Time running out to see peregrines

TIME is running out for nature fans to see the young peregrines in Scarborough.

Over the past few months thousands of visitors have seen the birds of prey from the RSPB’s peregrine viewpoint in Marine Drive.

But the spectacle will only continue for a few more weeks as once the birds have learnt the necessary survival skills, they will be off to make their own way in the world.

Martin Watherston, Scarborough Council’s outdoor leisure manager added: “We are very pleased that we have been able to support this initiative, which has given so many residents and visitors to the town an insight into the fascinating world of these magnificent birds of prey. I would encourage anyone that hasn’t yet visited the viewpoint on Marine Drive to do so before it’s too late.”

With its craggy outcrops and secluded ledges, the cliffs at Scarborough are a perfect location for peregrines to nest and the birds have been resident at the site for at least six years.

Laura Popely, the RSPB’s Scarborough Peregrine Date with Nature Assistant, said: “We are seeing the chicks flying around a lot at the moment. Each day they are gradually becoming less attached to their parents and are moving towards independence.

“It has been great watching them develop from fluffy white balls into beautiful juveniles ready to strike out on their own.”

This has been the first year of the RSPB’s Scarborough Peregrines project, which has been supported by Scarborough Council. It is run as part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which make rare and spectacular wildlife accessible for everyone to see.

The Scarborough peregrine viewpoint is located at Marine Drive and is staffed every Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am-4.30pm until July, weather permitting.

The peregrine is the largest of British breeding falcon, at 38-48cm long,with a wingspan of 95-110cm.

Peregrines typically pair for several years and may live up to 10 years old - the oldest on record was 15 years and six months old.

The number of peregrines crashed in the 1960s due to the impact of pesticides, but has since increased to about 1,300 breeding pairs in the UK.