Thursday, 19 July 2007


This short video clip shows a snipe being brougt back to the Derby Cathedral pergrine's nest platform on Sunday15th July. It's unusual because it was filmed at 1.15am, and the bird looks freshly caught. So it confirms what we've long thought: that the peregrines do hunt at night.

See the previous entry for a full list of video clips available on this blog, including the fledging of our two young birds last month. You can also make suggestions for what you'd like to see our webcam project deliver in 2008 by following this link.


Roger B. said...

Interesting. I wonder what a peregrine's night vision is like. Do you know if anyone has done any reasearch?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I don't know about their night vision per se, but the current thinking is that peregrines in cities are capable of hunting using the background light produced by the night-time illumination. We don't know how far they range at night, but any species moving along the river corridor in the city centre would be pretty well lit by all the flood lighting and stray light that's around.

Sue H said...

Just logged on for a quick look at what my "virtual family" are saying today and I NEARLY HAD A HEART ATTACK AT THAT "SNIPER" HEADING. I thought you meant somebody had been taking a pop at our precious birds. Phew! I'm off for a lie down in a darkened room. I THINK it's really interesting, but I have to calm down before I can think sensibly.
Sue H, Wendover (and Wycombe)

Karen Anne said...

Sue, Me, too :-)

Anonymous said...

i love the way the bird waits and takes a good look around before tucking in - almost like he/she was checking they had the feed to themself (for a change)

helenhoward said...

fantastic to see but makes me wonder what was the snipe doing out at such a god forsaken hour!! by the way the web cam seems to have frozen

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Thanks Helen.
I've been busy this-evening and only just realised the picture had frozen. I've now rebooted the server inside the Cathedral and the picture is fine again. The left hand picture is getting fuzzier by the day, thanks to the activities of a large spider who has made its home over the camera lens. It's easy to spot when it moves about in the live stream, but much harder to see in the webpage pictures. Anyone fancy an abseil with a duster?

Karen Anne said...

Spiders seem to have a thing for webcams, I wonder why. There was a spider periodically on the Harrisburg cam.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

“Come on to my web-cam”, said the server to the spider,
“The falcon’s been a-courting and she’s got some eggs inside her.
There’s folks out that that wanna look, ‘cos soon there’ll be some hatching,
So you just keep a-weavin’ for that web of yours needs patching.”

Oh there are web-cams on those web-sites , and there are web-blogs all around,
Wherever there is nature there is web-life to be found
And wherever there’s a camera, there’s a fuzziness to hide her
That peregrine’s got covered up by our very own web-spider!

So down you go upon your rope, and dust off all those lenses,
And take with you some soapy stuff - they say it always cleanses.
Our falcons must be visible by Jennie in Hong Kong,
Or Sue down at the magistrate’s, even though she knows it’s wrong.

From right across the world they came, to watch by day and night,
With global outputs faltering; some said “this just ain’t right”
But now the birds have flown the nest, the plan was plain to see,
A cover-up with gossamer would hide her best from me.

Oh there are web-cams on those web-sites , and there are web-logs all around,
Wherever there is nature there is web-life to be found.
And wherever there’s a camera, there’s a fuzziness to hide her,
That peregrine’s got covered up by our very own web-spider!

Karen Anne said...

Hee, hee, super :-)

And a bird on the nestbox.

helenhoward said...

very poetical project member!! It is quite ironic a spider being on a web cam!! It was actually my son who realised that the camera had frozen because he was confused as to why it was still broad day light in derby but almost dark here!!

Sue, Burton said...

Update from Stretton Burton.

0810 saw 1 of the Burton Peregrines again in our garden tucking into breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Friday morning 0935 and mum? just left the nest. I now have internet access at home so can catch up without having to have quick glimpses at work, although I usually have a quick look at work each morning as there seems to be an adult on the nest around 0900 most days. Are the young still around? I often hear them calling from my office. Look forward to watching them next year from the comfort of home and to be able to watch for longer than a few minutes.

Anonymous - Derby

Sue H said...

Gosh, a mention in an ode! I'm deeply honoured. I may just take it to the Aylesbury Kings Head literary festival event tonight!!!!I spotted it as I'm STILL doing wrong at the magistrates' court! There'll be nothing for it - I think I'll be given a community penalty and it might just be an abseil down to a certain nest with a duster to do an Little Miss Muffet impersonation.
Love , Sue H xxx

helenhoward said...

hi sue of burton
fancy having pereguins in your own back garden you lucky thing!! It certainly makes our sparrows look boring!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue in Burton: reluctantly, I would have to throw some doubt about anyone seeing peregrines in a garden. These are birds of open countryside, loathe to enter confined spaces. Flying high above a city is one thing, but coming down in an urban garden not really peregrine behaviour.
Have you eliminated sparrowhawk and kestrel? The former is a regular predator of garden birds while the latter, with a food spectrum which includes voles, beetles and even worms, will hover over and then drop on prey even in quite restricted situations such as a garden if needs be.
Sparrowhawks are round winged hawks, hunting by flying low and fast, surprising their avian prey. Kestrels are more closely related to peregrines being pointed-winged falcons. They hover over grassland until they see a small rodent or other morsel, then drop down quickly to catch it with their talons.
The only other small raptor in these parts is the hobby, another falcon but one that is rare, secretive and almost entirely rural in its habits.
Sorry to put a dampener on your observations.....
Nick B

helenhoward said...

there is no harm in hoping sue did a pereguin. after reading the new diary entry because of such adverse weather conditions our wild life is going to all extremes to survive!!

Sue H, Wendover said...

Responding to a bit of Nick B's comments above, if you want to see Hobbies, go to Tring Reservoirs. Google "Friends of Tring Reservoirs" although the bit I'm referring to may be "members only". In past "events" you may be able to see there was a hobby walk on 6th May - it was to welcome the returning hobbies. Doubtless, there'll be another one next late spring/early summr to coincide with the return of these splendid little falcons from their winter quarters.

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Anonymous said...

Just makes you wonder how many song birds they take a year from the country side and racing pigeons belonging to people,( not town pigeons ) that need getting shut off.