Our new webcam proved its worth today, as did peregrine watcher, Kath P. She emailed us to report she had seen the birds mating on top of the tower via the net at 08:47 local time. So a swift trip up the 450 year old spiral staircase this lunchtime managed to capture the magic moment, which was quickly burnt and passed to our local Radio/TV station. This isn't a one-off: we'll see repeated short matings. Indeed they were at it again when returned from lunch at 2pm today. (see second video further below. You may spot the male flying in from the extreme right hand corner)
So, when will we seen eggs?? Why don't you try to guess?
A chance remark in the comments below our last entry led to a surprise offer from a viewer. We jokingly suggested we should run a sweepstake to guess when our first egg is laid – closest date and time wins. The prize? Well, I suggested an abseil down to clean out the platform in winter. Clearly, not really possible. But we’ve already had one offer!!
So, just for fun, here's our Easter competition. We had considered asking for an entry fee to raise funds for the Peregrine Project, but as we're not yet able take payment from outside the UK, we didn't want to exclude non-UK viewers from entering.
Here are the rules:
1) Place your “Guess” in a comment below this blog entry (Just click the red word “Comments”)
2) State your estimate of date and local time that the first egg will be seen. (eg 03 JUN 08:35 Please spell the month rather than give it as a number)
3) State a name or pseudonym and the town/country you're in.
We will watch our cameras and any video footage and report back on the first sighting. But perhaps some of you will be able to tell us first! Leave a comment here, or email: email@example.com
Competetive people can use the "Archive" facility on this blog to look back at last year's entries and make their best, informed guess for 2008.
There will be no winners or losers this time around. We can’t offer you a tower tour or an abseil as this excludes everyone outside Derby. Maybe we might run this again for real - perhaps based on the first fledging in the summer.
(Of course, if you did want to make a donation to our project you are always welcome to email the Wildlife Trust on firstname.lastname@example.org , ring them to make a credit card payment on 01773 881188, or send to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, East Mill, Bridgefoot, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1XH, England)