Romsey Abbey's first nesting peregrine pair produce eggs

An abbey has recorded its first-ever peregrine falcon eggs, experts have said.

Romsey Abbey in Hampshire suspended flag-flying in March to allow a pair of falcons to nest undisturbed on the roof.

Two eggs have been laid, Hampshire Ornithological Society confirmed.

However, it said one appeared to have been washed into a drain by rain and the other had apparently been abandoned.

Chairman Keith Betton said: "One egg rolled off the nest and got wedged down in a drainage area.

"The other one I saw yesterday. The female was sat on a turret close to the nest but made no attempt at all to incubate the egg."

Mr Betton said the first officially recorded peregrine nest in Hampshire was in 1993, as the number of birds in Britain recovered.

He said: "There were only about 365 pairs left in Britain in the mid-1960s.

"There was a Second World War exercise to kill them on the south coast because they were intercepting homing pigeons carrying secret messages.

"After the war they were vulnerable to pesticides."

Numbers have reached about 2,000 pairs, Mr Betton added.

Peregrines have previously nested in diverse spots in Hampshire including the iconic former Calshot chimney on Southampton Water and Winchester Cathedral, he added.

Last week, a peregrine nesting at the cathedral ended hopes of raising chicks by eating her two eggs.

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