Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Welcome To "Springwatch" Viewers

33-day old Peregrine Falcon Chick on Derby Cathedral. Click image to enlargeWelcome to this blog if you've come as a result of Wednesday night's "Springwatch" programme on UK television, with Bill Oddie. And welcome if you haven't!

This blog gives you news and past video clips of the two peregrine chicks, high up on the side of Derby Cathedral. We're expecting them to fledge around the 17th-19th June, and if you're anywhere near Derby you'd be welcome to pop down between 10am-2pm, any day in good weather to watch the birds from outside the rear of Derby Cathedral.

- Follow the "Key Links" on the left side of this page to visit the two webcams. Both have infra-red illumination. The left camera can be controlled remotely for zoom and focus.

- There's general information about watching our birds on the Main Peregrine Project Page

- And even a page of Technical Information about how it all works.

The picture above was taken from our webcams at 18.45 this evening - and as you can see, the chicks are rapidly losing their white down, and their flight feathers are now well-developed.

Of course, Derby has much more wildlife to offer than just peregrine falcons. Glow worms are glowing right now each night within the city, whilst sand martins are nesting next door to Derby County's Football Ground at the city's first bird reserve at Pride Park. Here at The Sanctuary you can see lapwing, skylark, reed bunting and a host of other wildlife - but the Dartford Warbler that was here a couple of years ago still hasn't returned. Find out lots more about Derby's wildlife here, or visit us at The Springwatch Festival at Osmaston Park, Derby on 24th June (425kb download).
Our Museums and local Wildlife Trust are pretty good, too!
Hope to be back online tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

watched the springwatch programme last night, must say although it was nice to see our city on there, I was a little disappointed at the way it was presented, Bill Oddie didnt seem to know much and it all seemed rather thrown together. but eh at least we got a mention.

Project Member (DWT) said...

Yes, there was a general feeling of dispair and deflation after the TV programme last night, echoed this morning by everyone I spoke to. Our project deserved more time than it got and they certainly had no excuse for getting so many details wrong and then, to add insult to injury, waxing lyrical about another organisation altogether! A poor show altogether. If you feel strongly about it, use their message board to express your

Anonymous said...

I see the fact that clips were on television as a positive thing. You shouldn't feel deflated as you have all done an absolutely brilliant job. The blog certainly adds that extra touch. You can tell that hard work has gone into it.
I certainly realise the effort that both the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Derby Museum and the cathedral have put into the project.
Hopefully the clips on telly will create more interest.
Maybe you need to invite Bill Oddy to come to Derby in person!
Heather, Derby

Project Member (DWT) said...

Good points, Heather. We certainly did suggest that Derby had plenty to offer Springwatch and that they should come and see for themselves, but to no avail. They have a difficult job to balance the programme of course but last night's offering was not well balanced....lots of time given to some features and others, like ours, squeezed in between!
We are monitoring any increase in the number of hits to the web cams to see if Springwatch has made any significant far, the jury is out.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were also very, very disappointed in the Springwatch programme. We had waited and waited for them to feature the Derby Peregrines, and were very excited when we heard they would show some footage - but when they finally mentioned them, all they got was roughly thirty seconds of airtime! That was disgraceful, and unfair, too. As you said, other items were given lots more time, surely they could have easily allowed at least another couple of minutes to show a bit more footage of the Peregrines?

Utterly disappointed with the programme, but absolutely proud of Derby, Derby's Peregrines, and all of the time, effort and sheer hard work put into the project.

BIG pat on the back to you all, I say, with a Thank You to all who have made it possible! I've loved being able to view the webcams, and am very proud to live in Derby.

Anonymous said...

Are the chicks feeding themselves now? We were watching the chicks on the Right hand camera at 7.40 (beats getting ready for work!)this morning when they suddenly rushed to the left end of the platform. A quick change of view showed an adult sat on the edge of the platform and both chicks apparently feeding near the back. Was anyone watching the LH camera at this time and saw what happened?

Andy & Chris Marshall

lyndsey, chesterfield said...

i personallly feel the project members are being a litle harsh here! i was very excited to watch the peregrines tv debut on primetime viewing and although it was only a short snippet at least it was on, i'm sure a big successful programme as 'springwatch' has hundreds of offerings from wildlife projects throughout the country all wanting to be included. they cant possible put them all on the show yet those who do get the oppertunity should be well and truly grateful, in whatever capacity it is shown. after all - any publicity is good publicity!!

Anonymous said...

We were also disappointed at the short length of time given on Springwatch to such a wonderful and hard worked upon project, and perhaps, in Bill Oddie's case, we could have had less waffle and more wildlife.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to watch these beautiful birds. I shall miss them so much when they have gone; they have become a part of my life, checking in on them throughout the day. Hopefully the cameras will be up there again next year. A big thank you to everyone involved in the project - and good luck to the birds.

P, N.Yorks

Jackie said...

What happens when the chicks fledge? Will the chicks just launch themselves out of the nest and that's it - they're flying and gone?
Will the whole family leave the area, or all hang around and use the nest as a base while the chicks learn to hunt?

And will some poor soul get the job, at some point, of cleaning out the nest for next year, it looks as though it'll smell pretty ripe by now. Is it gravel on one side of the tray and slate/shale on the other? Is that so they can choose which they want.
I think I'm asking all my questions now because I don't know what happens to the blog when the chicks leave.

Liz, Derby said...

I too was a little surprised at the brevity of the coverage on Springwatch, but it was lovely to have pictures and sound together and to see the chicks reacting to the Cathedral bells (do they do that every time the bells ring? It must keep them busy!)

I can't believe how quickly their adult plumage has developed - I didn't log on for a few days, and saw such a difference when I did next watch them. Seeing them stretching their wings is very exciting, but I shall miss them too when they fledge.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the project - I have really enjoyed watching this family's journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I found this on an American Peregrine website:-
Young falcons fly for the first time approximately 42 days after hatching. Once they take flight, the fledglings are unlikely to return to the nest.
The chicks' mother will remain in the area with her mate. But her offspring, full grown when they leave the nest, will live up to the name of their species (peregrine means wanderer) and disperse up to 700 miles from the nest.


Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

My apologies to Jackie for the delay in replying - my PC crashed, losing the half-drafted reply. Thanks to "anonymous" for answering some of the questions, too. However, N Americam peregrines are different to ours in habits, and don't migrate. Our chicks will remain around the nest site (ie cathedral tower) for some months after fledging, even if they don't use the nest platfrom itself. Mum and Dad will teach them how to fly and hunt, so for those in the Derby area there will be some amazing aeial acrobatics to watch during late June/July. Last year's chicks stayed around well into the winter, with one juvenile being filmed on the nest platfrom in April, looking at the newly-laid eggs. You can watch the clips by going back to our blog archive for April 6th.
A bit less of the "poor-soul" bit please! It was actually great fun abseiling down off the top of the Cathedral Tower last February, not only to clean out the nest platfrom, but also to install the webcameras, OK it was a bit stinky, dangling there, scraping remains into a bag. Pity poor old Nick Brown from the Wildlife Trust who then went through them all, sorting out the prey species. You're right about the gravel on the left side, and thin slate on the right. This was done so we could ensure they nested where we wanted them.
You can read more details on our peregrine page by following this link:

Anonymous said...

sorry my news on the American Peregrines wasn't totally accurate. will try harder (next time...)