Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Aerial Acrobatics

Whilst the peregrine nest platform on Derby Cathedral's tower now sees only the occasional roosting adult or resting juvenile, the activity in the area immediately around the city centre continues unabated.
Do please click on the "comments" hyperlink at the end of each entry - we're getting lots of useful and up-to-date information left there on who has been around on the platform. You can leave comments anonymously, but it's always nice for people to know where our blog readers are located in the world.

A number of reports have been coming in over the last few days that our birds have taken to using the roof of some tall flats near the River Derwent, as these pictures by Roger Lawson show.

Mick Sharpe left a comment recently which we reproduce here to show some of the local aerial.
"On Sunday morning 08/07/07 about 08.30am I was walking into Derby along the River Derwent path and noticed a lot of feral Pigeons scattering this way and that. Sure enough a good way above them was a juv Peregrine. It appeared to be enjoying the thermals, circling around and occasionally doing the flap, flap glide flying action. It was a buff, cream colour on the underside which is why I think it was a Juv. I made myself comfortable and got the binoculars focused when the bird went into a stoop and dived for what must have been approximately 150 metres. I didn't see the hit or the target as the bird went from my view behind trees, but to see a live stoop was quite amazing and very fast. It must be great fun, exhilarating, to fly like that even if breakfast isn't the reward."


There was also a report early this morning from Lyndsey in Chesterfield of a pigeon sitting under one of our webcameras. This might seem a pretty dangerous thing to do, but in fact peregrines are very unlikely to hunt a bird so close to a cliff or building as they expose themselves to considerable risk of injury. It can be quite comical to see a pigeon land on the tower, only to realise that just to the side of it is a peregrine falcon. You can almost imagine it trying to work out whether it's best to stay where it is, or to take a risk by flying off.

John Salloway has emailed in some super new pictures. We'll post these just as soon as we can.

38 comments:

ANDY said...

Well done Roger on the photo, it looks like our peregrines are trying to pose for a picture that will rival the one of Scout in Ohio. ANDY

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I don't think we'll ever get such an amazing photograph as the Scout picture, Andy.
For those who've not seen it, follow this link: http://bp2.blogger.com/_Hfr16O7c2gQ/RkSokm8Sv9I/AAAAAAAAAO8/-uLmxI3St2w/s1600-h/scoutmad.jpg

Anonymous said...

16.07 and we have a lovely and long awaited visitor to the nestbox. perhaps taking a rest from all the aerial acrobatics - great pics by the way!!! really nice to see them together like that

Sue @ work said...

Bird visible from right hand side camera. Traffic on the road light, 4 parked cars and 1 parked van.
Fabulous pictures in the blog above and the latest diary update.
Sue, Wycombe Magistrates' Court (clinging on to her job by a thread - I do hope my boss never stumbles on this site)

Anonymous said...

we have a visitor in the nest tray, it could be dad - looks quite dark in colour, although i'm not really sure as my knowhow (or knowWHO) is not very good, ive still not learnt how to recognise them after all this time, how rubbish am i?

Anonymous said...

The bird is still there. Jennie, HK.

helenhoward said...

brilliant photos certainly puts anything I do to shame!!
1713 and there is a visitor on the nest like the above entry I am not to sure who it is.
Wish I had seen the pigeon on the nest box- suicidal or what!!

Sue @ Court said...

One present on the left camera (I'm supposed to be working overtime to catch up)

Anonymous said...

I just took a look at the photo at http://bp2.blogger.com/_Hfr16O7c2gQ/RkSokm8Sv9I/AAAAAAAAAO8/-uLmxI3St2w/s1600-h/scoutmad.jpg
it is one of the most amazing bird photos I have ever seen, how in the world was it taken.

Ted in Maryland

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Ted in Maryland asked how the amazing picture of "Scout" was taken. You can read the full - and rather sad - account of what happened at this link.
http://ohioperegrinefalcons.blogspot.com/2007/05/eggs-removed-from-nest-box.html

Karen Anne said...

It took me a bit of looking, but it seems the Scout photo was taken when unhatched eggs were being removed from the nest for analysis, and the likely reason they didn't hatch was the young age of one parent.

Sad, but not too sad as that makes it hopeful for next year. Not like some difficult unfixable problem.

Karen Anne said...

Poor Scout, though, imagine someone making off with your eggs. At least when chicks are taken for banding, the parents get them back.

I think sometimes when eggs are taken, a dummy egg(s) is left in its place, and eventually when they don't hatch the parents give up. I am not sure which is more difficult for the parents.

Anonymous said...

Hello from Dayton!
I love the new pictures on the radio tower, looks like your girls are filling out and flying well! :)
Dayton is about an hour away from Columbus, and if you can check on the egg report and see the picture of Scout in full tirade, you can also watch the nest and ledge cams in Columbus. It's "live" so you can hear traffic, rain, etc. but Scout and Orville are around the nest quite often. I believe the dept. of nat'l. resources took the eggs in hopes of causing the birds to "recycle" their nesting attempts. I have heard of falcons having a second clutch if the first clutch fails. I think "dummy" eggs are placed when wildlife managers are intending to put orphaned chicks in a nest, but not really sure of that info.
I'll try finding and posting the Cleveland Falcon Forum blog info. to this blog, they have some breath-taking pictures of falcons around Ohio, some of them show falcons flying upside down (!) to pass prey to each other.

helenhoward said...

2145 and there is a visitor on the nest!!

Karen Anne said...

Bird on the nest, body facing inward, head facing outward. Do you wish you could do that?

helenhoward said...

2200 and shes still sat there looking out.
Here in the deepest, darkest midlands we have our own personal nocturnal visitor in the form of a fox. Like when we see the falcons it gives such a thrill to see such fantastic wild life on our door step!!

Anonymous said...

00.22 From the 'size' (of the bird on the edge of the nest) it looks like the male to me - though it could be one of the fledged chicks(Junior???)...

Anonymous said...

7.36pm B.C. Canada
falcon still sleeping on the edge of the nest

helenhoward said...

0622 what can i see in the right hand corner of the right camera. it looks like a wing hanging over the edge!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a snipe in the right hand corner.

Anonymous said...

11.25 here in Derby the bird you can see sitting on the ledge is mum. I have just been down to the cathedral to have a look. Andy

Anonymous said...

Trying to work out the prey in the tray it looks like snipe or woodcock but im not to sure it might be to small, anyone got any ideas?

Anonymous said...

any idea when the photos from john will be ready c,ant wait to see them

Anonymous said...

I heard on Radio Derby this morning that peregrines and goshawks are being shot and killed in the Peak District. How can anyone wish to harm such beautiful birds?! I hope our peregrines stay safe.

Audrey (London) said...

11.45a.m. 'someone'? is 'at home' and looking gorgeous!!!

Anonymous said...

11.47am hi audrey in london its the aldult female on the tray or mum to me and you. andy

Anonymous said...

One minute she is there and the next she is gone! I've just watched her (mum, I think) take off from the ledge after sitting watching over the city since at least 9.00am this morning.

SueH said...

Empty box when I looked a few minutes ago.
The Columbus, Ohio picture WAS stunning .... but if I were a peregrine, given a choice of there or Derby, I know where I'd choose for my home! And there have been some darn fine pictures associated with the Derby project too.
(Still bust at the court - must get back to it!!!)
Sue H, working in Wycombe

Sue H said...

Oops - sorry about the typo - for bust please read BUSY
Sue H

SueH said...

Still no birds at the box - light traffic conditions too - really, "all quiet on the western front"!
SueH, High Wycombe Bucks

SueH, High Wycombe Bucks said...

Incidentally, I notice that the visit total is almost 192,000. What was that you said a few weeks ago about estimating it might go as high as 30,000?
SueH

helenhoward said...

refering to the blog regarding the shooting of goshawks and pereguins my initial reaction was i cant believe it but on hind sight what do you expect from the human race. We should remeber that our planet is only ours to borrow for on aveage 80 years after we have to leave it for the future generation!! And with cold blooded killers like these there wont be much of our planet to leave!!

Karen Anne said...

bird on the ledge thing below the nest.

Karen Anne said...

No one home...

Karen Anne said...

It must be sunrise over there, no birds, but the cathedral looks pink.

Anonymous said...

Sue: lovely typo!!
I imagine that, in a court of law, a 'still bust' would distract the male judges somewhat less than a moving one would do.....but I could be completely wrong there.
Sarah

Sue @ home said...

Hi Sarah
I don't have a vast experience of judges - my court is a lower, magistrates court. However, we do occasionally get District Judges. I really wouldn't want to try distracting any of them! They are all good people and fair but very firm too and won't take any nonsense. I only ever sneak my looks at the Derby project in the back office, as is only right and proper!

Anonymous said...

Hi my brother lives at the Rivermead flats and enjoy watching them circling the building, and swooping