Lincoln Cathedral peregrine falcon chicks fledge

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Media captionThree chicks left the cathedral nest over the weekend

Three peregrine falcon chicks reared in a nest on Lincoln Cathedral have fledged.

Visitors got to witness the young birds take their first flights through a viewpoint set up by the RSPB, during the weekend.

Stephen Lovell, from the organisation, said it was an important event as none of last year's brood survived.

He said: "We had a complete failure because of the dreadful summer but happily the pair came back."

The birds of prey have nested on one of the cathedral's towers and have raised a total of 13 chicks since 2007.

Three chicks could be seen on a live webcam placed near the nest since they hatched in May.

"It's been absolutely incredible," said Mr Lovell.

"I had the male fly overhead with a juvenile below, calling at one another, and shepherding it back to the tower."

He added last year's cold and wet summer led to a "breeding failure" at the nest and there was concern the birds would not come back.

"Thankfully they paired up together in the spring, went through the courtship ritual, and lo and behold we had eggs in the nest."

Peregrines usually favour rocky cliff tops to make their nests, but pairs have bred successfully in places as diverse as a disused nuclear reactor, and on top of a building belonging to Nottingham Trent University, as well as cathedrals in both Norwich and Derby.

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