Someone had actually seen the bird in question fly into a window not far from the cathedral while chasing a pigeon or some other prey. It died instantaneously, breaking its neck.
When I arrived in town I checked the cathedral tower and Jurys Inn first. Both adults and two juveniles were present but I couldn't see a third juvenile.
When I got over to the cathedral centre and opened the box, there inside was a juvenile male sparrow hawk, a tiny bird compared to a peregrine.
|Sparrowhawk corpse and foot ruler|
|The colouraton isn't blood!|
Swifts are superb aerial birds and nest all over Derbyshire and the UK. Sadly they are in steep decline. Part of the reason for this is that people accidentally exclude them from the roofs in which they nest when they have the house renovated, re-roofed or have new soffits and gutters.
To see chicks still in nests in Oxford http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/swifts.htm .
If you are interested in learning more about the project and especially if you live in the county, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
A wonderful website about swifts, run by Swift Conservation, can be found at