Friday, 27 June 2008
Watchpoint ends this weekend
After six weeks of daily operation, with hundreds of people coming along to see the peregrines, the Watch Point, organised by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, comes to an end this weekend (the last day is Sunday 29th).
A huge thanks to the 20 or so dedicated volunteers who have trundled the telescopes, table, donations boxes, plastic model peregrine, banner and box of leaflets to and from the area among the fencing set aside for the Watch Point.
It has been a trying season, with so much redevelopment going on all around and Full Street cordoned off by ugly barriers. No wonder that donations have been down on last year when we were able to welcome people to Cathedral Green when it was still green and open.
Having just looked at pudding cam and seen probably four birds up there in the fading evening light, we can be pleased with the way the season has gone. We do have concerns about one of the four young (possible the female 003) who has not been seen now for a week as far as we know.
However, there comes a time when these young birds simply have to face a difficult and dangerous world on their own. We've done what we can to give them a start - it's down to them now. The photos by Colin Pass show one of the young flying in front of the platform and another about to 'mewt' - the old falconers term for you know what!
Incidentally, early on Thursday morning, the project team was called to a local solicitors close to the cathedral. In one of the offices the staff had heard flapping from behind a closed-off fireplace - clearly, something had fallen down the chimney...could it be a peregrine?
We unscrewed the boarding revealing a pile of debris and soot but no bird. It was higher up the chimney and had to be reached by putting a hand up into the darkness. Fortunately it proved to be a wood pigeon, which, apart from losing a few feathers, seemed none the worse for its adventure. It was released much to the delight of the office staff of course who were not relishing the thought of a bird of whatever species left to die a slow death in their chimney.
Obviously, although both adults and young only occasionally use the nest platform now, the present of pud-cam will allow folk to keep an eye on the family when they perch above the platform on the gargoyles, as tonight.
Watch out for new exciting news about the DVD coming shortly plus regular updates about what we are seeing from the ground.
Nick B (DWT)