Excitement as Norwich peregrine falcon lays first egg of the year

The Female Norwich Peregrine with food glides past the magnificent Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral's female peregrine falcon has laid her first two eggs of the season.  Credit: Chris Skipper - Credit: citizenside.com

Norwich Cathedral's female peregrine falcon has laid her first two eggs of the season. 

The Hawk and Owl Trust, which is based in Sculthorpe, near Fakenham, reported the falcon laid the first egg shortly before 12.40am on March 18.

The second egg was reported at 5.35am on Saturday morning and has sparked excitement among wildlife enthusiasts.

Nature lovers are able to watch for development on the trust's camera which is installed in the Cathedral's spire. 

Among those keeping an eye on the developments is photographer and long term peregrine supporter Chris Skipper.

Mr Skipper said: "They should have a third one sometime on Monday and another in two and a half days. They will have four altogether.

He and his fiance Kim Paul, like many wildlife fans, can monitor the webcam for both the Norwich Cathedral and Cromer Peregrines.

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Mr Skipper, from Norwich, said: "At the moment Norwich Cathedral is rolling on one screen and we're watching Cromer on another computer. Cromer's peregrines should be laying in the next couple of days as well.

"I have been watching the Norwich peregrines since 2011, 11 seasons watching them and there is still a buzz when the first egg is laid.

"It should take about 33 to 35 days for the eggs to hatch. They should hatch by the end of April." 

The trust's Peregrines Project initiative said the falcons in Norwich have been fairly consistent in laying up to four eggs over the past five years between the second and third week of March.

In 2018 there was a two-week delay which could have been as a result of the heavy snowfall caused by the Beast from the East. 

The eggs are laid over a three to five day period. They are then incubated for up to five weeks before hatching.

Peregrines can reach speeds of up to 200mph (322kph) when they swoop on their prey in mid-air in a move known as a 'stoop'.

 The Norwich cathedral peregrine webcam can be viewed at the Hawk and Owl Trust website.