Monday, 12 May 2008

More, hen?

A moorhen is fed to four six-day old chicksJudging by comments left, there have been some great feeds witnessed over the weekend. A couple of these on Monday have featured a rather large waterbird - a moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), probably taken from the River Derwent corridor which runs just past Cathedral Green. The picture below was captured at 10:00BST (local UK time)

A phone call this-morning to the construction company working on Cathedral Green confirmed that watchers in Derby are now able to access a small part of the "hard-standing" to use telescopes and so forth without blocking the pedestrian walkway along Full Street. The recent warm weather in the UK (up to 30C yesterday) had prevented part of the new surface from hardening properly. We're sorry we misled people who expected more space late last week.

The heat has also posed a challenge for our peregrine parents. Preventing the chicks from overheating in direct sunlight is an absolute priority, as they can easily die if left unprotected for any length of time. We see Mum adopting a strange pose slightly away from the chicks so they are both sheltered from the sun but still with a ventilation gap so that she herself doesn't overheat them. By mid-day the problem has disappeared as the sun will have moved round the tower, creating sufficient shade.

One chicks goes on a short walk-about
One of our chicks started moving around the platform today - perhaps others have witness this already, but it was a new event to me. Once we get lots of movement we may switch over the camera feeds.

Just a reminder that, whilst you can hear sound on our video clips, there is no audio on the Streamdays webcam feed itself as these are static images. I'm afraid this is something that would only be available with live video-streaming.

(Finally, in case some readers may have pondered the significance of the title of this blog entry, I should explain that "hen" is used in some parts of Britain as a term of endearment, often by an older person to a younger woman. I apologise for my awful sense of humour!)

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Froona said...

Great feeding at 10! They are growing into wonderful healthy chicklets. They do start moving about, with 4 of them that will be busy traffic indeed! But lots of fun to watch!

Mom sheltered them very good yesterday, she was panting from the heat on her back, but even spread her wings to protect all of them. Got a great slideshow of that as well on My Blog. And lots of pics of the 10:00 feeding this morning. Thanks for the zoom-in on our 4 chicklets.


Graham said...

Don't you just love nature. Does Mrs. P consciously choose a high-calorie high-fat bird like the moorhen to feed the chicks? Just a thought.

Jon Salloway said...

Thanks Nick and Derby City Council, I can confirm a watch point available from 8:00am this morning. Hope to see others there.

Graham above has made me think -has there been any more thought for naming the birds? As they have brought so much entertainment we should really give them a name.

What do others think?

Anonymous said...

Yes Nick Moyes, you have a very corny sense of humour - we forgive you though. I'm almost as interested in the people watching as the birds and a couple of earlier comments have been slightly lost in the moving up to a new entry. Facinated to see "Welsh Wayne"'s entry and also YES I for one certainly think Bolivia is an exotic location! It's hardly exotic, but I told quite a few people at an event in Aylesbury about this brilliant site - hello Aylesbury, have any of you found us yet?
Sue H, Wycombe

Anonymous said...

No - let's not treat them as if they were people. I think "Mum" and "Dad" are the nearest we should go down the road of giving them names. Collectively we could just call them "Derby's Peregrines" - but even then that's not quite the situation: they're no-one's peregrines but their own.

welsh wayne! said...

20.49 here in Abu Dhabi just watching feeding time at the zoo! 2 minutes b4 just the chicks, then hey presto back with grub... brill

Anonymous said...

Feeding time again! they have a healthy appetite that's for sure.

Great viewing!!

John B (not the sloop) said...

Anthropomorphising (that's probably not a proper word) wild creatures has pros and cons. In some ways it seems almost disrespectful to "christen" them with human names, but it is quite a good way to get a younger audience engaged. Who hasn't tuned-in to the EJ and Henry show at Loch Garten? (though Henry has gone missing). At Yat Rock our Peregrines have unofficial names but we don't make a thing of it.

John (Stroud Valleys, Glos)

lyndsey, chesterfield said...

just witnessed a brilliant feed, the 3 'bigger chicks had all had their fill and quickly feel asleep in a heap while 'tiddler' as he is affectionately known in our house kept on feeding until he too crashed out. wonderful to see, and if your interested project members, there was an excellent freeze frame shot around 20.14 where the parent left with the remains of that feed and it was quite a clear view of the carcass, it looked to me like a vole or similar as it appeared to have short front legs - now im no expert but i know you guys are!

Anonymous said...

Names for the falcons, not sure, I just call them Mum, Pop, and the 'Fab Four'.

Anonymous said...

Early breakfast at 6:15. Great viewing! Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

8.20am Both adults feeding chicks. Mesmerising. Veronica in Cornwall

Anonymous said...

Mother is having a job brooding them all now - they are growing so fast (hurrah). I was wondering, will they soon be the right size to be ringed? (Supposing you ARE going to ring them?) Who is the licensed ringer - and rather them than me abseiling on Derby cathedral - I've seen the pictures from previous years and that alone is enough to make me go dizzy!
Sue H, Wycombe

Jon Salloway said...

The height is one thing but do any of your remember the picture of 'scout' attacking the intruders.

I dont know if this works but if any of you are a member of the birdforum you may wish to see this picture of mum I took this weekend.

Anonymous said...

As Everybody seems to be dieting these days... I just wondered how we could ask 'mum' not to overfeed her 'little darlings'??? I wonder if this is a "true Nick-type" joke???

Anonymous said...

Don't work they are on the Atkins diet

Nick Brown (wildlife trust) said...

AS last year, ringing the chicks will happen when they are about 20 days old. We'll keep you informed nearer the time....and before you suddenly see dangling human legs appear on the web cams!
Before then I hope we will start the regular DWT-organised watch points now that a space has been made available to us....again, more on that when I've sorted out a rota of volunteers etc.
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Hi all
Yes John Salloway, I do remember the "scout" picture! The "intruders" were doing something (arguably) bad though - but I don't suppose the adult birds will necessarily take kindly to you putting their chicks in a bag and lowering them to the ground! Good luck to whoever has the task - I'm sure it's thrilling and wonderful (for a licenced ringer) to hold such creatures in the hand - but I couldn't do it for all the tea in China! I hope you'll switch the webcam off when the task is done, my fingernails couldn't stand the strain of watching! 20 days old - gosh, that's not too far away. They seem to be growing very fast though.
Sue H, Wycombe

Karen Anne said...

Not sure what I just saw. A parent was on the left, feeding the chicks, and the little guy had gotten right up front, so he or she seems to be doing okay.

Then in the next photo a parent was on the right, gathering the chicks in. I guess there was a lightening fast switch, one parent off the nest from the left and taking away the prey, and the other parent coming in to brood. In retrospect I wonder if it was Dad doing the feeding, as my impression is the brooding parent is larger.

Karen Anne said...

Is that an exceptionally clear picture from the pudding cam, or it is the time of day or something?

Penny said...

Just saw one parent land with food, strt feeding, then seemed to cover chicks up, and keep looking up at sky. Would anything, such as crows, attempt to predate the chicks if the nest was left unprotected for too long? We are gripped by the way!" Penny

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi Penny: no, the chicks should be completely safe. The parents are almost always around if not actually on the nest platform and they see off any potential threats very quickly.
Earlier in the year we had visits from ravens but they haven't been seen for ages as far as I know. Crows and magpies are about but not a threat -they keep well clear.
If we had any eagle owls, then they might nip in and grap a chick but we don't have any around at all, so you can relax on that front too!
Nick B (DWT)

lyndsey,chesterfield said...

my gosh!!!!
ive not been on since monday and i cant honestly believe how much the chicks have grown, in just a few days.
they'r really starting to take peregrine-like faces

PAT R said...

Did anyone see what was being fed to the chicks at the 6.30pm feed. I caught sight of the head of the bird and it did not look like pidgeon.A ringed leg was left in the nest scrape as the body was disposed of and then that seemed to be picked up and it disappeared. Maybe it was left there from a previous meal.Was anyone else watching?

tm said...

Hi pat r

Yes, I saw that too but wasn't too sure about the red ring until you confirmed it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks tm, I am sure we were not the only one's watching, maybe someone will be able to identify it

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