The minders with their eyes on the Cambridge peregrines

2023-06-10 06:15:46  • 6 mins

By Orla Moore

BBC News

A group of dedicated photographers can be regularly seen on a Cambridge street, their camera lenses trained on the high college roofs around them. Their focus is a young family of peregrine falcons.

It's fledging season in peregrine falcon world.

For the first time in years, four chicks have hatched to two devoted parents on the Cambridge rooftops.

They are oblivious to the enthusiasts below, who monitor every special moment of their domestic lives, from housework and preening, to meal times and bath times.

So why do they do it?

'It's addictive'

For the last month, Jamie Clarkson has turned up at a prime viewing spot in Trumpington Street at 05:00 BST, armed with a Canon DSLR and a very, very long lens.

The 24-year-old, from Edinburgh, splits his time between wildlife photography and his PHD studies in structural engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

In the winter, he photographs barn owls. In the spring and summer - it's all about the peregrine falcons.

"Mornings are the best time because they are most active then, it's nice and quiet so you can focus on the photography - and the light is nice and soft," he says.

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