Wakefield Trinity’s Danny Kirmond is a captain among the falcons

From left Mark Watson and Steve Davis, of the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, Francis Hickenbottom, of Wakefield Naturalists Society, and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' captain Danny Kirmond.
Picture: John Gardner
From left Mark Watson and Steve Davis, of the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, Francis Hickenbottom, of Wakefield Naturalists Society, and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' captain Danny Kirmond. Picture: John Gardner

Wakefield Cathedral’s tiny peregrine chicks have a powerful new supporter - a formidable Wildcat.

Wakefield Trinity captain Danny Kirmond is championing the cause of the birds, which he believes are a great asset for the city.

The second rower and part-time twitcher made the long trek up the spire last Thursday to see four chicks being fitted with easy to read identification rings.

The 30-year-old said: “I think it’s a great cause and something the area can be really proud of. Birds of Prey are diminishing but we have them in city.”

Mr Kirmond, who got into birding when he was younger through his granddad, watched on in awe as members of the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group fitted bright Darvic rings to the female chick and her three brothers.

He had been invited to an earlier ringing event by Wakefield Naturalists’ Society who have spearheaded the city’s peregrine project. But the captain was rather busy playing at Magic Weekend.

He became a fan of the cathedral birds after seeing their antics on @WfldPeregrines on Twitter.

And Mr Kirmond got a second chance to see the birds up close and personal after an invite from peregrine project leader Francis Hickenbottom, of Wakefield Naturalists’ Society.

Mr Kirmond said: “It was amazing. I really enjoyed myself.”

But his connection with the birds does not end there.

Mr Kirmond is now backing a campaign to drum up funds to maintain a live stream from the nest’s webcam.

The webcam and live stream has afforded viewers a privileged insight into the birds’ lives since it went live last month.

Mr Kirmond said: “To keep the camera going it is going to cost. £1,500 a year.

“I’ve got a keen interest in the peregrines and will do anything I can do to help.”

Mr Hickenbottom said the webcam received 2,690 hits on the first full day it went live. But he added: “As with all good things there is a cost.

“We are looking for local businesses, organisations and individuals to help us make sure the activities of these amazing birds can be seen as long as they choose to breed on Wakefield Cathedral. Will you help?”

See www.wakefieldnaturalists.org/webcam to download a funding form.