Garth Peacock
Peregrine Falcons

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Thursday 4th July 2013

I am the editor of the photo section of the Cambridgeshire Bird Club and, while discussing the secret location of a nesting Peregrine with some members, it was mentioned that there was another nesting site which was well used by the public. I have no decent photos of this species but was very conscious of the requirement for a license to photograph Schedule 1 birds on or near a nest site so made some enquiries.

Our club chairman, Vince Lea, circulated an extract from an article by Natural England stating that '.....it is an
offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 while it is nest building or is in, on or near a nest with eggs or young; or disturb the dependent young of such a bird.'

The article was in response to a request from a photographer to erect a hide near a nest of a Schedule1 bird. The advice was that if it disturbed the bird, it was an offence. If no disturbance resulted, it was not an offence.

So, armed with this information, I did a recce on the site to find that there was around a dozen or so birders there with scopes but, more importantly, dog walkers at the bottom of the cliff face directly under the nest with no disturbance to adults and the one chick that was almost ready to fledge. I chose my spot and returned the next morning.

The spot was still some distance from the nesting site and the adults took no notice of me while setting up but I kept a low profile, just in case. Too distant for the usual DSLR set-up, I decided to try a new tack as the light was excellent. On my 500 F4 lense, I added a Canon mk3 2x converter that meant the 7D losing autofocus, swtiched to Live View, that gave autofocus back again, added a remote switch and tightened the tripod and head down. Even then, the resulting photos were heavily cropped but surpisingly acceptable.

Even of the male adult taking off.

I was present for most of the morning with both male and female coming and going to the nest site.

The date of the photos was 14th June 2013 and I have held back from adding them to this website until the chick had fledged and the adults left the site just as a precaution and withheld the site location.

I am certain that my presence was not disturbing the birds so, in my opinion, a license was not rquired on this occasion.

More images in the Recent Additions section.

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