Thursday, 24 April 2008

Radio Two Webcam of the Day

Welcome to our Peregrine Project Blog.
We took a huge surge in visitors earlier today after being featured on national radio in the BBC Steve Wright's afternoon radio show as "Webcam of the Day". But things seem to have settled back to normal, with most of our regular visitors now already bookmarking us or finding us via a Google-search.

The pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the side of Derby's Cathedral 470 year old tower are currently incubating four eggs. We expect them to hatch around the first week of May.

These two pictures from our webcams were emailed to us by a Karen Anne in North America. She was lucky enough to get a clear view of their eggs when the parents changed shift just after midnight today. (The eggs are actually reddish brown, but look white under infra-red light.)

Shown below is a photo of a clutch of four eggs from Derby Museums’ collections which rarely see the light of day. These were taken in the times long ago when egg collecting was not an illegal act. Most museums rarely put any bird eggs on public display lest they encourage others to believe that egg collecting is an acceptable activity. It isn't. You can clearly see the reddish coloration, and their considerable size when compared to a UK pound coin (22mm diameter). We're currently pulling together some information on all the peregrine specimens in our collections for a new web page, and we'll bring this to you just as soon as we can.

Clutch of four peregrine eggs in the collections at Derby Museum & Art Gallery. Egg collecting today is an illegal act, and their are especially serious penalties for those taking eggs of rare speciesAs well as looking forward to our Cathedral eggs hatching, we have many exciting new developments coming up on this site, and in Derby over the next few months. This includes special Watch-points with telescopes and binoculars outside Derby Cathedral for anyone wanting to see the birds for real whilst out shopping in our city. These will be organised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, whilst the webcams themselves were installed by Derby Museums. The third partner in our project is, of course, Derby Cathedral itself, to whom we are most grateful for their enthusiastic support for these magnificent birds.

Follow this link to read an overview of the peregrine project posted earlier in the year.

19 comments:

Karen Anne said...

How wide is a pound coin? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen Anne,

A pound coin is about 7/8 of an inch across. The eggs look to be a bit bigger than large hens egggs to me.

Andy M

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C.12.12am
Karen Ann, good photos :), I have only managed to see the change over
a couple of times myself

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
Could you please tell me when we can look forward to getting access onto cathedral grey to ensure that visitors can have safe and exciting views of the birds.
here's to another great time (I hope you have remembered to book the weather this year!!!)

Anonymous said...

Hey all, give Karen Anne a break - she's American! Karen Anne, I'd say our pound coin is bigger than a dime but smaller than a quarter (but thicker than both - it's quite a chunky little coin).
Any news on the DVD front - I'm keen to buy one. I have a 10th of May special deadline when I'm taking part in a schoolkids "Junior Springwatch" and I want them all to see how great Derby's project is. I daresay there will be numbers of Mums and Dads who will recognise it from the Radio 2 publicity yesterday.
Sue H, Bucks

tm said...

Egg collectors: Evil, stupid & deranged.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7325311.stm

Ben said...

Any ideas where our birds go to hunt? Do they tend to favour a particular area/terrain? (obviously with recent news stories of persecution I wouldn't want anyone to post exact locations just in case there are some unsavoury types reading!)
I saw a peregrine sitting on a lamp post yesterday a couple of miles from the city centre - not sure if it was one of the Cathedral birds. It's the first time I've seen one in the flesh apart from in the Lake District.

P.S. Sue H - British Columbia is in Canada! - I made that mistake once and the Canadian in question (large Ice Hockey type) wasn't too imressed! ;-)

Nick Brown said...

We are assured that part of Cathedral Green will be accessible by about mid May.....but we´ll just have to wait and see I guess.
As to where the peregrines hunt, we suspect they go mainly east of the city and probably often down into the Trent valley but sightings are fairly few and far between and anyone seeing a peregrine won´t be able to tell if it is a cathedral bird or not of course. There have been several sightings from The Sanctuary, an urban nature reserve (set up mainly by the indefatigable Nick M. This reserve is close to the football ground, so only a cockstride from the cathedral.
Nick B
Ps. I would have to cast some doubt whether the bird on the lamp post would have been a peregrine Ben since they like to perch really high up, eg on the police aerial in Chester Green...but who knows...it could have been.....
though more likely a kestrel. Certainly, any ´peregrine´ in a garden will almost certainly be a sparrowhawk ....and I´ve had several excited people call me at the Trust thinking (and hoping) they had seen one of the cathedral birds in their very own garden...when challenged about eye colour for example they invariably say yellow...which gives the game away of course.

Karen Anne said...

tm,

They only gave that guy half a year in prison? Wish I were a judge...

How sad for all those birds, and the planet in general.

Karen Anne (U.S., not Canada)

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. Canada 11.53am
Ben, Karen Ann is my neighbour to the south :) and they love their hockey down there too

Anonymous said...

Both birdies on the nest! Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

its a sign!!! what is covering the camera is in the sign of a cross!!

Anonymous said...

Just to let the nicks know there was some great ghange over sceens this morning at 9.45am (monday 28th). thanks for all the great work.

Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to add something about these peregrines i am local to derby and i think its great that we have these here nesting and we should be proud because these are normally coastal birds.
Iam studying marine zoology and i am sure these will come into my work soon enough.
I was down their at the cathedral yesterdy chating with one of the wild life trust staff i had my kids with me i didnt leave till after 1 oclock,My name is richard and i am a very keen bird watcher i grew up by attenborough nature reserve,but to have these peregrines in derby nesting for the third year well i am on top of the world....And it has been great for my kids to see them,because i feel at any time they could choose to leave,so we should enjoy the moment in all its glory...
I will be posting my art work of these birds at different stages of the nesting-chicks and free flying.
Most will be free hand copies off the website as i did mention to the wild life trust if it was ok..be nice to share with people from all over the world..Just want to thank the wild life trust and all involved setting up the cams and making it possible keep it up now back to watching these beautyfull birds of prey..

Nick Brown said...

Hi Richard: please can you email me at enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk asap since I need to ask you some questions about your artwork etc.
Thanks Nick B

Anonymous said...

Hi nick email send as requested.kind reguards richard..

Nick Brown said...

We should point out to anyone visiting the cathedral to see the peregrines that currently there is no Derbyshire Wildlife Trust staff presence at the cathedral yet this year and won't be until the Watch points start in mid/late May.
The person Richard spoke to on Sunday was someone who is passing himself off as a trust official.
If you should encounter anyone purporting to be a trust staff member but with no ID, please be wary and please get in touch directly with the Trust on 01773 881188 or by emailing enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk or failing that, with Nick M at the museum.
Thanks
Nick B

Anonymous said...

Richard, you certainly should be on top of the world. I've been scribbling away on this blog for 2 years now raving on about how I think Derby may be the best place in the entire universe and how I am sorely tempted to move there! Seriously, you are so blessed that by chance the birds have chosen your city and doubly blessed to have people who have made the very best of that good luck - they have worked so hard and it's a brilliant project which has and continues to give delight to people literally all around the world. The "odd person" who was speaking to Richard - would it help to post a notice, maybe in the cathedral itself, with a bit of detail and information about how to contact the project?
Back on my garbled geography, I suspected I'd got Karen Anne's country wrong - but I see I happened to be correct after all!
Are we having bets on "hatch date"? I'd like to go for 3rd May, which was my mother's birthday. A great way to remember her ..... aaaaaah!
Sue H, Bucks

Ben said...

re. sighting on a lamp post.

Nick I'm pretty sure it was a peregrine. Definitely not a Kestrel- a bit bigger and too grey with dark biker moustache. It didn't hang about for long - think it just perched there for a few seconds. It was very close to the Sanctuary so that perhaps tallies with previous sightings.

Looking forward to the hatching and getting down to the watch points when they open.

Keep up the great work folks - it's so nice to take a short break from the daily grind to take a look at the webcam pictures.

P.S. Sorry Sue H, you were right about Karen Anne's country! ;-) I got my wires crossed there somehow. Hope no-one was offended!