02:22PM, Monday 17 May 2021
The peregrine falcon chicks spotted on camera at the top of Marlow's All Saints Church
Four peregrine falcon chicks have hatched on top of a Marlow church spire, a wildlife group based in the town has announced.
Wild Marlow welcomed the chicks at All Saints Church after overseeing two adult birds successfully mate since appearing in Marlow in November 2019.
Nicknamed Marly and Roy after Marlow’s French twin town, the peregrines were seen at the location regularly, prompting Wild Marlow to install a specially designed nesting platform, constructed by the Bisham Nest Box Group in February this year, together with a camera system.
Mating behaviour was spotted during March, and four eggs arrived in early April, during the Easter weekend.
Since then Marly has incubated the eggs while Roy has been bringing her food, and all four eggs hatched successfully.
With film footage covering every moment, a record of their behaviour has been created and clips have been watched on Wild Marlow’s Facebook page.
Verity West of Wild Marlow said: “All the chicks seem to be doing well. It’s brilliant that we’ve been able to watch the parents bringing the first food in for the chicks.
"This is such good news for them and for everyone who loves wildlife. They’ve a tough journey ahead of them, but we will be keeping everything crossed for them.”
Peregrines are among the fastest animals on the planet, and can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when 'stooping' — diving down on prey from a great height. They usually capture their prey mid-air, taking birds like feral pigeons and collared doves.
The peregrine falcon is a Schedule 1 protected species under The Wildlife and Countryside Act and is the UK’s biggest falcon.
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.