Sunday, 26 June 2016

Watch Point Saturday 25th June

It seems to have been a very eventful day down in Derby yesterday.
One of our volunteers, Helen Naylor, wrote:
"Despite the rain it was great to see all six birds for most of the time at today's watch point. The juveniles are all flying really strongly now and landing well. They look very confident." (And Joyce Sawford reports that all six birds were again visible this morning, 26th).

DWT's Marc Whitlock, who with Emma Wood, has been working alongside our splendid volunteers this summer, penned this report when he returned home:

25th June Watchpoint

A day when stepping from your door
You wonder what season to dress for.
Dark clouds gathered overhead
Filling all below with dread.
A retreat (fastest ever seen)
Under the trees on Cathedral Green.
But were we down or feeling tearful
Training scopes on cowering tiercels?
Heavens no! Out came the sun
To the delight of everyone!
Folk came again from all around,
One hundred strong came down and found
Six falcons perched way up high
On Jury’s Inn on the letter ‘Y’.
One youngster, in a gutter, on the tower
Avoiding yet another shower.
Practice flights between these perches,
Swivelling scopes making searches.
From the tower over our local
Flew able flyers, often vocal.
Mum gave lessons in the sky
With deft manoeuvres as they fly,
Honing skills in passing prey
Was spectators’ highlight of the day.

Marc W

Thanks Marc and thank you to everyone who has visited a watch point and made a donation.

If you've enjoyed our web cams but haven't donated yet, please consider doing so. It's very easy.
Click on the donate tab at the top of the blog.
Thank you

The project team

Ps. To see photos of our birds please visit the Derby Peregrines Flickr site here.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

All fledged...and the trials of the last one to go

As you may have seen from the previous post, all four youngsters have  now fledged.
The last one to go ( a big female) left this morning, watched by everyone at the Watch Point.
Wendy Bartter's video is here.
Here are some photos taken by Joyce Sawford, one of our trusty band of volunteers:

Landed in a sycamore tree
Mobbed by a mistle peace for the wicked!

A bit less hassle here on another church near
the cathedral
Now this is better and higher....but I certainly
need a lie down after all that!
There are more great photos (by Cliff P and Ian B) on the flickr site here.

Just a further little plea for donations before you all disappear and start watching football (ha ha)....
Big thanks to everyone who has donated this week....
The Project team

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Fledging gets underway and a request for donations

Update Saturday 3pm: all four have now fledged. The last one is now on a roof top near the cathedral and she has flown quite well to get there. She should be OK now. The Watch Point folk actually saw the last bird leave the platform and eventually located it quite low down on a building.
From there it flew to the roof top on which it seemed quite relaxed, despite the loud band playing at the back of the green where the watch point is held (down by the river). There was some gathering there this afternoon. We will upload some photos when we get them later this evening.
Thanks to everyone who helped today - a team effort! Cliff, who lives nearby, will make a further check this evening.

Update Friday:
the second one has fledged this morning, captured on Wendy Bartter's video here (about 2 mins. in). Thanks Wendy!
Please see our comment to this post (by clicking on 'comments' at the bottom) to read why we can't be down there checking 24/7 and why it isn't really necessary since 85% of our fledgings happen with no problems at all. Usually it is a member of the public who finds and reports a grounded bird. As you can imagine in a busy city centre, there are so many places a bird can land and even when it's up high, much of the time the bird is invisible from the ground however many streets you walk down to look upwards. Over the years we've spend many many hours searching, usually in vain, so we've developed a system that seems to work and to ensure that no bird comes to harm.
We'll do our best to report back on what we discover asap but inevitably there will be delays.
Thanks for your patience.
Cliff Pearson, who has helped us many times over the years to find fledged birds, has reported mid evening Friday that he can see both fledged juveniles on the tower as well as the two in the all's well, for now anyway. Thanks Cliff!
The Watch Point tomorrow should ahve better weather....we hope!
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Early morning today (Thursday 16th) the first one of our juveniles fledged from the platform.
Whether it was pushed or just fell off backwards we don't quite know but it was discovered later on the nave roof, immediately below the nest, none the worse for its fall.

Sliding down the slippery nave roof.....

Thanks to all the commentators who have been watching today plus those on the ground.
The photo below shows it on the balustrade:
Where on earth am I? Photo: Helen Naylor
With the weather set to improve as we head towards the weekend we can expect more fledging shortly. Let's hope the remaining three show a bit more finesse!

The next Watch Point on Saturday (10am - 2pm) could be quite exciting so do come and see if you can experience fledging happening as you stand watching.There's sure to be some fun and games.....

Donate to our Project
Unprompted, several of you have sent us donations this week - many thanks to everyone who did!
We are now appealing for more s
o if you can spare us some cash, please click on the 'donate' tab above. It is really simple to make a donation and now, with no lottery money to underpin our work, we need every penny we can get.
Thank you.

Nick B (DWT)

Monday, 13 June 2016

Not just peregrines on the cathedral and an Update

Update Thursday: the first bird to fledge apparently 'fell backwards' from the platform early this morning (thanks Garry!). It turned out it was on the nave roof below, so it's quite safe for the time being anyway.
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Update Tuesday 15th June: no fledging yet and the weather remains very poor which will deter them (unless one gets a push....!).
The Watch Point this morning was steady.....with rain threatening but staying away mostly. Thanks to Steve, Jane and Paul for running it for us. Paul reported that the male brought in prey about 3pm but that the female promptly took it off him and disappeared. Hopefully, after some plucking, she fed the chicks.....
NB did an interview for Radio Derby - listen here. It comes about one hour 15 minutes into the programme. 
Thanks to everyone who has been commenting, especially those saying there are still four  - which is always reassuring to know and saves us looking ourselves (all your comments appear among our emails so we keep an eye on them directly). 
Plans are in place should any of the youngsters come to ground. Since 2006 only six have done so - so let's hope this year they all get airborne successfully!
Hello to New Yorkers Sandee and also Samantha (and her class). Great that you are watching our birds! Oh, and hello to Puffin Class too!
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While we have obviously focused our attention on the peregrines, other birds have been nesting near by.
Take for example this nest of mistle thrushes on the stonework surrounding a window on the south side of the cathedral. You can just make out the nest two thirds of the way up the right hand side of the window.

There were four chicks which have flown today and are now in the adjacent trees I'm told.

Gary Roots took this photo of one of the parent birds nearby in the rain today. Like the peregrines, mistle thrushes make great parents, fearlessly chasing off any potential threats to their young.
A rather wet adult mistle thrush with food for its Gary Roots
Other birds that nest on the cathedral in most years include wood pigeons, stock doves and feral pigeons.
Since all these birds stay close to the building they are generally not in danger from the peregrines.
One spring, many years ago now, a pair of ravens arrived at the cathedral and began stealing the peregrines cached food. They even started to place a few sticks on a ledge to start a nest but the falcons soon put a stop to that!
Perhaps there are nests of birds near you, something for you to watch once these juvenile peregrines fly the nest? And if you have a birthday coming up, why not invest in some binoculars and see what birds you can see ('for real' this time) in your garden and your local patch.........
Nick B (DWT)