Monday, 18 May 2009

Camera Problems

Derby Peregrines 154

For a short while we had our main camera stuck on night-time imaging today, but the problem with its iris control now seems to have been resolved. Whether this will cause a return to the alternating between day/night illumination that we had last year, only time will tell.

We've also been investigating the problems reported in early May whereby some users failed to get a refreshed image, whilst others had no problems. Both ends of the system (ie Streamdays and Derby City Council) doubt it has to do with them, or if it has to do with too many users watching at once. But the problem does seems to have ceased now that we're down to around 5,200 hits webcam per day from peaks around 7,000 at egg-laying time.

So, even if not grounded in hard evidence, could we suggest that you consider closing (or following a link away from) the webcam page when you've finished watching - especially as interest peaks again as the chicks approach fledging time?

It may also be timely for the Project Team to remind everyone that this blog's comments page is in danger of becoming more like a discussion forum, with lots of comments going back and forth unnecessarily. However, one particularly helpful comment has been left by Roger Sharp to aid people in uploading photos to our Flickr Group Pool. Follow this link to see images of how to do it. And just as with comments not relevant to the main purpose of this site, photos not relating to Derby Cathedral and its birds are liable to be be removed from the Flickr Pool.

______________________________________________

Here are some of our webcam images captured by viewers on May 19th and uploaded to our Flickr Group Pool.

by Fiona Arrowsmith
family meeting

by k_15H0r3
19 05 09

by Ann ( Canada )
A Tender Moment

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 9.54am
one chick has gone walk about :)

Roger (AT) said...

Plea to Hr. Cam-Meister! (Nick?) Please zoom in a bit and correct the focus.

@ Project team member:
Thanks for kind words - I really threw the how-to-do-it images together a bit quickly, I hope they help rather than confuse!
I will try and create a more rational and less crowded set when i have an hour or two free

Terri said...

Any news on ringing or have I missed it in my absence? It looks like the rest of May is likely to be wet and unsettled. How late can ringing take place and still be possible as the chicks grow so rapidly?

Phoebe said...

I read in an earlier post that ringing may be this week, weather permitting.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Roger (AT) said...

@ Phoebe:
Your memory is good.

On Fri 15th the team post was "It will soon be time to try and ring our own birds which we're hoping to arrange for later in the week (weather permitting)."

Roger (AT) said...

Who said that they envy the ringers? Just look at the state of that tray, it is well "whitewashed" now, and I bet it's a bit whiffy too :))

Feeding time now - they seem more relaxed about feeding, not so much jostling forward with open beaks - mind you - there is no sound on the webcam!

Sue in Bucks (Legal Eagle) said...

Both adults on the nest

wayne1984 said...

@ project team, can you tell me how long the chicks will stay around after their first flight, as i have been told conflicting information about the length of time they stay around.

Sue in Bucks (Legal Eagle) said...

And now the camera's frozen?
One chick had wandered off - and yes, what a lot of "whitewash".

Sue in Bucks (Legal Eagle) said...

As you were - I clicked on "refresh" and all back to normal

Roger (AT) said...

That secondary feeding was wonderful to watch. I have not seen both parents so long together with their young.
Tha falcon had already fed them, when the tiercel brought the meal back to the tray and had a nibble.
Madam was soon perched on the shelf edge, obviously a "control is better than trust" type. He fed the chicks sweetly for quite a while.

He has now flown off, whilst the falcon sits on the edge looking very contented.

Phoebe said...

@ Roger,
I agree it was a delight to watch such a closeness between the family. Such a tender moment. So relaxed.

wayne1984 said...

did anyone see the what prey it was that was caught or was it scraps from before??

Karen Anne said...

Thanks for posting the photos of both parents at feeding time on flicker. Great for those of us who step away from the computer from time to time :-)

Roger (AT) said...

@ Wayne1984:
They were fed on leftovers - nothing new as far as I could tell.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 3004pm
nice to see the other side of the nest, falcon is over there now

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hurrah! I see there is a repeat of flikr instructions on the header entry. I shall throw caution to the wind and print them off at work tomorrow (I really have to work from paper - and my printer is broken) I got some nice shots of the whole family at the scrape tonight - it would be wonderful to share them.
Ref questions about ringing - I thought it was any day now.

Anonymous said...

Multi view is back! Brill, and right now shows the falcon on the other (normally unseen) end of the scrape.
RJ

Paul said...

Good morning all
Just doing my nightly check.
Nice to get all the views back... and you will be pleased to know that the babes are asleep, and Mum and Dad are sitting on the scrape edge together .. Ahhh.
What a great family, never watched them before, but now totaly hooked for my daily fix.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Looks like breakfast!, great that multi view is back, we can see what the little tykes get upto in the east wing now!

Roger (AT) said...

I agree Fiona, it is great to see the multiview again.

The youngsters have started to venture into it, lots of space to flex their wings.

We will also be entertained at night by the spider, that glows in the webcams LED lights. If she gets too fat, perhaps a chick will wonder what she tastes like.

@ Team:
What spec are the cameras that you use? My house security cams give a very poor image compared to yours.

I get lots of wildlife in my garden and would like to give webcamming a try.

Another Q about the ringing exercise. Do you have to put a safety net under the tray? - in case a chick gets too alarmed and jumps overboard? The fall onto the nave roof looks quite unpleasantly long.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@Roger;
Good questions about the chicks, Surely they would 'float' down rther thatn just drop? Hopefuly this won't happen!

We also want to get my sons school 'webcamming' next spring if it's possible. inspired by the Derbyshire schools project myself and my hubby want to try and raise funds for their very own nestcam.

I think mum is up top, and are those some sneaky little feathers i can see peaking through??? :)

Roger (AT) said...

Ha ha ... Fiona - those adventurous little rascals look a bit too chubby to "float" ! Hence my question.

Good on you and Mr. A to encourage a webcam at the school.

The mix of learnings is bound to be beneficial. The technology behind the cams and routing pictures to internet will enthrall some, and the secret view into the creatures lives will spark the imaginations of others.

In addition, the end result can be shared by a great many enthusiasts all over the world.

I never thought 2 months ago that I would have bookmarks on my PC for a nest of peregrines on a cathedral, and multiple nests of blue and great tits in English schools!

If you get it off the ground you can put me down for a shillings worth!

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Roger;
Thankyou i shall bear that in mind, i think it's fabulous that schools are so into nature, it can only be a good thing!! :)

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi hopeful home web-cammers
I believe kits for placing in nest boxes are readily available now. I'm sure they'd be in the RSPB gift catalogue and I recently saw some "on the shelf" in a shop - can't recall exactly where, maybe it was at the WWT Minsmere site? I've been told they're not massively expensive.
Right, now for that surreptitious print of flikr instructions ... (I've taken great care to spell "surreptitious" correctly - as an ex literacy teacher, I feel it incumbent upon me to raise some of the standards of spelling that I see on this blog!)
All is peace in the scrape!

Roger (AT) said...

Aha thanks to cocotaqs for the extra pix uploaded to Flickr - ones with both parents.

I am totally hopeless at guessing which parent is which.

The webcam angle and perspective don't help, they even make Tiddler look big when he/she is at the front.

Roger (AT) said...

@ Sue: nice one! I would have put in only 1 r and about 3 too many u's.

Personally, it is not my spelling that is so bad, it is my two fingered typing, and failure to read it over in preview before hitting the submit button.

Seamus said...

@SRoger and sue, its great to have a nesting box in the school, gives pupils a real buzz and plenty to talk about and was as a good topic for a nature project. A web cam would make it even more interesting. We had one in the school here few years back, but no web cams then. Unfortunatley our nesting blue tits became a target of a local predator (later identified as a sparrow hawk), within view of a group of year 5 students. They are quite common here so its worth checking your local area, otherwise the project can back fire.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Your spelling is fine, Roger. And I think most of us are guilty of proof reading AFTER we've committed our pearls of wisdom to the blog. My gentle tease was directed at such howlers as "birds of pray" - although this is a smashing name for birds that live on a cathedral.
Are you an ex-pat living in Austria, or a real live Austrian? Either way, 10 out of 10 for english language and grammar.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Camera and installation details are all on our tecnical page - a sub-page of our project homep[age.
Cam 1 is 540TVL (=TV lines)
Cam 2 is c 480TVL
Cam 3 is c 380 TVL

http://www.derby.gov.uk/LeisureCulture/MuseumsGalleries/EnvironmentalProjects/Technical_Info.htm

For anyone with spelling problems, you can always copy your published comments into a new comments window, republish thet, then delete the first one.

Chick ringing is done at an age when the birds cower into a corner. Wait too long and they than run about madly -that's when they could fall off or injure the ringer. As for floating gently down - no; it's not something they would survive. But they have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years not to rush madly about and fall from their nest ledges.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Gimme a break Derby Museum, I'm still grappling with the technicalities of learning flikr (although I think I see what you're saying about blog corrections) My cunning plan about printing the flikr guide at work failed as it's a blocked site (drat) As for ringing, the chicks look to be huddling well at the moment - a bit of wandering about has started with one of the big ones - so I guess anytime soon?

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I see elvenses are slightly early this morning!

The only excuse i can muster for my terrible spelling is that i'm usually trying to entertain my two year old whilst typing!!
She loves to watch the 'Penegines' but isn't quite so keen when i start blogging! :)

Phoebe said...

@ Sue in bucks

Could you copy the page and paste it into a Word document and then print that? I do it all the time. Or use Irfanview.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@Phoebe - that was a good suggestion but won't work in my case. The trouble is that my work place "Electronic Communications Policy" is really fierce (and rightly so) and won't even let me see the site. Sigh! I'll just have to fiddle round it at home - the problem there being that my old printer is broken and the new one has not yet been fully hooked up to the PC - but I will get there eventually.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Chick going walkabout again

Karen Anne said...

If you use Firefox, it will spellcheck in the fly and underline in red misspellings. Go to Tools, Options, Advanced, General, and check on Check my spelling as I type.

Additionally, if you right click on the red underlined word, it will present you with possible words it thinks you mean.

Terry, Herts UK said...

20% discount on RSPB garden bird food. click here

Roger (AT) said...

@ Sue:
I have similar issues with works IT system, luckily I work 80% at home.
Take the screenshots at home, then email them to work address.

Print them there.

I also do this the other way round, when the office printer is having a bad day!

wayne1984 said...

Hi everyone just back from the cathedral again, not alot happening to be honest both mum and dad sat on the water spouts all the while i was sat there, hopefully they have had a good hunt and have the food ready, otherwise they are being lazy again. cant wait to see the chicks start flying around.

Roger (AT) said...

@ Project team:
Thanks for info and link to the gear.

We are such inveterate & long-winded bloggers, that your reply was two metres up the page.

Terri said...

Thanks to Project Member (Derby Museum) for info on ringing. It would be a pity to miss the "window of opportunity" due to this horrid weather we're having. I hope it's improving over in Derby, it's not too bad in Newark today, fairly bright and breezy. Re. my earlier comment, I wasn't sure what "later in the week" meant as it was already Friday then and the week was pretty much already over, so I guess you meant some time later this week! (With my luck, I'll probably find you're busy doing it as I speak.)
Just hoping the little rascals won't be too traumatized by it. As we just got a 7-week old kitten and he has cat flu so we're busy ramming medication down him and he doesn't understand why we're torturing him when we're supposed to be bonding with him, very confusing times.

wayne1984 said...

@ team member, can you please inform me of how long it will be before the chicks actually leave the cathedral area?

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

One gone walkabout again.
@Wayne - I'm sure there must be something on the past years archives about post-fledging - if you can bear to wade through it all! I just can't remember what happened.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@Wayne - I checked out the archive myself, and in 2008, the last reference to observing juveniles was 19th August, so we can look forward to still seeing "our" 2009 birds for another 3 months. Hurrah!

Phoebe said...

Watching the morning feed at 10:42 – it was interesting to see how the chicks are observing how Mum prepares the food bites. They are getting increasingly inquisitive and looking out from the scrape. They are feeding in a more orderly manner and walking away when they’ve had enough, they are very mobile at the moment. You can see the adult feathers coming through on the wings. During this feed I noticed the Falcon seemed to be distracted by something and after some glances around promptly flew up to the gargoyle leaving food remnants on the edge of the scrape – even the chicks were looking around at whatever it was! I will put some pix on Flickr shortly.

Kishore said...

Feed being prepared on the pud cam. Will put images on flickr later - have to dash out now.

Phoebe said...

Feedtime …

Interesting to see Mum finishing the plucking in front of the chicks. I think she is teaching them how to prepare a meal. They are watching and learning all the time. I wonder when they will start helping themselves, I’m sure it won’t be long now.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Lunch time (both mine and the birds - but I don't expect anyone is desperate to know MY arrangements)

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 9.16am
chick on other side of the scrape

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
chick on other side of nest doing some wing flapping, Dad is on the pudding cam

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Looks like dad is doing a spot of 'sitting'......

Roger (AT) said...

Thanks to Phoebe Kishore and cocotags - great shots on Flickr,
and to the bloggers for the running commentary. It makes a very relaxing 40 minutes - catching up on the days events, and unwinding after a day at the grindstone.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

I;m home from the grindstone - and just off to choir practice! (no peace for the wicked)
The "downy four" are all huddled together peacefully snoozing.

wayne1984 said...

has anyone seen any change to feed times {more / less regular?

Phoebe said...

I think the feeds seem to be bigger more lately as for frequency it might be worth reading through previous posts.

Marie said...

Marie from Derbyshire

I noticed last night Monday 18th May after dark on Falcon did not return home!! I have been watching at regular intervals all day today, and it is now 10.30pm and there is still only one adult Falcon, I hope the remaining parent will be help to raise the chicks!!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@Marie, don't panic, check out Paul's comment timed at 01:33 on 19th May.

wayne1984 said...

@ marie, the other adult will be about somewhere but because of the limited views from the cameras they may just be out of shot. i am sure it would take literally thousands of cameras to cover the whole of the cathedral. so just because you may not see the two adults does not mean they are not both around. i know for one instance, if it is raining there the male goes into a whole above the nest ledge to keep out of the rain, this is not shown on the camera's but is clearly visable if you are there in person. hope this helps

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Marie:
Have a look in the photopool (flickr)you will see quite a few shots of both mum and dad with the 'little big' ones that have been captured today :)

Roger (AT) said...

May 20th The youngsters are waking up and stretching their stumpy little wings.
Parent (male?) sits on the edge of the tray looking round.
Screenshot on Flickr.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I see that they are all huddled and cuddled this morning, i expect they will be awaiting 'breaky'!!

Roger (AT) said...

The falcon has delivered and served a quick breakfast. The youngsters are back a huddle for a rest.

I expect they will be exploring the tray before long.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

The chicks just looked so funny. They were all in a huddle, in the usual favourire corner, then they all sort of fell backwards. They laid like that for a while, then started sorting themselves out. One wanderer had gone to the other side of the tray, two are in another corner and the 4th is having a bit of flapping practice. Oh - al change - now another one's running down to the other side of the tray. They're getting very lively little characters now!

Julie said...

Looks like Mum is on guard whilst chicks move around. Dad is above watching. He is on one leg and I was worried he had hurt the other but guess he may be trying to get some sleep? Does anyone know WHY birds sleep on one leg?

Roger (AT) said...

Three chicks sprawled out snoozing, and one scuttling about in the second side of the tray.

Oh! Yes project team. I hope the famous Ringers will take a feather duster down with them - to get that dratted spider off the webcam!

As I type the sleepy chicks are stirring and look like joining in the gymnastics.

Karen Anne said...

Julie, I always assumed it was to rest the leg they weren't standing on :-) Also, the leg stays warmer when it is tucked up into the feathers, I imagine.

Julie said...

Karen - now you've made me want to knit them some socks!!!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

A lot of scuttling around going on in the platform - the little blighters are going to be tricky for the ringers to catch, I reckon!
As I type, there's an adult perched on the rim of the platform on the right hand camara view.
And just out of idle curiosity, @Roger, where's that spider (I really must get that appointment made down at the opricians!)
[Sorry - a late proof read, so I deleted and reposted with a correction - thought people would wonder what "scutting" was. I felt obliged, having earlier revealed my ex-literacy teaching career!]

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

We seem to have split camps today, two in the west wing, two in the east wing!
Haven't been able to watch much today but i'm hoping hubby has made it to the watchpoint this morning (lucky devil works in Derby!)

Kishore said...

@Sue in Bucks - the spider is only visible at night in the dark (spooky huh). I reckon the spider has abandon the cam by now - only bits of the web remains. Have a look when its dark, you might just see the remnants of the web.

Julie said...

Must be boys one side and girls the other today maybe? They seem very content with the arrangement.

Love the multiview and the addition of spider cam! Bought a new laptop yesterday so have even bigger and better views now. Was wondering if there is a support group for peregrine watchers anon for when the chicks have flown?

Julie said...

And, of course, as I sent that last comment they all moved to the same side!!!!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hey @Kishore, thanks for the info. I have to go to Buckingham Uni for law school tonight but should be home by 11pm. I'll check out that spider then!! (Then I have to make a cake, talk about no peace for the wicked)
The right hand side of the platform is currently the chicks preferred place. They are definitely continuing to get very lively and a potential challenge to ringers.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Feeding time

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Both adults on the web cams - one on the platform, one on pudding cam
(incidentally, where exactly on the cathedral is what pudding cam is pointing at - I couldn't see where "in real life" when I was last at Derby) I suppose I could work it out if I knew where Jury's Hotel was - but I don't! I know exactly where the RHS platform is pointing. to gain bearings.
PS - I should be doing law homework, not idling away looking at the birds!!!!!

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Looks like tea was somewhat messy..........

Terri said...

It's just great seeing the chicks walking around the nest platform and I can see now why the multi-view is so much more useful at this stage. The chicks seem to be favouring the right hand side at the moment, maybe it's a bit less smelly over there! Any 'new' news on ringing? Are we looking at tomorrow or Friday now? Those chicks might be slippery customers looking at the size of them.

Phoebe said...

Feed time.... again!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the chicks just found some more walls that need whitewashing. ;-)

Phoebe said...

I was at the Cathedral Green today from 11:15 until 15:15, the tiercel was not seen throughout this time. The Falcon sat on the edge of the tray mostly, then she flew up to the gargoyles and sat near the pudding cam. She had a few flights around the Cathedral but not out of its sight. At about 15:00 she was flying very high and was seen stooping way behind Jury's Inn. She came back empty handed.

Did anyone see who brought the prey in for the 15:30 feed?

Roger (AT) said...

All 4 chicks are in the RHS tray - having a great time.

@Sue (Bucks):
I believe that Jury's hotel is on King St, so roughly in the right hand tray direction. If you look at the map from this home-page and zoom in you will see the car park and street that is visible past the right hand tray.

The wretched map does not say if UP=North but I expect so.

Luckily, the tray location is marked on the map with a big fat red cross.

Dave Arrowsmith said...

Yes, Jurys is on the corner where King Street joins St Alkmunds Way (A601)

Anonymous said...

I do not know how this is natural. Building boxes to house them, when they should be building their own nest.

Also do you believe this is good for the local bird population and other birds around the country when the RSPB and support groups like yourself are supporting this kind of project. Leave nature to itself and stop all this waste of money. I believe there are too many peregrines all over the UK.