Thursday, 10 May 2007

Breaking News - we've hatched!


News came this morning that two of our peregrine eggs had hatched. One observer, Martin, reported seeing tell-tale signs of fluffy white under the female at around 10.30pm last night. Both he and Tony from Derby Cathedral then confirmed at around 7am this morning that two chicks had hatched, with two eggs remaining.

The photo above shows our female settling back down to incubate her remaining eggs and to protect the two new arrivals. Checking the video recorder today, we can see that the first egg probably hatched around 9.30pm last night. At one point, sometime before dawn, the adult female could clearly be seen eating one of the egg shells, though the chicks stayed mostly out of view until the morning.
Daylight brought some clear views to webcam-watchers of the two tiny white chicks, flopped down beside the remaining two eggs. But you had to be quick to see them when the parent birds swapped incubation shifts. It was amusing to see the male take over for a few short spells, as his smaller size makes it quite a challenge for him to cover both the eggs and the wriggling chicks. But he did it. Frustratingly all we’ve so far seen of feeding efforts have been obscured by the female having her back to the camera.

News of the arrivals soon spread, with Radio Derby covering our arrivals both in their news bulletins and with a good interview with Nick Brown from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust late this afternoon. We’ll be getting film footage off to BBC TV tomorrow.

Visitors to our webcams this evening may have wondered why the picture kept coming and going. This wasn’t because the 3,000 visitors today caused the guys at Streamdays a problem – it was simply our light sensor which detects the change from day to night. The artificial illumination on the Cathedral’s tower was causing the sensor to trip in and out, changing the camera from daylight to infra-red mode. There’s little we can do, I’m afraid; the option of a quick abseil to adjust the camera is quite out of the question!
We’re all hoping for more breaking news tomorrow, and those of us who have been checking out the peregrines in Ohio are saddened to learn from their blog that this year’s eggs seem not to be viable. A great disappointment for everyone there.
Follow the links at the left side of this page to view our own webcameras.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a cute little ball of cotton wool! the first chick poked its head out and smiled for the camera at approximately 11am

John Salloway said...

Brilliant news. Hot of the press - well done and thanks.

Nikki M said...

I noticed a white blob next to an egg at around 7.18 this morning and had a good view of two chicks and two eggs minus mum and dad at lunchtime.

Anonymous said...

what a brilliant sight. my they are so cute. well done mum and dad and hello you two beauties.

Roger B. said...

Cracking stuff!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new arrivals! And ... thank you very much for the web-cam, I've much enjoyed keeping an eye on the family - even though not much happens most of the time! Maybe things will get a bit more exciting from now on .....

Michael Hunt said...

If you go round the webcams, Exeter,Chichester,Brighton, you will find nothing to match this one. Well done Derby and thanks for a real life soap opera.