Saturday, 15 September 2007

Peregrines

Photo by Jon Salloway, modified with Photoshop. Copyright J Salloway


Over the last week, some visitors to our webcams have reported having great views of our adult birds feeding. But many others of you will arrive only to find the platform empty. Our young birds left the nest a few months ago, and we've had few recent reports of their whereabouts. But the parents are still using Derby Cathedral's tower as an ideal roosting and look-out point. They sometimes stay for hours on end, or can be spotted on a ledge beneath the next platform. So if you fail to see them, we hope you'll try again later.

Many of you have seen the superb photographs on this blog by local photographer, Jon Salloway. We thought you might be interested to see this image, taken by Jon, but modified in Photoshop to give it a more poster-like feel. I suspect some of you may love it, whilst others may feel I've ruined it. Let us know what you think. It was produced for possible use as a front-cover image by a group of local poets who are publishing some of their work. The booklet will feature the Peregrine Poem by Ray Woodland, first published here last month.
You can see Jon's original photo on this archived blog entry for June 07.

Of course, you can look back or search any past archived messages, either by clicking on the relevant month on the "Diary Archive" on the left side of this blog, or you can search for specific keywords with the search facility at the top left corner of this page.

58 comments:

Karen Anne said...

Curious to know what the original photo looked like?

Nick Brown said...

Easy for some! While our peregrines loaf about close to or actually on their nest, ospreys are now making perilous migrations southwards to West Africa and you can follow the flights of a satellite-tagged female and her two young by going to http://www.roydennis.org/osprey_migration2007.htm where you'll find maps and detailed descriptions by Roy of their remarkable flights. There are real fears for the older chick as you'll discover...as well as marvelling at the almost 800 kms covered by the female in a single day when she flew from SW Scotland to Brittany, admittedly with a strong following wind!
NB

Karen Anne said...

How big are those transmitters, and how heavy? I have often thought it would be good to have a tracking gizmo for my cat (who is indoor only) in case he somehow got lost, but everything I have seen is much too cumbersome for a cat sized being. The web seems to say an osprey only weighs about 4 pounds itself.

Anonymous said...

Is it correct to say the birds don't feel the weight of the rings/trasmitters as they carried them before they start fledgling? Jennie, HK.

Nick B said...

Yes Jennie, the birds give absolutely no indication of being aware of either rings or transmitter, so no worries there. As yet, only larger birds such as storks and larger raptors can be fitted with transmitters but I suppose it is only a matter of time before smaller ones enable scientists to use this technique on lighter birds.
I don't think satellite technology would be appropriate for domestic cats though it has been used to track wild mammals of course to good effect.
NB

helenhoward said...

yet another fantastic photo. lets hope with the adults still hanging around the nesting site they will use it again next year

helenhoward said...

yet another fantastic photo. lets hope with the adults still hanging around the nesting site they will use it again next year

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Karen Anne asked to see Jon's original photo which we published here in June, so I've added the link into the blog entry.

Karen Anne said...

Bird in the nest box on the left hand side.

I kind of like the original photo better, hard to improve on Mom Nature :-)

But I think my fav photo is
http://bp0.blogger.com/_5KGz03El5dA/Rsdqhl1llkI/AAAAAAAAAW0/GZWWOLlIWAc/s1600-h/DSCN3144tenhanced+female.jpg

lurcher10 said...

Original photo much better in my view. Modified one could have been cobbled up from almost anything, and looks false.
Stay with the real one!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant photo
I have to say I prefer the original. As someone lucky enough to visit, I am aware of the time John spends in getting these shots, I am sure we would all agree however that you can not beat the real thing, the photo's help when we are having to work for a living (and what photo's they are). Keep it up John.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last few comments, the original photo is much better, why can't that be used as front page.

Anonymous said...

Project team as you said in the diary entry that there have been reported sightings of the juvenilles could you give me a clue as to where please? thanks from a regular at cathedral green, or at least what used to be.

Karen Anne said...

There's a bird in the left side of the nest box, with a lot of activity, but I can't figure out what is going on, every time the camera takes a new picture, the bird is in a different place.

Has now moved to the edge.

Anonymous said...

Just returned from a holiday and found this latest photo updated, please use the original its much better S

Anonymous said...

It's great to see the adults using the ledge still. I had expected to just be looking at an empty space after the youngsters had fledged. Can't wait till next year. Incidentally, I think the 'poster' looks good but much prefer the original photograph.

Anonymous said...

Any idea what the bird is doing on the ledge? After a good preen earlier this morning it seems to have settled into the corner with its back to the camera.

Anonymous said...

7.05pm Can. bird on the edge of right hand nest

Anonymous said...

Pax 11.38pm Can. falcon having breakfast in the nest

Karen Anne said...

Bird preening on the left side of the nest.

Anonymous said...

It looks a bit chilly on the tower today!

Anonymous said...

12.20 Wonderful!! 'someone' at the scrape. quite made my day.

Karen Anne said...

Preening going on.

Nick Brown said...

re. the whereabouts of the two juvenile birds: as far as I am aware there have been no recent positive sightings of either bird in Derby since possibly mid-August at least. So we must assume they have moved away and are basing themselves elsewhere, perhaps roosting on pylons or in trees in the Trent valley where there are plenty of waders, duck and other birds to feed on.
Obviously, juveniles are subject to many dangers and we have to accept the possibility that one or both could have met with an accident of some sort. We know that mortality in birds of this age is high.
Of course, it would be great to see both of them back on the tower, their colour rings positively identifying them as this year's offspring. Keep your eyes on those webcams!
NB

helenhoward said...

1634 and the much welcome sight of a bird on the nest. i do hope the juveniles are safe where ever they are. it is great to see a bird on the nest and hope this continues through to the next breeding season

Anonymous said...

10.08am Can. Pax
falcon on the edge of the nest.

Anonymous said...

I know that the peregrines still use the platform at the moment but when will you have to get it cleaned out ready for next season and who has the dubious pleasure. please let me know Im fascinated to find out. thankyou sam derby

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

We'll probably clean out the nest around January or February next year, which is what happened in 2007. We'll schedule all the maintenance tasks to be done together during a spell of mild weather. Things like cleaning camera lenses, replacing the camera mounting brackets (you may have noticed that the main camera has sagged in recent months, due to a poor quality bracket) checking the soundness of the timbers, modifying the camera's menu settings etc etc.
Depending on whether or not we need to significantly modify any aspect of our installation, the dubious pleasure of all these tasks will probably fall to me. It's a fairly simple task to fix a rope to the flagpole at the top of the tower and abseil down the side to make minor adjustments. If structural work or a second pair of hands is needed, then I shall ask our unsung-hero, Nick Evans, to help out. Like me, Nick is a mountaineer, but he is also a professional carpenter with an interest in bird-watching. It was Nick who built the platform for us, and together we installed it in 2006, and then added the cameras in 2007. We owe him a lot of thanks. We could also do with a few name changes - there are far too many Nick's involved in this project! Does this answer your questions?

Anonymous said...

Hello from Dayton!
It's so good to see your adults on the ledge at times and read up on the goings-on in Derby. I suspect, if your falcons are like ours, that the "juvies" (this year's chicks) are out in the great migration of birds across Britain and possibly the European continent. Falcons that do not have a partner join this migration to snack on prey as they all move south toward the equator for our winter, and then move north again in the spring unless and until they find a mate. The adults in Derby clearly are tending their spot and will likely stay around all winter unless something tragic befalls one of them, which can happen. At least, this is my guess.
As for the picture, I like both! John's photography skills are very much appreciated! :)
I'm looking in at the Frodocam for my falcon fix, and happily my students are now addicted to falcon-watching. The Audobon Society likes to point out that once you become involved with bird (or any wildlife)-watching, you "own" it in your soul. I'm counting on my students "owning" some falcons and other creatures, not excluding humans, of course.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
If you let us know later in the year when you will be cleaning out I am sure a small group would attend and cheer you on. Just consider at that time it is easy to shout come on Nick, so there are some benefits of a 'group' name

Anonymous said...

1.32pm Can. Pax
Oh a beautiful shot of one of the falcons on edge of the nest

Karen Anne said...

Still a handsome devil on the nest box :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all

Is that 'dad' on the nest? This bird sure looks small relative to 'mum'... 23.03

John A

Anonymous said...

To project member Nick Derby museum
Thankyou so much for your reply to my question regarding cleaning the platform. What can i say what an exellent response and very much appreciated, the detail was great, thanks again for your time in answering me, what a star, will be thinking of you in early 2008, hope its not too chilly up there. all the best. Sam Derby

Karen Anne said...

If you're in baby peregrine withdrawal, another Australian site is at
http://www.alcoa.com/australia/en/info_page/falcon_webcam.asp#
with four eggs, hatching due in about a week. I like it better than the frodo and freida web cam, because the latter camera is so close in I don't really get a sense of what is going on.

Karen Anne said...

p.s. The Australian Alcoa camera doesn't seem to have any night vision.

helenhoward said...

13.55 gmt and there is a pereguin on nest. it is looking up and shouting so i wonder if there is another out of camera shot.

Anonymous said...

Just read Helen Howard's comment and had a shock. I wondered how a penguin had managed to get up to the nest. Have we had so much rain overnight and the Derwent is so high that a "penguin" had managed to swim to the nest? Or have the peregrines taken a liking for chocolate biscuits?! Obviously not the right spelling for either peregrine or penguin but it made me smile on a Monday morning. :-)

Karen Anne said...

Biscuits are what the U.S. calls cookies, I think. Do I deduce from this that there are chocolate cookies brand name Penguin:-)

Anonymous said...

I'd be showing my age if I recited an old TV ad which went something like:
"When you're feeling p-p-p-peckish, p-p-p-pick up a Penguin".

peckish = hungry
Penguin = cookie/biscuit
aaah - just found a Wiki on the blasted thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penguin_biscuit

So I'm staying anonymous!

Karen Anne said...

Bird partly visible on a far edge.

Anonymous said...

Pax Can. re the penguin biscuits,
dont know if they get them in the States, but we get them here imported from you, my son loves them :-)

Anonymous said...

first egg has hatched on frodo cam

Anonymous said...

I saw a 'Peregrine' in Openwoodgate, Belper on Saturday afternoon, maybe one of the young??

Nick Brown said...

Peregrines are seen around south Derbyshire fairly regularly, so this one could possibly have come from the cathedral or elsewhere since there are other breeding sites not far away as the peregrine flies!
As to whether it was a juvenile or an adult, it is usually difficult to tell unless the bird is very close by.
Also of course, our lazy UK peregrines don't migrate at all, there being plenty of food around through the winter.....such winters as we get now! So we can expect to see peregrines locally right through the winter.
NB

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the other "anonymous" blogger for responding to karen anne in the US about penguins. Because I live and work in Derby I tend to forget that others from all over the world view our peregrines. I have just seen a comment from someone in Canada about penguin biscuits too - looks like I've started something! But, yes you are right, Penguins are chocolate biscuit bars (or cookies as you would call them in the States). I too, remember the p p p pick up a penguin TV ad. But I also like the newer ones where the penguins want to eat the people. That's my sense of humour I'm afraid, hence the original comment on penguins. I was anonymous yesterday as I was at work but can be myself now I'm online at home. Pam, Derby

Anonymous said...

Re the sighting at openwood gate,
Whilst it is possible that you may well have see a peregrine. There are also sightings of Hobbies not too far from there as these birds look very similar you should also consider these when making your identification. However these do migrate and I am not sure if they will have left yet or not (must be close)

Anonymous said...

Pax 10.41am Can. birdie on the nest

Anonymous said...

Re: Sighting in Openwoodgate.
Like I said, definitely a 'Peregrine'. The bird was on the wing, however, flying very slow, not 'Hovering' just slow! Very strange too see, one of the things that give you 'Goose Bumps'. It was only at roof top level, approx 25-30 feet, and passed directly infront of me!

Karen Anne said...

I'm not sure, is some prey tucked away in the right front corner of the nest box? May just be a trick of some loose feathers and some "white stuff."

Karen Anne said...

The very end of a late afternoon snack?

helenhoward said...

glad i made somebody laugh about my spelling mistake.
looks very windy on the ledge about as cold as the artic or do peguins come from the antartic and by the way with out wishing to take over the blogger with daft jokes why dont polar bears eat penguins? their paws are to big to get the wrapper off!!
a sure sign of peregine with drawal symptoms i have lost the plot a little bit more!!

Anonymous said...

just to let the team know and also everybody eles both adult peregrines and a juvenille were seen today all sitting on the south side of the cathedral today about midday, looks like they were sheltering from the cold northerly wind. hope the info helps nick.m. andy.s

Anonymous said...

Hi helen howard and everyone else too! I don't mean to take over either with daft comments but we have to find something to amuse now that we don't have our daily fix of peregrines. An empty nest is not quite so interesting. Can't wait till next year. I might even consider volunteering to help man the watchpoint.
Pam, Derby

Jan, Scotland said...

I am keeping myself amused and enthralled by watching the australian peregrines, who have just had two chicks, find this at the following http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/extras/frodocam/default.htm

Jan, Scotland said...

sorry try this one : http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/extras/frodocam/default.htm

SueH@Wendover said...

Just to confirm that despite the quietness, I'm still alive and kicking here in Bucks and looking forward very much to visiting Deby towards the end of October to see people and places "in the flesh". Thought of Derby particularly today as another type of flight in the news (Rolls-Royce of Derby relocating test facilities overseas - what a blow) Here in Bucks, feeling the turn of the seasons and consequent change in wildlife - all going quiet.
Sue H, Wendover and Wycombe

helenhoward said...

thought i would get a quick look at the web cam this am and it looks rather distorted i guess the weather is taking its toll already. very glad to hear that three of the family were seen around the cathedral and also interested to read about the chicks hatching on the the other side of the world. will have to have a nosey.
before we realise it we will be starting this whole experience again with out wishing to wish our lives away but time ios just flying as fast as our feathered friends !!