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)

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can confirm sightings of 004,005 & 007 (Tiddler). All seen yesterday (friday 27th) through a scope. This was by reading the ring number therefore 100% accurate.

JS

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Excellent John - many thanks for that information. Obviously it does increase our concerns for 003.
Nick B (DWT)

Penny said...

Just want to say a huge thank you for this fascinating and gripping project. We did come actually come to Derby, but as I am ill and not able to get out much especially not able to see much wildlife, this really has been a lifeline to me. Thanks xxx Penny

Anonymous said...

For anyone with mobility problems Sunday is a good day to visit.
Although the access to the site is not as easy as last year there is a limited amount of street parking which is more available on a Sunday.
If anyone is intending to visit tomorrow is the last opportunity for this year so please consider coming along you will be very welcome. Please allow time to wait around as the birds are now flying further afield and are out of view some of the time. When in view however they can produce some fantastic displays, we have seen the birds today practising passing food with mum and also appear to be playing tag!!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way of checking where + when + which in Uk numbered Peregrines are spotted? Perhaps that could be a way of getting more schools involved?
JA

Anonymous said...

The last time I saw number 003 was
on thursday 19/06/08 feeding on a roof top with mum :(
Regards
Colin

Terry, Herts UK said...

I echo Penny's thanks and wish her a full & speedy recovery. Apart from the great webcams and everyone involved in this project, it's also been a great pleasure exchanging thoughts and comments with the other contributors to this blog.

003? Well, she was a brave, feisty character from the start, wasn't she? Out there, perching on the ledge of the scrape well before her time. Perhaps too brave? :(

I suppose it's unlikely she has survived without the flying/hunting lessons from her parents but we live in hope.

Anonymous said...

Last thursday for a very short period of time there were 4 falcons on the pudding cam, 2 on the far gargoyle and then 2 more poped up very close to the camera, I am 99.9% sure that they were all youngsters so I am not worrying to much about 003 but then I am a "my glass is half full" kind of guy.

Gaz

Anonymous said...

Hi Gaz,
We were at the watch point yesterday from 10 until 2 and there was no sign of her then. We also spoke to the people on duty on Saturday and again they had not seen her, however we will keep fingers crossed.
On a brighter note the 3 boys were showing off their skills and are becoming stronger flyers.They were involved with food passes from dad and chasing with mum.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 11.50pm
Chick playing to the puding cam :-)

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada
I was wondering if next year when you band the chicks if you could give each one a different colour? it
would be easier to identify them

Min said...

I missed the final watch point as the children had activities to take part in. Was also sad that my son had a school trip to the cathedral but they were not taken told anything about the Peregrines, in fact they weren't mentioned at all. We have all enjoyed watching since they first nested this year right through to now. The blog has been great too. I've promised the boys we will buy the DVD as a reminder of what they saw on the webcams and site.

You've all done a fantastic job. We hope the young female is ok out there somewhere. What, if any, chance is there she is fine and well?

Min

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Pax; re the coloured rings - red is the Derbyshire colour, ie all young peregrines ahtched in this county get a red ring with cathedral ones on the right leg and all others on the left (ie the rural nests). Other counties have other colours so I'm afraid your (otherwise good) idea won't work.
Min: let's hope 003 is OK. Personally I think the chances she is well are not high but let's wait and see.
Nick (B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

12.40 GMT
bird on the pudding cam having a nap in the sunshine, looking very cute and cuddly.

Gaz

Froona said...

In spite of wishing and hoping 003 is OK, I have not seen her on any webcamshot since over almost 2 weeks now.
I capture everything from 6 in the morning till 10 in the evening, every 6 sec a pic. No sign of 4 juvies. I do wish I did, I really do!

But I have seen miraculous re-appearances before in past years at other nestsites. She might be a bit injured and been taken care after by both parents. F.i. a slight injury to a leg which has to heal. Perhaps she is still with us.

The 3 young tiercels seek eachothers company a lot on top of the pud. They are beautiful and growing up.
What's with the work in the background at the moment by the way? They sure are very curious about that!

Thanks for all the great work you are doing!!!

Froona

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 7.48pm
Thanks Nick, I am hoping we will see the female again,that she will surprise us one day soon on the pudding cam. I too was wondering what the big crane in the background is.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

There is quite a lot of development going on in Derby just now, including the revamping of Cathedral Green, the once grassy open space behind the cathedral.
It will be this that catches the attention of the juveniles since it is right in front of them as they look out from the tower.
Nick B (DWT)

Terry, Herts UK said...

What was seen in the background today was a mobile crane erecting a static crane for building work (obvious to some perhaps but not to all, I hope!).

Could prove to be a very useful, high perch for the peregrines as an alternative to the cathedral!

Terry, Herts UK said...

Some outstanding viewing in the last few mins...

Mum is on the ledge (pud cam) with some fresh prey (pigeon?). Shortly joined by one of the young tiercels. Then he dissapears for a while. In the background, could see at least two other large birds flying nearby.

Then a young one reappears and after some bowing, starts tucking in with Mumn's consent.

Another hungry tircel has just now arrived.

Froona said...

Got the whole late night snack thing captured. Great pics!!
Will be on my Blog later this evening.

Thanks Nick and Terry for the info about the crane in the background. Hope the juvies stay put on the Pud and do not move to the crane ;). I'm sure they will check it out though. Great perch indeed!
Froona

Terry, Herts UK said...

Thanks Froona for those great captures. The sunny weather certainly makes a great difference to the picture quality :)

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.37am
3 on the pudding cam one on the nest

Anonymous said...

08.50 GMT

There are 4 on the pudding cam & 1 on the scrape, cant make out the one at the back on the pudding cam but think its an adult.

Gaz

Audrey - London said...

8.45p.m. Two on pudding cam - good to see them!!