Friday, 5 December 2008

Talk on the Derby Peregrine Project

Next week (16th) Nick Brown will give a talk about Derby Peregrine Project to Carsington Bird Club (see http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk/ for details). The club welcomes non members so if you live within striking distance, do come along (£2 entry). Copies of the DVD will be on sale (at £6 each) - great as a stocking filler, as we said before (see the blog entry two down from this one - 29th October - for details of how to purchase a copy direct from the wildlife trust and have it posted to you before Christmas...or if you are in Derby you can buy it direct from Derby Museum or Cathedral shops).


A week ago my partner and I visited a very well known peregrine nesting area - namely the sea cliffs at South Stack near Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey in NW Wales.

The weather was cold though sunny as you can

see from the photo which shows South Stack Lighthouse sticking out into the Irish Sea.


After a walk up Holyhead mountain (where a distant peregrine was seen sitting on a rock) on returning to the car park just above the lighthouse we were treated to a fine flying display by a female peregrine and soon after by the same bird and her mate.

Initially she was floating along above the clifftop but then she suddenly changed up a few gears and sped off out to sea, gaining height as she went. She had seen something - a wood pigeon. She made a stoop at the pigeon but missed because the wily pigeon closed its wings and fell like a rocket down and out of sight below the clifftop, followed swiftly by the falcon. Wonderful stuff!


Then, once she re-appeared empty taloned, she circled up with her mate high into the blue sky until lost from sight. Also seen from the same point were a couple of ravens and a small group of chough, a delightful member of the crow family which has red beak and feet and feeds mainly on insects - South Stack is a favourite place for this rare bird.
Charles Tunnicliffe, the famous bird artist who lived not far away until his death in 1979, used to visit these cliffs to sketch peregrines. After he died, a book showcasing his peregrine paintings, wood cuts and line drawings was published. Called "A Peregrine Sketchbook" it is still in print and well worth purchasing. (about £20 a copy).

Nick Brown (DWT)

16 comments:

Karen Anne said...

Somebody's wing or possibly a whole poor somebody is on the pudding cam area, it's hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is on the pudding cam area? Looks like a whole bird but can't tell because of the light!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

A visit to the top of Derby Cathedal's 450 year old tower earlier this week revealed that the "mystery" bird on pudding cam is a woodcock. There were three or four sets of remains of these quite rare birds, plus a few bits fo snipe or jack snipe (not quite sure which). There was also the corpse of a teal (a kind of duck), plus the headless remains of possiboly a dunlin.
Nick
(Derby Museum)

Karen Anne said...

Thanks, Nick. And thanks again to all of you for the hard work you do.

How is funding for the project going?

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.33am
lovely shot of a falcon on the pudding cam

Karen Anne said...

Peregrine at the pudding cam.

Karen Anne said...

I uploaded a couple of screen saves:

http://members.cox.net/katkolling/peregrine.JPG

http://members.cox.net/katkolling/peregrine1.JPG

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.04am
falcon having breakfast at the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.10am
falcon on the gravel

Karen Anne said...

Peregrine at the nest box.

Roger B. said...

That brings back memories from 1981 when I worked as a summer warden at South Stack.

My duties included keeping an eye on a peregrine nest and I spent many happy hours watching the birds hunting against a back-drop of spectacular coastal scenery.

The choughs were my favouries though!

LYNNE said...

Peregrine on Pudding Cam.

9.27am

Lynne said...

Peregrine on nest Platform

9.18am

LYNNE said...

Peregrine on nest Platform

9.18am

LYNNE said...

Peregrine in Right hand side of Nest Box

9.15am

LYNNE said...

The Peregrine has now moved over the the Left Hand Side of the Nest Box and is Scraping the Nest.

9.19am