Did you know that magnificent wild birds of prey can be spotted in the skies above Chester ?
Comments on social media suggest there are peregrine falcons roosting on top of the grade II*-listed leadshot tower in Boughton – the tallest structure in Chester at 168ft tall.
Amateur photographer Anne Murray read the postings and set off in search of the birds which are among the world’s fastest creatures as they can swoop on their prey at speeds of up to 240mph before sinking in their sharp talons.
Anne, from Queen’s Park, who was armed with her Canon SLR, was not disappointed.
She said: “I heard on Twitter the peregrine falcons were there and I thought it would be interesting to go and get my own photos of them. I saw one on top of the Steam Mill which then flew off and there was a bit of squawking afterwards.”
Anne said the birds are known for nesting at height which would mean trees in the countryside. They feed almost exclusively on medium-sized birds such as pigeons and doves, waterfowl, songbirds, and waders meaning other birds give them a wide berth.
Others have spotted peregrine falcons at the same spot.
Ruthie Randall tweeted in June: “There are three peregrine falcons atop the shot tower in Chester right now! Eek!”
Sophie, who was having breakfast at Waitrose cafe, wrote on Trip Advisor: “Views across a canal looking onto old, disused tower, now taken over by pigeons, crows, etc. Imagine my joy when looking out, I spied crows chasing off bird of prey, only for said bird to return, dive at pigeons and realised it was a peregrine falcon! Superb!”
Joe Chester posted a photo of a youngster in action with the words: “One of two Chester peregrine falcon fledglings testing out wings for first flight.”
And Chester Cathedral Falconry Centre and Nature Reserve, which has its own peregrine falcon, tweeted a picture last year of one of the wild birds atop the cathedral. The centre wrote on Twitter: “They can sometime be seen roosting on Chester Cathedral tower.”
There are plans to transform Chester’s historic shot tower and former leadworks site into a residential development. Planning consent was previously granted for a 65-flat scheme although work has never started.
Ward councillor Martyn Delaney told The Chronicle a fresh application is imminent with a ‘few more’ apartments and a different aesthetic treatment featuring more brick.