A BUMPER brood of baby birds has been born at Torness Power Station.

Four peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at a rooftop nest site at EDF’s facility near Dunbar, making it the largest clutch for nearly a decade.

In the past two decades, more than 40, chicks have fledged from the nuclear power station’s site.

Workers are able to monitor the family’s progress on the company’s internal network via a webcam installed in 2009, which gives an insight into how the adults care for their young.

In the initial days, the female carries out most of the brooding and feeding of the small young, while the male hunts to supply the food.

After the first couple of weeks, the female shares the hunting.

The young fledge after five or six weeks and are independent about two months later.

Until then, the adult peregrines teach the young to hunt and handle prey in flight.

Clare Galloway, from the Environmental Safety Group, said: “It has been a while since we’ve seen such a large clutch of eggs and it has been delightful watching them grow since they hatched.

“Favourable weather conditions have been making the job of feeding and protecting such a large family slightly easier but the parents have certainly been busy trying to meet the demands of four hungry mouths.”

According to the RSPB, peregrines are comparatively rare and recent estimates by the Scottish Raptor Study Group indicate that about a quarter of peregrine nests in southern and eastern parts of Scotland are subject to interference and killing.

The grounds of the power station offer a safe haven for the birds where they can nest undisturbed each year and have previously attracted birds from as far away as London, an unusually long journey for a peregrine falcon.

Tam Albishawi, station director, added: “We have a rich variety of wildlife at Torness and it is wonderful to see the peregrines return year after year.

“I’m delighted another four chicks look set to fledge from this successful nesting site, bringing the total for the past 22 years to 49 chicks.”

Torness has held the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark award since 2015; one of four sites in Scotland and the only one in East Lothian to do so.