Friday, 22 June 2007

Wow! Big Audience; Big Screen; Big Wait

Wow, that's a Big Screen. Click image to enlarge.Wow!
Firstly, may I say how heartening it's been to read so many of your comments left on the last few blog entries. It's clear that many of you, like us, are on tenterhooks, wondering when the chicks will take flight. Will they; won't they? They certainly haven't yet.
It's been grey and wet in Derby for the last day or so, and set to get worse. Typical - we have a major Springwatch Festival at Osmaston Park in Derby on Sunday from 11am - 4pm, so now we've fingers crossed for good weather there, too.

And Wow!
Look at that screen! No, it's not a fake picture, it's Derby's newest piece of technology - a giant screen for broadcasting local and national events in our city's Market Place. It went live with our video stream yesterday, taking fast-moving pictures direct from Derby Cathedral's webcam - and quite a few heads were turning to make out what on earth it was showing. You know, of course.

The Big Screen's offical launch is next week, but they sneaked our birds in before they have their own offical launch party, high up in the skies over Derby.

And wow again!
This time, Barry, one of the regular peregrine watchers outside Derby Cathedral couldn't contain his excitement yesterday after seeing our female stoop at high speed in a 45 degree angle above the tower to take a bird. She missed her quarry, but her power and speed obviously impressed him greatly. Our birds rarely hunting right over people's heads in Derby city centre, so this was a lucky sighting, indeed.

And finally, wow! Over 155,000 visitors already. Earlier this season the project team members each bet on how many hits we'd have before the birds fledged. Last year, when we put our webcam plans together, I estimated 30,000 visitors overall. Later, my bet went up to 125,000. Wow - it's so good to lose sometimes.


Anonymous said...

After showing one chick how to prepare food (pluck) mum has flown to the other side and is feeding one chick(9:34) Will the other chick get fed? The tension continues... 9:38 - not seen this before. Mum flew onto the edge with partially eaten meal, but still 'junior' has to wait on the other side and mum has just flown away... Perhaps the chicks need whole meals though the fed chick was still 'looking for more'...

Anonymous said...

10.05 and i thought they were going to go, been a lot of flying back and forwards its got to be soon they are raring to go pity about the weather being so wet the last thing they need is water logged feathers, great to see them on the BIG screen i do hope all this is reapeated next year its been absolutley brilliant.

Roger B. said...

Hope it goes well on Sunday!

sam bull said...

oh my god! this is so nail biting. on one hand I want the two girls to take flight but on the other I will miss them like mad when they have. was having kittens yesterday when the camera went down, thought I would miss the big moment. So pleased that all your hard work has been worth while, such a brilliant site and I will be at a loss over the winter, ROLL ON SPRING.... Sam Bull Derby

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

My apologies to Joe & Vee from Wigan who left a poem as a new comment on this post. I accidentally deleted it whilst rejecting some other spam advertising. So here it is:

From Wigan where there’s coal
To Derby was our goal.
At the watch point to meet
the volunteers on the street.
They watch over the bird’s of prey
a look through a telescope made our day.
Thunder & Lightning is their name.
They wait for a day to fly without rain.
Will it be today for these two wonderful bird’s of prey.
How we will miss these birds of prey
when they finally fly away.

Publish this comment.

Anonymous said...

I am in the middle of working on a presentation, which is the last assessed piece of work for a degree, so haven't had time to go down and see "Thunder and Lightning" in the flesh. Role on next week.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see them fly but will miss seeing them. I have had a look at other peregrine webcams but ours is by far the best! Anonymous - Derby.

Karen Anne said...

To avoid going into "peregrine baby withdrawal" after these guys fledge, there is a streaming webcam at

with four birds still mostly in the puffball stage.

Thank you for this site, what a lovely setting for the birds.

Anonymous said...

2.05 - What a nailbiting triller - looks like a case of you go first. They certainly seem to be having a good time, but I'm on the edge of my seat.

Anna Flintstone, Ripley

Lynne said...

When the chicks are moving around the ledge/support post are they hopping, walking, jumping or flying?

Anonymous said...

The 'girls' are looking well - though a bit bedraggled 15.05. We can always look at the chick's development on youtube (if that is not 'advertising'...)


Sue @ a Courthouse in Bucks said...

I just can't resist sneaking a look every now and again - and I must make it clear I'm in a backroom and not a court (no court users were hurt in the making of this blog!). The tension is almost unbearable. I ache to know they're safely fledged - just like thousands of watchers. I wish the weather would co-operate - can't somebody please put in an order for good weather?

Claire said...

Just had to post this comment as it made me laugh today! At 16:16, on the left camera, one of the chicks was sat on the front ledge, didn't seem to be doing much... but there was a raindrop on the webcam and the position was just so to cover the chicks face, almost like it was blurred out... I presume she wanted to stay anonymous hehehe!! Well done rain for (un)successfully concealing her identity :-)

Claire, Derby

Anonymous said...

Sheer Brilliance!! Many thanks to all concerned for this superb site - needless to say 'I am not addicted'!!! This has to be one of the best webcams on the net, and believe you me, I view a lot of bird cams. If anyone has withdrawal symptoms after the Derby babes have fledged, try Frodocam in Australia. The cam is up and ready for Frodo & Freida to get down to business.

Again, a heartfelt 'Thank You' to all concerned.

Anonymous said...

17:27 more wing flexing. Aren't the wings/feathers look beautiful when dry. 17:28 has the older chick just flown? It must have 'cos there are 3 now in the nest!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Yep, Frodocam down in Brisbane (the only peregrine webcam in the Southern Hemisphere, I think) went online a week or two ago, ready for their new season. You can find the link on our own Main Peregrine Page of the City Council's website - or just Google it.

Both chicks were still on the platform, flapping away when I passed under the tower at 6pm this evening. And there were still watchers with telescope, some having found a new home in the doorway of the Silk Mill Pub, with a clear view of the tower - now that's a no-brainer!