This year there were only two active Peregrine Falcon territories known inside the Forest of Bowland, sadly both of these nesting sites containing eggs failed following human disturbance. The first nesting site located on the United Utilities estate was deserted after an unidentified person was seen entering the territory at 17:00 (21 April), both falcons were observed flying above their nest in a disturbed manner alarming loudly, stooping towards the ground. The site was still being disturbed by an unknown male who had ridden up to the valley on a mountain bike 2 hours later at 19:00. The territory was found abandoned two days after this event. Follow the full story HERE. It is suspected the person causing the disturbance had been sent to the territory to install a surveillance camera overlooking the nest.
At the second territory located on the western boundary of the Forest of Bowland, the first nesting attempt failed in early April following human disturbance. This disturbance was not associated with anyone working at the quarry resulted in the disappearance of the female Peregrine. Three weeks later in early May a second female falcon appeared and immediately paired with the resident male; a second clutch of eggs was then produced. Our first video below captures the scene within the quarry during the early stages of the second breeding attempt. We filmed a Roe Buck sitting quietly above the nesting cliff enjoying the peaceful day; both peregrines can clearly be heard calling to each other in the background. The clip shows the resident male Peregrine perched at the top of the nesting cliff keeping a close watch on his mate incubating her clutch of eggs below and to the right, but out of view. The human disturbance which then followed was unacceptable and was the cause of the second nest abandonment at this site.
Terry Pickford concluded his video account of a fourth Peregrine nesting site, but this territory was located inside Forest of Bowland, which after two breeding attempts failed to produce any fledged chicks this year.
Listen to what Terry Pickford has to say in our second video clip below, and then review the images taken of the damage caused below the nesting cliff during a critical time when the second clutch of eggs inside the Peregrine nest were being incubated. Little wonder these territories were deserted following such irresponsible and reckless disturbance of protected nesting sites.
Below we have put together a number of images showing the hundreds of tons of rock intentionally dumped in front and below the nesting cliff at a critical time for any breeding raptor when eggs were being incubated. The falcons deserted their eyrie as the disturbance increased with rocks being dumped less than 50 meters from the nesting cliff face.
Please bear in mind, if Raptor Politics had not brought these unacceptable nest failures to your notice, these losses would have gone unreported. Not a single successful Peregrine or Hen Harrier nest recorded inside the Forest f Bowland this year. Not a single Hen Harrier nest recorded on any red grouse moor anywhere in England. Please sign the petition to ban DRIVEN GROUSE SHOOTING in England if you still have not already done so, thank you.