5 years of Peregrines at Christ Church

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Peregrine Falcon, Christchurch (c) Dave Pearce
Peregrine Falcon, Christ Church (c) Dave Pearce

We are very grateful to Dave Pearce for providing us with two articles about the Peregrines of Christ Church, Cheltenham. The first gives a great insight in to the lives of the birds and their breeding patterns, from pre-laying activity to laying, hatching, feeding, first flights, and eventual dispersal of young. The second article details a day in the life of one month old Peregrine chicks. Please head to our documents page where you can download these and other documents.

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GRMG’s first meeting reminder

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Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group would like to wish everyone a very happy new year. We have been busy preparing for our first meeting, which takes place at St Peter’s RC High School, Gloucester, on January 17th. Full details can be found here. Please remember to let us know if you have an interest in attending. After a brief overview of why the group was formed, and what we hope it might be able to achieve, the meeting will be very much about us finding out what people want from the group, and how they can contribute.

Please do continue to send us your observations. We’re extremely grateful to those who have already been submitting their records.

Gallery updates and links

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The GRMG site now has a new and permanent domain name – glosraptors.co.uk. Please update your bookmarks, and remember that you can subscribe to the site using the form on the right hand side of the page (beneath the tweets). Some new photographs have also been added to the gallery, including this stunning capture of an adult female Peregine attacking an inverted Common Buzzard, photographed by Jon Watson at Symonds Yat Rock. Finally, we now have a links page with various local and national birding, surveying and conservation groups, with more to come.

GRMG inaugural meeting

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We will be holding an event on January 17th, 2015 at St. Peter’s RC High School, Gloucester (GL4 0DD).

This event is an initial get together for those interested in contributing to GRMG. All details for this event can be found here – please email us on glosraptors@gmail.com to let us know you wish to attend.

GRMG’s website taking shape

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At the time of writing, this website is still very much a work in progress. We hope that it will prove to be a useful resource not only for us as a monitoring group, but also for anyone with an interest in Gloucestershire’s raptors. We will strive to make available news, reports and useful information whenever we can, and we are welcoming of any contributions our visitors may wish to make. The most obvious way in which you can help to further the knowledge of the group is to submit all your raptor sightings. This will not only help us to build an accurate picture of the populations of species in the county, but will also contribute towards the protection of them and their habitats. In addition to your sightings, please feel free to get in touch with any news, thoughts or suggestions. Finally, if you have taken a photo that you’d like to share, or perhaps that you need help identifying, we’d love to see it, and maybe even add it to the gallery. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter!

GRMG’s new honorary President

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We are thrilled and delighted that the one & only Helen Macdonald has agreed to be honorary president of our fledgling raptor group.

Helen is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir ‘H Is For Hawk‘, which follows her previous book ‘Falcon‘. It details the story of how she came to acquire and train Mabel, a goshawk, after being overwhelmed by sadness following the sudden death of her father in 2007.  The book has been widely accoladed and has now won the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Claire Tomalin, chairman of the judges for the prize described ‘H Is For Hawk’ as

…a book unlike any other, about an obsession with a wild creature, brought to life in prose sometimes technical and always striking, and set in English landscapes observed with a visionary eye. Writing about wildlife and the environment has never been better or better informed than this.

We are extremely thankful for Helen’s support.