A bar manager has returned to the roost after months of all-night vigils protecting an endangered falcon's nest.

Night owl, Ivan Lynas, 45, manager of Harry's Bar, St George's Street, Chorley, spent most Monday nights in April, May and June guarding a rockface in north Lancashire where a pair of peregrine falcons had nested.

Ivan even cancelled his 20th anniversary celebrations as manager of Harry's Bar because it coincided with a crucial shift, standing sentry over the peregrines' eggs.

He said: "Peregrines are protected species, but unscrupulous people will hunt high and low to find rare birds' eggs.

"Peregrines pair for life. In 2002 and 2003 the nest site failed. We don't know whether that was down to somebody attacking the nest or stealing the eggs.

"Last year the nest was successful, with three chicks and when it became apparent that there were two eggs in the nest this year, we, along with other volunteers, started guarding the site."

The surveillance was a round-the-clock operation, with a team of bird lovers permanently watching the nest.

Ivan and his wife Natasia took up position at the site at Warton Crag, near Carnforth, from 10pm until 7am for three months before the falcon family fledged at the end of June.

And they kept popping back to keep an eye on the parents.

Hawk-eyed customers who have known Ivan as a fixture in the bar since 1985 were beginning to wonder where he was, especially after his 20th anniversary at the bar came and went with Ivan nowhere to be seen.

Ivan explained how he became hooked on falcons. "We'd had a night out and went for a walk near Sedbergh the following morning," he said. "I heard some screeching and realised I was watching an adult falcon teaching a youngster how to hunt.

"It was absolutely amazing. We stood and watched, and we were hooked."

Ivan and Natasia have visited a further 30 nesting sites this year as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall.

Peregrines are the fastest flying predators in the world and there are only 1,400 breeding pairs in the British Isles.