Thursday, 26 July 2007

Top down

As promised in yesterday's entry about views of Derby Cathedral , hare are a few pictures from the top of the tower taken in 2006 on platform-erection day. They show the view the peregrines get as they sit looking East (ie from above the platform). The River Derwent is visible and also a red crane which has since been taken down. Last summer the birds perched regularly on this crane....until the driver started to turn it round! This year the fledglings perched briefly on the much lower tower on the Silk Mill Museum just left of centre. Left click the photo to enable you to enlarge it. The two ropes were supporting the two abseiling Nicks (Moyes and Evans) who were busy attaching the platform down below!


My second photo shows the view to the North, with the (much lower) catholic church tower visible in the middle distance. For some reason we have never seen peregrines on that tower even though it is certainly taller than the Silk Mill tower, or the nearby flats which they have perched on recently.










Next, a photo looking vertically down on the South side, with the male peregrine standing on the top of one of the stone beast's behinds! This picture was taken by the cathedral architect early in 2005. He was inspecting the roof when he looked over and saw this bird which he felt sure wasn't a pigeon! It is the first photo ever taken of our cathedral peregrines. You can see a passerby on the pavement (sidewalk) 200 feet (70 metres) below!

Incidentally, these head-down beasts, which we have been calling gargoyles are, I am recently informed, actually 'grotesques'.

Gargoyles, usually just the heads of some
mythical human or beast, always have
drainage pipes running through them
with the water flowing out through their mouths.

The Derby mythical beasts, carved by the
mediaeval stone masons back in the 16th century, are purely decorative, the lead roof drainage channels being sited to either side of them.
This photo is by John Salloway and shows the male dozing in the sun. Your guess what the animal is!

Nick B

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see my office from your pictures. And I've just heard one of the peregrines calling but not seen it today.
Thanks for the info about the number of hits.
Oh and if any readers get chance to climb the Cathedral Tower, it's a long way but well worth it. I did it a couple of years ago. Not sure if I would fancy abseiling down it though!
Anon - Derby

Anonymous said...

not wanting to sound judgemental in any way but i find it quite funny that the peregrines have never been seen on the catholic cathedral,it seems they have their own faith and are sticking to it!!!

Sue H said...

12:15 Well, Nick B (Wildlife Trust) I don't know if you too have "a day job" but I reckon you must have - and have as much trouble as me with those demands whilst being involved with this much more important and interesting project. It's so interesting to be building up the bigger picture of the birds' story - which is also Derby's story. The view down on abseiling day made me dizzy - there is no way I'll be at the front of the queue for the charity abseil later on in the year!!!! It made me smile when I read that the architect "felt sure it wasn't a pigeon". I did wonder before when you referred to gargoyles. On the earlier "spot the peregrine" picture, I idly took them for foxes but from this picture they are obviously wild boar - probably native at the time the cathedral was built?
You have some unusual birds in Derby - even red cranes (ha ha)
I am green with envy at the previous blogger who works within sight and sound of "The Derby Four".

Sue H

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

The next opportunity to climb the Cathedral tower on a guided tour - using the stairs in both directions!! - is Saturday August 4th. The first tour is at 10.45 and they are every hour until 3.45, price £2.00. As numbers on each tour are restricted to 15 people it is advisable to get there early in the day when you can book for a later tour if you wish. Tours last approx. 45 mins. Children are welcome but must be at least 8 years old and accompanied by a responsible adult.

There are 189 steps to the top and, hopefully, the same number down. The tours stop in two of the rooms on the way to see the Ringing Chamber and the clock chime mechanism. There is also a view of the bells - the oldest peal of 10 in the country.

Providing the weather is kind the views from the top are terrific and on a good day you can see three counties - that is why it is favoured by the Peregrines!!

Oh and just to say to Sue that each of the Project Members - Nick M, Nick B, and myself - do indeed have a 'day job' but we would all much rather devote our time to this project. Its really annoying when work impinges on Peregrine watching!!!!!

Tony G

Karen Anne said...

I was wondering if that beautiful blue and yellow stained glass window in the previous entry was modern? It does not look older somehow.

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

The two stained glass windows, the only stained glass in the Cathedral, were designed by Ceri Richards and were installed in the early 1970's at the time the extension was built. They are called 'All Saints' and 'All Souls' as this is the Cathedral Church of All Saints.

To answer a previous question about the screen - the central part of the iron screen was made by Robert Bakewell in 1751. In medieval cathedrals there is usually a much heavier screen which separates the Chancel - where the services for the Monks took place - and the Nave - where the ordinary people congregated. There was a gated entrance to the Chancel to allow access for those allowed.

The rest of the iron screen is a copy done in Victorian times I think.

I could have given you a more detailed reply but my dog has just eaten the pamphlet I brought home!!!!

Tony G

Anonymous said...

Woof!

Anonymous said...

Can,t wait for the cameras to come back online im missing my daily peregrine fix.

helenhoward said...

fantastic photos and yes I agree it is a wild boar. The pereguin looks so comfy,to be a bird!!

helenhoward said...

fantastic photos and yes I agree it is a wild boar. The pereguin looks so comfy,to be a bird!!

helenhoward said...

fantastic photos and yes I agree it is a wild boar. The pereguin looks so comfy,to be a bird!!

Karen Anne said...

Handsome bird at the nest box.

Anonymous said...

Pax. B.C. Canada 11.49pm
falcon on the nest box

Anonymous said...

07.55 One of our lovely birds on the nest box lapping up the sun, and who can blame him/her - summer at last???!!

Anna, Ripley

Anonymous said...

08.54 Is that 'dad' still there on the right-hand camera?

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

Oh dear, I have been told I have got it wrong!!!! The number of people allowed on a Tower Tour is actually
13 and not 15 as I wrote yesterday. Thanks to Mike who read it and has put me right. As he 'does' some of the tours he should know!!

Tony G

Karen Anne said...

lovely birdie on the nest box.

Anonymous said...

A visitor on the tray at 2am, not asleep but looking around, a lovely scene. Jennie, HK.

helenhoward said...

0532 and there is a visitor under the tray, quite intigued in the above that one of the family was up at 2.00am as commented b4 maybe it was night hunting again.

Anonymous said...

19.00 Mum or Dad at the nestbox.

Anna, Ripley

Anonymous said...

It's Saturday evening 2000 and there's an adult on the ledge. Can't tell which one as it's facing the wrong way! I've just got broadband at home so can now peregrine-watch all evening at my leisure rather than just hearing them calling from my office at work and then having a quick look at the webcam. I've not commented before because I've not had the time at work - apart from my comment on 26 July when I couldn't resist, having seen my office. Sorry to Sue, for making you envious - not my intention at all. I work only a stone's throw from the Cathedral so have been able to see them live as well as on-line so I think I am very lucky. I just wish I could take photos like some of those posted on the diary. Those of the youngsters practising their flying were just amazing.
Pam - Derby

Karen Anne said...

Lovely bird on the nest box, facing outwards for a change.

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. 3.23pm
Falcon on the nest box, sleeping I think

Karen Anne said...

bird on the nest box, same place as my previous comment.

Anonymous said...

Hello from Dayton -
I see a beautiful peregrine at the nest snoozing with his/her eyes rather open, thank you so much for the "peregrine fix".
Your cathedral pictures are so pretty, it would seem the peregrines picked Derby for the beautiful scenery. Wise birds! Hope to see more pictures of the surroundings as long as the blog/webcams are up and running.
If by some chance any of you are needing a "chick fix" there are some very late hatchlings in Cleveland, Ohio being photographed, although likely not banded (ringed) by the dept. of natural resources. You can see the stunning pictures at
www.falconcam-cmnh.org/news.php
Once you get to this site, go to "Falcon Forum", then to "Other Ohio Falcons". Look at that page for "I-480 Bridge Site". There are several pages of photos and commentary, and they are expecting the two chicks to fledge in early August. I hope this is not too confusing or silly of me to post here, I'm certainly not trying to hijack the Derby cam/blog! At the same website, the Derby falcons are also mentioned (not in the great detail as here) under "Falcon News from Around the World".
Take care -
Jan

Anonymous said...

A visitor was seen on the tray at 11pm, the stream's frozen since then! Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

Just spotted that myself, Jennie. Have 'reported it.'
Ciao
John A

Karen Anne said...

Right, I just realized, why is it still dark over there, it shoud be about afternoon. So I dunno which of my previous "sightings" postings are actually valid.

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. so glad to see the camera is fixed :-) its 1.53pm here, and there is a falcon on the nesting box