fast that it is difficult for camera 1 to do justice to him as it is so close!

Here is a clip from camera 2 - not the best viewing angle though.

Paddington's flapping is now rather vigorous and it probably won't be long before he either flies off the tray, or more likely falls off!

So, if you want to see him easily, then the next few days will probably be the last opportunity to have a good look at him on the tray. After he leaves the tray, then he should be visible around the Abbey while he is fed and taught to hunt by his parents. This means that the cameras will no longer be recording his day to day activities but I will try to keep the blog up to date with any sightings.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018


Paddington is rapidly losing his fluff and gaining lots of feathers!

He has also been practicing flapping his wings.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Hot hot hot

It's been rather hot again, and Bella has been trying to keep Paddington cool.

The problem is that he is now nearly as big as his mum, and there isn't much shade to sit in!

Friday, 13 July 2018

It's Paddington!

In the same way that his dad CR has a name taken from children's literature, Christopher Robin, PDN's name had to come from another famous character with the same letters.


The cryptic clue in the last post relates to the three letter code which Brunel's Great Western Railway used for its locomotive depot at Old Oak Common near to its London Paddington terminus.

By the way, the leg ring with these letters was chosen from a bag that the Gloucester Raptor Monitoring Group brought with them when he was ringed. It's just a coincidence that the three letters allowed for this name!

Anyway, Paddington is now 32 days old and as you can see is very active. His white fluffy down is receding, and as his feathers grow, he is starting to look more and more like a peregrine.

On a more serious note, it has been reported that a drone was seen flying near the Abbey tower last Friday, July 6th. Peregrine Falcons are a highly protected species, and it is an offence to fly a drone anywhere near an eyrie between 1st February and 1st September each year. Also, drones must never be flown within 50 metres of a person, vehicle or building not under the pilot's control.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Ringing PDN

It's been a week since PDN was ringed.

Here is Tim lowering himself down the tower.
(Thanks to Ann Ross for this video)

Here is some footage from the video camera of Tim picking up PDN....

and then PDN returning, none the worse for his encounter.

The unhatched egg was also removed.

Watch this space for the announcement about PDN's (unofficial) name!

Here is a cryptic clue....

(and it's not Edward.)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

It's a boy!!

It's official - PDN is a male!

His name has yet to be chosen, but there are a couple of front runners. If you have any appropriate suggestions (and reasons if possible) please use the comment box below.

Monday, 2 July 2018

17 days old - time to be ringed

Today was a very important day!

The chick has been ringed, and now has an identity of its own.

This is the only way that its progress can be followed once it leaves the nest, and allows the peregrine population as a whole to be monitored.

The process was carried out by members of the Gloucester Raptor Monitor Group.

The first stage was for Tim to abseil down the outside of the tower. (Rather him than me!)

When he reached the nesting tray, Tim gently picked up the chick, and with it safely stowed inside a tightly bound rucksack, it was lowered to the roof below.

 Rob (the licensed ringer) was at hand to get it out of the bag.

 Next, he fitted a metal ring on its right leg...

 and a plastic one on the left leg.

This ring has larger and more visible writing allowing it to be read from a distance. After this, some measurements were taken and it was weighed.

Meet "PDN"!

We don't yet know whether PDN is male or female. This can be determined from the measurements and weight data and Rob will let us know in due course.

Once we do know, then PDN will of course need a real name. I do have a couple of ideas however, please feel free to make your suggestions in the comments link below!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Two weeks old

The chick is now two weeks old and as you can see has grown very quickly indeed. It is clearly getting plenty of food from its parents.

It is also much more mobile and can waddle around the tray quite happily. Here is is looking for some shade behind Bella.

Bella still does the majority of the brooding, and here is seen getting the chick to move closer, although the chick doesn't seem to think it needed to! This is the view from camera 3 - there is no sound.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Nine days old

At 9 days old, the chick is becoming more and more demanding!

As soon as food arrives, it begs to be fed. It has even tried pecking at the food itself.

The weather has been rather hot and Bella has (at times) been a really good parent and shields the chick from the sun.

At other times, she leaves it completely alone, and it just lies there in the full sun and pants to try to keep cool.

Friday, 22 June 2018

A week old

The chick is now a week old and seems to be doing really well. It is too late for the last egg to hatch. (It is hidden behind the chick in this video)

Bella is doing virtually all the feeding and incubation using food caught by CR. Sometimes he briefly appears to deliver food to the tray, and at other times, Bella seems to collect it from the "larder" higher up the tower.

Bella is quite houseproud, and flies off with any prey remains after feeding the chick. She also removes some of the sticks that have fallen from the pigeon nest immediately above.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Growing fast

The surviving chick is now 5 days old and is feeding well and as a result is growing fast.

The parents are clearly finding plenty of food, and they are even storing surplus in a "larder" on the top of the tower.

Sadly the last egg is overdue, and is now unlikely to hatch.

Monday, 18 June 2018

One out of three?

The third and final chick should have arrived by now. Sadly it hasn't hatched, so it is rather unlikely that it ever will.

The surviving chick seems to be doing OK, and is certainly taking food and growing rapidly.

The WiFi is now working again. Here are the setup instructions :-

With an internet connection (eg at home), go to the Google Play store (Android) or the App Store (iPad). Search for and install the application called KViewPro.

Now standing in the churchyard between the Abbey and the Gander Lane car park, connect to the WiFi network called “Falcons”. The password is “peregrine”.

Now run the KViewPro application, choose "config" (or "device") and create a new device as follows :-

Device Name = tower
Login Type = IP/DOMAIN
IP Address =
Media Port = 9000
User Name = guest
Password = peregrine

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Second chick arrives

As luck would have it, CR was also incubating when the second chick hatched at 9.45am on Friday 15th June. This time, he made some very strange quacking type noises, and shortly after a piece of eggshell was seen beside him indicating the arrival of chick #2.

Bella turned up some 4 hours later with some prey and immediately started to feed the new arrival who tried to take it, although mostly without any success at this stage. This will take a bit more practice.

In case you were wondering why there are so many sticks appearing on the tray, there is, believe it or not, a pigeon nest a couple of feet above them!

Friday, 15 June 2018

RIP chick #1

Here is the moment about 2 minutes after the first chick hatched when CR (who happened to be on incubation duty at the time) handed over to Bella.

She must have heard it squeaking as she seems very interested in what CR was sitting on. She even gives it a gentle nudge before brooding it.

Sadly, this chick died the following day, possibly from starvation as for some reason, it didn't look like it was ever given anything to eat.

Let's hope that chicks #2 and #3 are OK. They are due to hatch any time now.

Sad news

Sadly, the first chick to hatch has died. It looks like it wasn't getting any food and succumbed to starvation. Apparently this is sometimes the case with first-time parents.

The other two eggs are due to hatch imminently, so let's hope that these two are OK.