Thousands watch peregrine falcon webcam at Salisbury Cathedral

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image captionThe unringed female laid her first egg on Mothering Sunday

A webcam showing peregrine falcons nesting on the spire of Salisbury Cathedral has attracted thousands of online birdwatchers.

This year the viewing figures for a live stream showing the pair in their nesting box has rocketed from about 800 to more than 13,000.

The unringed female laid her first egg on Mother's Day. A second arrived on Wednesday, and a third early on Friday.

Phil Sheldrake, from the RSPB, said it was "drawing in" people in isolation.

Last year in February and March, 831 people viewed the webcam, but this year the number increased 16-fold to 13,692.

'Nature carrying on'

Mr Sheldrake said the "charismatic species" was "stunning to look at" and "just captivates people's imagination".

"In difficult times, nature is just there, carrying on," he said,

The Wiltshire cathedral is said to be the "ancestral home" of the urban peregrine falcon, with records dating from the mid-1800s.

Mr Sheldrake said mountains and coastal cliffs were the bird's natural habitat. "The cathedral is like a five-star hotel for them."

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