Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A Bit of a Scrape

Though we're still a couple of weeks away (at least) from being live on the internet, the BBC supplied us with a DVD recorder last week to help us capture round-the-clock footage of Derby Cathedral's peregrine falcons. After various teething problems we've managed to capture some stunning moments. We've uploaded a 6 minute clip to YouTube which you can view here by clicking the play icon. It was recorded on 8th March at 1pm. Beware the loud bells!


First you'll see the male bird lying prostrate, pushing with both feet to make a suitable nest scrape for her to lay her eggs in. Then, less than half an hour later, we get amazing scenes of both birds together. Our male seems to be showing off the nest site to her. Watch how he stands stock still for over two minutes, head bowed down towards the centre of the scrape, whilst she ee-chupps away at him. On both arrival and departure he seems to be very wary of her, or perhaps he's cautious not to tread in the scrape. You decide. She remained on the platform for another hour after he'd flown off. We're now seeing this same activity on many days -a good sign indeed of things to come.

This clip appeared on BBC "East Midlands Today" on Tuesday 13th March - the first in a series of reports on the peregrines' progress. Once our webcam pictures go live online, you'll find them from the peregrine page within Derby Museums website. Despite the implication in the article and in the BBC news release, our peregrine project is actually a partnership between Derby Cathedral, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Derby Museum & Art Gallery.

I'm afraid we're getting into a bit of a scrape ourselves when it comes to editing our captured DVD. Just like the ones posted here last month, this sequence still had to be filmed off a TV screen! If anyone can suggest the best package to convert VOB files to AVI for editing in Adobe Premiere, do please get in touch by sending a comment to this post. DVDShrink doesn't seem to like our DVDs, whilst iSofterDVDtoAVI either crashes, or Premiere takes hours and hours to conform the AVI files.

11 comments:

Andrew said...

You can convert VOB files to AVI using VirtualDubMod:
http://tinyurl.com/2m6qs4

There's no easy wizard to use it though. It's all manual.
You load the entire VOB file into it, select the range you want to convert to an AVI file (starting and ending on keyframes), choose your video compression codec and parameters (and the same for audio) and add in any filters to perform cropping, resizing, brightness changes etc. Best to do the entire process in one go rather than load it on into Premiere and compress it again (unless you have a specific need for something you can only do in there - in which case save as [un-/lightly]compressed video from VirtualDubMod if you have the space.)

Maybe someone else knows something that's easier...?

cantoris(at)hotmail(dot)com

Roger B. said...

Fascinating behaviour.

Ben W said...

Great pictures with excellent sound as well. This will prove addictive viewing through the spring. well done everyone involved.

stuart said...

Great footage. It's wonderful to be able to view it online. Keep up the good work.

indigoGlyph said...

Have to agree with Ben W - the quality was surprisingly good, especially given the way it was recorded. Derby Cathedral is definitely worth a pilgrimage!

Ash said...

Overcrowding at home? I went to have a look at the falcons yesterday and noticed that there were 3 birds in residence...a returning child perhaps? Are we in for an eviction?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

We've been seeing the juvenile male from last year's brood hanging around all winter. Last week we captured film footage of the adult male arriving on the platform with food, only to have it taken off him by the juvenile, and screeching at the adult to keep away. In another instance the female brought food to the platform and steadfastly refused to let him have any. We're all quite surprised that he's been allowed to hang around for so long but, yes, an eviction does seem inevitable very soon.

Roses said...

Perhaps the male is rightly wary of her. She's broody and he got left to do the decorating by himself. A hormonal woman is a scary thing, whatever the species!

Martin D said...

You could try Movavi Videosuite 4.1.
I have not used it myself so can't say if it will work ok for you.Download it from download.com Free trial,or see www.movavi.com.Let me know if you have any luck.

Anonymous said...

VirtualDubMod v1.5.10.2 build 2542

Download full version directly from:
http://www.loranbase.com/idx/0/065/article/VirtualDubMod-v15102-build-2542.html

COOKIE said...

Would just like to add 2 more sites for you to enjoy. The first is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/

The second is San Jose, California USA and that is where I reside.

http://sanjose.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?
view_id=&clip_id=&publish_id=91/nest&event_id