The day started wonderfully, things were very amicable between mum and dad. Mum started feeding the four youngsters, then allowed dad to feed them for a minute or two, before taking over to finish dishing out the meal.
In the afternoon, dad was out hunting for the next meal, when a pair of peregrines was seen circling with intent over the cathedral. One of them flew very close above the nest, mum panicked, realised dad wasn’t on guard duty, then flew out to chase them away. Battle ensued, with mum and the interlopers almost catching hold of each other. She managed to force them to leave, but was gone for a couple of minutes. Dad returned from hunting to find the chicks vulnerable, and mum nowhere in sight. He sat in the nest and waited for her return. Thankfully, the intruders weren’t seen again and life returned to normal for the rest of the afternoon.
We suspect that, as they seemed familiar with the location of the nest, one of the pair of interlopers may have been a juvenile from a previous year come to take over the territory, but we weren’t able to see a ring to identify them in all the frantic activity.