Peregrine falcons spotted in Stamford are not nesting yet

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PEREGRINE falcons have been spotted in the area although they are not yet nesting.

Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce, working in partnership with Stamford Town Partnership and Stamford Town Council, put a nest box in the steeple at St Mary’s Church at the end of 2009.

This was to attract peregrine falcons to the area in a bid to combat the problem of pigeons. The chamber had to seek permission from the Diocese of Lincoln to install the box at the church.

The chamber said it would take about a year for the peregrines to decide whether to nest in the area.

President of the chamber Tim Lee said there had been many sightings of the falcons in the town but no evidence yet that they were nesting.

Mr Lee said: “There are peregrines flying around the area and I have seen them myself. At the beginning of the year I saw one diving to attack.

“But there are none nesting in the box this year and they normally hatch around this time of year so I don’t expect there will be.

“Hopefully they will eventually decide to nest here. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as writing them a letter and asking them to come - you just have to provide the facilities and hope they do.”

Installing the box came about after a number of complaints from residents about the mess pigeons leave.

The town council has previously appealed to people to stop feeding the ducks because pigeons were also eating the bread.

There have been a number of sightings of peregrines.

Albert Beniston, who is landlord at St Mary’s Vaults pub opposite the church, even photographed a falcon eating a pigeon.

And homeopath Annie Hall, of North Street, Stamford, said she picked up a falcon which she believed to be dead after it was hit by a van and it flew away.

She said: “It’s marvellous, we do have them in Stamford. If we do get a peregrine falcon nesting here at least we’ll have fewer pigeons.”

Stamford Hospital put up a sign after concerns that people might slip on pigeon droppings.