Peregine falcons spotted nesting on Horsham building site

Peregrine falcons have been spotted nesting in Horsham in what is believed to be a ‘first’ for the town.

The birds – a male, female and three chicks – were discovered by chance on the site of the former Novartis pharmaceutical company.

Shane Ford, owner of Huxley’s Bird of Prey Centre in Horsham, was out with colleague Luke Lloyd searching for one of their own lost birds when they came across the peregrines.

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"We had a report of our bird being seen near the Novartis site,” said Luke. “We hurried to the area but because it was all fenced off, we put up a drone and in doing so we found a couple of peregrines and three chicks."

Luke Lloyd with a Huxley's white bellied eagle

They now want to raise awareness of the birds’ presence so that their nest is not disturbed during renovation works on the site which has planning permission for up to 300 homes, including the conversion of the 1930s Art Deco building, and new offices at the renamed Horsham Enterprise Park.

Meanwhile, the search for Huxley’s missing bird – a peregrine cross saker falcon named Scotch – goes on.

He went missing during a display at Huxley’s centre on May 6. Scotch, who can fly up to 3,000 feet, had a transmitter on him.

“But the last signal we had showed he was over the A24 by one of the garages so he has probably got lost,” said Luke.

A drone image of the peregrine chicks on the Horsham building site

Although Scotch is not trained to hunt – he’s normally fed on day old chicks, mice and quail – Luke is hoping that he will manage to catch himself some food.

Huxley's missing bird Scotch