Tag Archives: lichfield cathedral

Triple figures for magic pair

I thought it would only be right to do a follow up blog post after Saturdays peregrine watch at Lichfield Cathedral.

For the best part of a year now I’ve thought about planning some sort of event celebrating these wonderful birds, my favourite bird, which are calling my local city centre their home. After a lot of umming and ahhing, and a few failed attempts of trying to contact people, I finally brought it all together. Someone I asked for advice on how to get it going was a local person, Kate Gomez, who basically just told me to just go ahead and do it!

And I’m really glad I did. My initial thought on why to do it was after watching the birds at the cathedral for the first time last year, and it occurred to me about those that don’t know these birds are here. Just ordinary people walking past the cathedral or through the town and have little idea that these fantastic birds are soaring right over their heads. The worlds fastest animal somehow intertwined into our day to day lives, the least we can do is simply appreciate this!

By 10 o’clock there was a good gathering of about ten to twenty people gazing up onto the cathedral desperately scanning for a bird. Then there one was. The female circling around the base of one of the spires. I let out a sigh of relief but I’m not sure why because I knew these fantastic birds would perform and inspire anyone who came along. As the hour went on, numbers increased until at one point there must have been about forty people spread along The Close with their eyes fixed on the cathedral. Not only this but they were sharing small anecdotes about the pair. This included whether or not they’d seen them before, knew they were here, or wondered what the strange noise was which echoed across the town!

Some were there with lenses as long as my arm getting simply amazing shots, others had their expensive binoculars, others didn’t, and some came who were complete amateurs and wanted to see what it was all about. Also, with us standing in such a public place we had a lot of passers-by and tourists asking what we were looking at. An American tourist I spoke to was fascinated and could not believe his eyes when he watched the male bird fly over.

Everyone’s reactions were very positive, a part from the few who were a bit put off about the headless pigeon the male peregrine brought in! One man told me his friend was walking past the other day and half a pigeon nearly fell on his head! A highlight of the morning had to be when the male, who had been gone for almost an hour, flew in with the headless pigeon. He squawked whilst circling the front of the cathedral a few times then went into the nest. As he did so, we could hear the chicks squabbling inside. It was magical.

Numerous people came up to me and said they’d be back as they loved the experience. They’d been mind blown! Over the two hours we estimated 150 people came and went away with some fantastic views. All of these now having a new understanding of these incredible birds and they’ll hopefully pass this on. Who would of thought, this well known three spired Cathedral would be appreciated and enjoyed for its job mimicking a cliff face to provide these city slickers with a place to breed.

Keep an eye out for the next watch morning date!

A big thank you to The Sound Approach for the scopes too!

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A ‘back of the camera’ image took of an image someone who came to the watch on

Saturday morning took.

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Baked Alaska

You’ll be delighted to know that this is no cooking blog. Well in some ways it is and by that I mean the cooking of our planet. Of course I’m talking about rising temperatures and climate change.

Inspiration for the blog title comes from a show I went to watch last Friday night at Lichfield Cathedral by the theatre company, Riding Lights. I’m not one for theatre really but when I heard about this it sounded very interesting so I decided to go and see what it would be like and I’m happy I did! It was very good. A few words to sum it up would be compelling, comical, entertaining and educational. I don’t find many things educational and comical but this was and it was done very well. Definitely something EVERYONE needs to see!

Over the past few weeks and months my thoughts and actions have been targeted at the run up to the climate talks in Paris this December. Of course our changing climate is having a massive impact on our wildlife and their habitats worldwide. Just yesterday I read an article about how more then a third of the snow leopard’s mountain habitat could become uninhabitable for them due to warming temperatures. It’s worrying stuff and it’s not just putting species at risk but it’s also changing the behaviour of others. Take the cetti’s warbler which has moved 150km further north within the UK over the past 40 years, in a response to the changing climate.

It’s not just wildlife and their habitats either, it’s the environment as a whole along with people. A very clever scenario from the show was that there were two neighbours and one was having a party. However in the garden of the one who was having the party there were lots of rubbish bags that they’d created. To move them out of the way so it was convenient for them and so their party ran smoothly they chucked the bags over the fence to discard of them. To their ‘neighbours’. This was very clever and illustrates how we create lots of rubbish (carbon) which is having a great impact on our neighbours. Which happens to be those in the poorest countries of the world. Their reaction is that they simply can’t do anything about it. No one can deny, we’re all carbon junkies. Perhaps through no fault of our own as it’s what we’re surrounded by and what we’ve turned into but there’s nothing stopping any of us from changing this.

The run up to the Paris talks is major. However it’s very difficult to find a positive streak of me that thinks something progressive could come from it. It’s scary, perhaps the end of this battle or maybe just the start of us pushing even further for a healthy planet.

I’ve been quite busy with A-level¬†work over the past few weeks but obviously I’m trying to balance the books. Some may not agree but this is important. I may be a tiny, tiny voice behind millions but that’s what counts, adding your voice and doing your part. I could still do more but then again everyone can. A couple of weeks ago I went along to a discussion type meeting in Sutton Coldfield that had been organised by the Eco-Sutton group. I not only went to support their work, as Sutton is only a short train journey from me, but to see how they’re working as well as to hear the views and opinions of the local MP, Andrew Mitchell. I imagine many of you may recognise that name from the not so recent ‘pleb-gate’ scandal. Anyway, it was very interesting. Andrew Mitchell is a Tory and not as bad as I thought he would be. He applauded the work of Eco-Sutton and also understood and recognised the problems caused by climate change, to some extent anyway. As you’ll be able to imagine this only went so far.

He went onto criticise the talks from the other two on the panel, Mark Letcher (Operation Noah) and Jamie Peters (Friends of the Earth), and expressed his attitude of ‘we must be realistic’ as well as shove such rubbish down our necks as ‘David Cameron is passionate about climate change’ and ‘the UK is leading in this field’. What he came out with was only to be expected but then again he wasn’t a climate change sceptic which says a lot compared to my MP, Michael Fabricant. At the event it was also quite delightful to have the issue raised about actually looking to the future and the next generation, which caused some discussion. Myself and another girl both stood up and expressed how it is throughout the younger generation, something that is again quite worrying but could well be reversed.

There needs to be a massive movement. There isn’t just a couple of hundred of us who are adding to the problem but pretty much everyone. Nevertheless I shouldn’t go without saying that there is a lot of positive stuff going on but will it be enough? It isn’t all about leadership as quite frankly if we leave it to them then there won’t be much hope at all. This isn’t something we can shrug off or brush under the carpet, it’s serious and crucial stuff.

I wanted to write this blog as I haven’t really wrote many about the matter except the one from the climate¬†rally back in July. I hope to write many more over the next few weeks and months as it is something I’ve been putting a lot of my energy into recently and there’s plenty to write about!

Flying Start to my Easter Holiday!

If someone was to ask me what my favourite bird is without a doubt I’d say a peregrine falcon. They may not be as beautiful or glamorous as some other birds but their speed, ability and performance is beyond me, plus they’re a raptor.

Occasionally I see one on my evening walks after school, visiting my local patch or nature reserve. As well as this I travel to Derby Cathedral quite often and watch them there. You can watch the peregrines at Derby by clicking here.

Even though watching them at Derby is fantastic, it’s a bit of a trek for me. So when I found out a few months back that last year a pair had nested at my local cathedral I was over the moon! I kept in touch with a man who works at the cathedral and yesterday morning I had a message saying that one of the birds had been spotted there quite a lot recently.

Due to this as soon as I got home from school yesterday evening, I got changed and walked down to the cathedral. It took me about 20 minutes to walk there and as soon as I got there, I raised my binoculars and there it was sitting directly in front of me. I was so thrilled. It was quite high up so I didn’t get the best view or the best photo. However by pot luck the man I’d kept in touch with recognised me whilst I was watching the bird and we had a chat about last years chicks, when the birds around and where it normally sits. This was very interesting and hopefully, in the future, I’ll get some better photos when it isn’t sitting as high up.

I arrived at 6.30 and observed it until about 7.40, when it vanished. Even though looking up almost vertically for over an hour didn’t do my neck or back any good it was worth it! I felt so privileged to see a bird like this so close to my house and I’ll definitely be making the most of it!

Here are some photos I got. They’re not the best but at least I managed to get some!

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