Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Intimate Moments - and now a Competition!

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.
Four eggs were laid in 2007. When will the first be laid in 2008?
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:
peregrines@derby.gov.uk

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.

Good luck

(Of course, if you did want to make a donation to our project you are always welcome to email the Wildlife Trust on enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk , 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)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick, I have to thank you for setting up the pudding-cam in such a right place. I saw our birdie having its breakfast in this morning at around 6:20am. I enjoy watching it. Cheers! Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. Canada 12.14am (Maple Ridge)
I predict we will see the first egg on April 7th 2008

Anonymous said...

Both peregrines on the nest platform at about 13.05 today displaying to each other. Male was on the nest scrape first bowing and then backing up into the corner before the female came across to inspect his handiwork. Male then flew up to the gargoyles.

This arrangement of the 3 cameras in one window is great for getting an overall view of what's happening. Much appreciated.

Andy Marshall

Karen Anne said...

One of the birds is at the pudding cam. I can't quite figure out what is happening, but I think a midnight snack.

Karen Anne said...

Where is the area that the pudding cam is looking at in relation to the nest box? I went back to see if I had overlooked that info, but couldn't see it? It certainly seems to be a favored perch. Thanks.

Nick Brown said...

Hi Karen Anne: the pudcam is vertically above the nest platform, attached to the lead gully which is immediately to the left of the left hand gargoyle.
There are three gargoyles and you just see the tops of them all as you look northwards.
The diagram below shows the lead gully (u) to which the pudcam is fixed, the three gargoyles (o) with the shuttered window below (actually much wider than shown). The nest platform (--) is at the bottom left of this big 'window':

u o o o

.
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
.___ .
..........

Hope that helped a bit!
Nick B

Anonymous said...

Hi, love watching the cams.
I watch falcon cams in Southeast Wisconsin from WE Energies. Great Horned owl has 2 chicks at one of the power plants.
I guess the first Derby egg will be seen March 21,2008, 8:00 am.

Nick Brown said...

Sorry but blogger didn't like my diagram in the comment above and instead of being spaced across the page, it ended up being squeezed to the left hand side, making it somewhat meaningless....sorry about that!
NickB

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. Canada sorry forgot to leave a time with my guess 14.10 yout time
its now 12.22am her falcon up top and one on the nest

Anonymous said...

Hello from Dayton! :)
I really enjoy watching the new "pudding cam" and just got a good look at the Mrs. taking a hard look at it - hope you get a look on play-back. I got a nice close-up of her face and then a falcon eye into the camera.
My guess for your first egg is very soon, so I'll go for Mar. 17 in the early morning hours.
We have a "new" pair here in Dayton this year but they are favoring a nest box that's not on-line yet. One bird is banded, the other not, so we're hoping the banded bird is our heroic male from last year.
So nice to see all the great improvements and the new cam in Derby! Take care, great work!
Jan

Nick Brown said...

Hi Jan: good to hear from you and hope you can get on-line with your birds soon.
It's a rather horrible Sunday morning here, so different from last Sunday when it was still and sunny. Today it is wet and windy so
no doubt we won't see much action this morning from either peregrines or ravens. I'm not aware anyone saw the latter at all last week actually. (Do you get ravens visiting your north american nests?)
Nick M (who celebrates a 'big' birthday on Monday - happy birthday to him!) will no doubt look for that footage when next he gets up the tower...probably Tuesday...
Meanwhile Jan; thanks for your guess on egg laying. While the Rome pair have had eggs for awhile now, I think our birds might hang on until Easter at least....but who knows?
BTW, while we wait for an egg you might want to follow the spring migration of a satellite-tagged osprey called Logie. She is now making her long journey back to Scotland from West Africa.
Go to:
http://www.roydennis.org/Female%20osprey%20migration%202007.htm or if that doesn't work, search for Highland Foundation for Wildlife and then the osprey pages.
Nick B

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick B. -
Thanks for the osprey link, I'll check on it today as I browse the internet watching for falcon eggs. Speaking of eggs, now I really DO hope you all get an egg tomorrow since it's Nick M.'s birthday! What a fine honor for all his hard work that would be, don't you think?
As for ravens, I've not heard of them bothering falcons in N.A., though I know that pigeons with nerves of steel or poor survival skills have been seen standing around near falcon nest boxes. I've also seen pictures of falcons running off certain types of gulls that bother young falcons; also great horned owls prey upon young falcons. In any case, I'll be really interested and more than a little worried as the eggs hatch and the little ones grow to see what your adults with do with the ravens if they continue to try to nest on the cathedral.
Happy Birthday to Nick M. tomorrow, egg or no egg! Watching the cams all over the N. Hemisphere, it seems to me the females are a bit reluctant to start the Long Sit - it seems very contrary to their nature but sit they must. :)

Anonymous said...

12.25am Pax B.C,
one falcon on gravel, one on ledge below

Happy birthday Nick :0

Anonymous said...

May 8, 10:02 AM. Lewicki.

Karen Anne said...

Happy Birthday, Nick.

Anonymous said...

03Apr, 3:45am. Jennie, HK.

Karen Anne said...

Someone seems to be working on the depression for eggs in the nestbox.

Anonymous said...

1054 and one bird on nest, the other on the ledge below. Is it the female on the nest? Whichever one, it looks busy. Will we have eggs for Easter?! Hope the winds and snow forecast for tomorrow don't cause the birds too much bother. Anon, Derby

Anonymous said...

11.05 looks like the female on the nest looks like she may laying

Anonymous said...

my guess is 01 apr @ 00.45 gmt
lyndsey, chesterfield
i really hope its not any later as i go away 2nd week in april and will have no internet access AAAArrrghh the torture!!!

Anonymous said...

From Spikennipper in Ashford, Kent. I guess the eggs will be laid 04 APR 16:20