Two Peregrine Falcons have taken up residence at St Mary’s Church in Eastwood and the congregation are now trying to raise money for special nesting boxes with CCTV.
Local photographer Garry Froggatt has been amazed by the birds nesting in the church tower and regularly visits the site to take photos.
“I think we are so lucky to have these beautiful birds gracing us in Eastwood,” he said. “They have been here for some time now and seem very happy with their new home.
“I have spent months photographing them as other local photographers have.”
Church member Dorothy Wright said the congregation was very excited to have the visitors, and said it was the second year now that they had nested there.
“It’s wonderful. They’re there most days,” she said.
“We get a lot of interest and they’re keeping the pigeons away.
“This is the second year they have come. We have been in touch with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and they have been out to have a look, and they have verified they are falcons.
“They suggested we could have a nesting box on the tower with a camera linked up to a screen and we thought it was a great idea.
“We are now looking to raise some funds for this and hopefully if all goes well we can start putting it up in November.
“We can’t do it until then because they’re a protected species and we don’t want to disturb them.”
Mr Froggatt said: “One of our Peregrines has got anklets on both legs.
“This signifies it was kept in captivity once upon a time.
“How it came to roam free I do not know.
“It certainly has paired up with another and they can be seen daily either on the church tower, or freely leaving and returning with their prey.
“They have generated so much interest from local people and photographers.
“There is even a Facebook page called “Eastwood Peregrine Watch” set up for photographers to post their photos, and for the local community to see these beautiful bird’s closer than they can from the ground.
“Their beauty alone makes them very interesting, however the speed at which they catch their prey is truly magnificent.”
The nesting box will cost between £500 and £1000.
Mr Froggatt wants to try and help with the fundraising, and has made some postcards out of the photographs he has taken.
“One way I came up with raising money was using my photos to make an A5 postcard, which shows these birds on the church.
“I hope money raised from local folk purchasing them can go towards the equipment needed so they can breed here in Eastwood.”
If anybody would like to make a donation towards the fund for the nesting boxes, they should call the church warden, John Keech, on 01773 710770.