Kestrels nest inside Forth Road Bridge steel girder

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KestrelImage source, David Gill

For most young couples, the inside of a steel girder with 80,000 vehicles a day thundering overhead would not seem like an ideal location to start a family.

However, for a pair of kestrels nesting on the Forth Road Bridge, it has become home.

Bridge workers discovered the birds of prey while repairing steelwork underneath the carriageway.

They have built a nest with six eggs inside the end of a girder hanging over the Firth of Forth estuary.

The birds have been named Mr and Mr Younger, after Younger's Kestrel Lager.

David Gill, Amey maintenance supervisor, said: "When we saw the eggs, we immediately cleared the area and instructed staff to avoid carrying out any works that might disturb the nest.

"I've heard of kestrels nesting on the bridge before, but it's pretty unusual. You'd think they might prefer a quieter location.

"We're happy to have them here though, and have affectionately named them Mr and Mrs Younger.

"We'll come back and finish our repairs once the chicks have hatched and flown the nest.

"In the meantime, we've carried out a temporary repair on a local defect quietly and there won't be any impact on users of the bridge."

Kestrels are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a kestrel, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.

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