I went in to Wakefield earlier today to spend a few hours getting a clearer picture of what is happening on the spire. I got some pictures but these were taken by putting my phone to the eyepiece of my telescope, so the quality is low.
I arrived at about 7:30 and I found two peregrines on the north side of the spire. The larger of the two birds was sitting near the stone feature that has often acted as a larder and dining table in the past. One of the pictures shows this bird and some of the remains in the larder. This bird had obviously just fed and it spent time cleaning feathers and gore from its talons. A few crockets above it, I noticed that a lapwing had been stashed to be eaten later.
The smaller bird was perched near the lapwing. This bird flew away for a short time before returning and starting to feed on a starling. I did not see it carrying the starling when it returned but I might have missed this as I wasn’t using binoculars at the time. The starling’s head is visible in one of the pictures..
The larger bird moved to a different crocket and spent time feeding on a woodcock. One of the pictures shows this bird after it had fed. It is possible to see the bars running across the woodcock’s head. Feathers on the larder were a similar colour to those of the woodcock, so it may be that the peregrines have taken a number of woodcock.
I remained until 11:30 but the peregrines didn’t move again. I was hoping to see them showing some interest in the nesting platform but they were obviously too lethargic after their meal. Afternoon’s might be a better time to watch for activity.
The peregrines certainly seem to be at home on the spire, with lots to eat, so it is to be hoped that they have settled in for the winter. I will try to get into Wakefield whenever I can to watch for developments in the coming months.