Saturday, 22 March 2008

Courtship Moments

A power failure just before Easter meant an unscheduled trip up the tower to re-set our recording equipment. The threatened snow squalls didn't last too long this morning, so a trip into Derby meant that I was lucky enough to be able to see and capture one of the many moments of courtship display on the nest platform. Our male bird stood completely still, head bowed, for a couple of minutes before eventually flying off. The female, who was standing just off-camera, waddled slowly over to the nest scrape about 90 seconds later. She then stood in the depression, both scraping and readjusting some of the pebbles around it, and it was pleasing to be able to zoom the camera in to watch her in more detail. There have already been many similar moments like this on the webcams, and perhaps not too many more before our first eggs are laid. (The video recorder has now been reconfigured to capture images from the nest scrape.)



Thanks to Karen Anne in America for sending this Easter Sunday picture of snow high up on the tower top at 06:00 GMT. By the time I had awoken a couple of hours later it had all gone. If you capture pictures that you think we'd be interested to see, you can email them to us at peregrine@derby.gov.uk
To see how other Northern Hemisphere peregrines are doing right now, visit this fantastic blog for a full update. But don't forget to come back here for more news of our Derby birds!

(Technical note: I had intended the video clip to be shorter, but time inside the cathedral tower was rather rushed for precise editing. My apologies for this: I don't have adequate software at home to edit VOB or MPG files of a couple of hundred MGb in size.)

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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick M,

The video is amazing, thank you for putting it up for our viewing. Happy Easter! Jennie, HK.

Karen Anne said...

Brrrr, snow. Gorgeous falcon on the pudding cam, hunkered down. Must be chilly up there.

Nick Brown said...

Given the snow on the platform this morning (Sunday), maybe it's as well our birds haven't laid yet.....though Froona's website shows much deeper snow at Terminal Tower Cleveland and there are eggs there too! The parent birds will sit tight whatever the weather throws at them I'm sure!
Froona's useful chart shows that the Sussex Heights pair in Brighton UK have laid already...
Nick B
PS. It seems like the Exeter web cams aren't operating this year.
PPS. Logie the osprey was close to flying over the Straights of Gibraltar yesterday....she might overfly Derbyshire in another week - though is more likely to use a more westerly route - we'll see!

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.44am
See you had some snow, falcon is on the nest

Anonymous said...

It's snowing in late March! Will the cold weather affect our birdies in their mating? Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

No Easter eggs, just Easter snow, sigh. My dad asserts that early Easter means early spring weather, I sure hope he's right! Just two nests in NA so far with eggs does make me wonder if the falcons are holding back for a little longer. I really enjoyed the video and looking in on all the cams - the pudding cam has a nice view of the sky, very nice to see.

Karen Anne said...

Someone's settled down on the nest...could there be an egg?

Karen Anne said...

Darn, no egg. Whoever it is hopped up onto the nestbox edge just now. But he or she had been snuggled down in the hollow, apparently not digging.

Min said...

Well on is on the left camera but there is something in the box in the right camera, breakfast perhaps?

Ash said...

Has there been any further sightings of the ravens? I wondered if the intrusion would be likely to upset the natural breeding behaviour of the peregrines.

Nick Brown said...

No recent raven sightings as far as I know Ash, though I did find a stick this morning below the spot where they were placing them so maybe they have been back.
Very unlikely the ravens will affect the peregrines...the falcons are totally committed to their breeding cycle and it would take more than a pair of ravens to stop them I feel sure!
Nick B

Karen Anne said...

Someone's in the depression area in the nest box, seeming a bit restless. I haven't seen an egg laid before, but I am kind of thinking maybe that is due. The falcon seems a bit hunched over. I don't think there is an egg there already, although I haven't had a clear view.

There seems to be more light than usual? And the pudding cam is almost completely wiped out.

Anonymous said...

10.28pm B.C. Canada
looks like the falcon might have started nesting?

Anonymous said...

Spotted an egg 12.40 28h March.