We now have two chicks hatched out. The picture above was captured by Larelle_M_R on 30th April at 3pm.
What follows below is a blow-by-blow account of developemnts on Wednesday evening as we got more and more evidence of first one, then a second chick hatching out. The shell-nibbling video clip is worth watching out for. We hope to bring some proper videos of these moments to you in the near future.
We have evidence that our first egg has hatched!
About 19:15pm this evening Nick M (who has sound) heard distinct rasping/cheeping noises and kept watching until he got some evidence, but pretty soon the female covered the eggs up from view again.
Checking back on the captured images we can show the first glimpse of a broken egg with what certainly looks like the chick still inside. Click the image to see a larger version.
(Note: This blog entry was updated at intervals throughout the evening as we get more information and images during the course of the night, culminating in a second chick appearing around 11pm.)
About 20:25 we had superb views of the half shell which the female then began to chew. We plan to bring you a stop motion video later this evening of her eating the egg. This is an important way for mother birds to restore some of their denuded calcium stocks, and has nothing to do with keeping the nest tidy as someone asked earlier this evening. ....so now we want a clear view of the first chick...but she's not giving us that option at present!
Derek Ratcliffe in his famous reference book, says that peregrines nibble at egg shells but don't really seem to devour them...they just crumble and disappear in little bits. In one year we did seem to get very convincing evidence of the egg being consumed, rather than dropping away. Here's a stop motion video we've put together from webcam images captured earleir this evening.
We're already starting to get our first pictures added to our new Flickr photo pool for Derby Cathedral Peregrines, so thank you and keep them coming!
This very first image of our first chick was posted by Jennifer Windridge on our new Flickr group which itself only hatched today - proving it was worth all the effort to get it up and running in time.
This next image was captured and posted by Dave Arrowsmith.
This image labelled "chick1" was posted by rajenkinson but it does look rather like at 23:01 it's captured the second egg in the moment of hatching, presumably with Mum taking a well-earned break for a moment.
And at 6.30 am today (Thursday 30th) there was a prolonged feeding by the female bird of two tiny white chicks with the other two unhatched eggs clearly visible.....it's going well so far!