Salisbury peregrine falcon spotted in Milton Keynes

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One of the two peregrine chicks that hatched last year has been spotted in Milton Keynes.

The female peregrine, named Aveline by staff was hatched on Salisbury Cathedral Tower.

The bird was caught on camera in Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve in Old Wolverton by wildlife photographer and blogger Ashley Beolens, who identified her by her distinctive blue ring, which bears the initials SC.

Her brother, Raphael, has not yet been sighted - he carries a blue ring with the initials ST.

Ashley Beolens said: “I was watching the female peregrine hunting and noticed the ring, so I tweeted a picture asking if anyone knew anything about coloured rings on peregrine falcons.

“Pretty quickly I heard back from Ed Drewitt, who has ringed all Salisbury Cathedral’s peregrines.

“While I was watching her she was hunting wading birds and tried to snatch an egret, which got away. It was amazing seeing her in action.”

Philip Sheldrake, RSPB conservation officer, said: “It is great news. We thought when she left in late summer 2016 that we’d never see or hear about her again.

“Peregrines travel great distances and only one in every seven ringed in the South West area is ever sighted again after leaving the nesting site.”

All birds ringed the Bristol and West region (which includes Salisbury) carry the distinctive blue ring which is a regional trademark and each ring bears unique initials that identify that particular bird.