Thursday, 24 January 2008

Pudding Cam

Whilst waiting for feedback from the powers that be on whether we can spend some of the generous donations we've received during the year on a third camera, we decided to check out whether or not a dummy camera would actually fit. It now seems to have gained the name of "pudding-cam"!

We learnt quite a few valuable lessons whilst trying carefully to place it into position on the lead gutter. It certainly seems to work in principle, and could be placed there without causing any harm to the historic building, but would need careful mounting for those times when the wind blows strong. We are confident we could achieve this, and could capture some stunning pictures along the top of the ledge where the peregrine falcons spend a lot of time when away from the nest.

Latest Update: (24th Jan) We have now had the go-ahead from the cathedral's architect to try out "pudding-cam" , and he's happy that we won't do any harm to the structure of the building or the leadwork. We're especially grateful to the guys at Acam Technology Ltd in Derby who generously loaned us a dome camera to try out yesterday. This worked fine when connected to our video server, and we've also had approval from Derby City Council to run our cabling up the spiral staircase. Should you see the inside of a room on one of our camera feeds, it'll be pudding-cam being put through its paces in the Ringing Chamber.

Meanwhile, we have now reset our visitor counter to count from the start of 2008. Last year was our first year of webcam operation and we took 238,735 unique "hits". We have no idea at this stage if eggs will be laid, or if they'll hatch, so our success or otherwise in 2008 is very much in the laps of the gods.

New visitors to this blog you may wish to read an overview of the peregrine project, or add their names to our mailing list.)


Ash said...

This blog inspired me to buy a copy of Ratcliffe's 'The Peregrine Falcon', and I noticed that he records 132 species of peregrine prey, including to my amazement Sparrowhawks, Buzzards and even other Peregrines. Perhaps pudding cam will enable us to keep better track of the diet variation of our birds.

Project Member (DWT) said...

It might do Ash but we already know quite a bit about what our birds eat thanks to the regular collection of feathers, legs, heads and even whole corpses from under the tower and the nave roof since 2005. A detailed article about their prey appears in the Derbyshire Ornithological Society's latest Annual Report and, for the national scene, there will be a feature article in BBC Wildlife magazine in April by Ed Drewitt. Hopefully some of our Derby data and photos will be included so well worth watching out for that!
Nick B

Ashley Sims said...

This pudding cam was a brilliant idea! well done, the pictures are incredibly addictive!!!