Monday, 11 May 2009


by Andy M. & Chris M.

A nice, bright breezy day saw about 100 visitors to the first watchpoint of the year on Derby's Cathedral Green.

Photo from Watchpoint in 2007We were treated to quite a good session with the falcon chasing her mate off a food cache at about 11.00 and feeding the chicks for a good quarter of an hour. Several visitors had very good views of the chicks being fed (some a bit too good and gory).

The tiercel [i.e. male] flew off eventually and was seen occasionally throughout the session, once flying past us with a small prey item. At around midday, he was seen high above the Cathedral with a Sparrowhawk below him. Both drifted off in opposite directions.

Around 13.00, the falcon became restless and left the nest for a short hunting trip, never losing sight of the Cathedral, and we were treated to her stooping onto two pigeons about 1/2 a mile away to the North. She was unsuccessful and eventually returned to the nest and fed on the remains of an earlier meal which had been left in the nest tray.

white pigeon 011
Photo by Colin Pass. Caption: No, I have not seen a white feral pigeon honest.

As Nick B mentioned earlier in the blog, and as regular visitors to Cathedral Green have thought for a couple of years, this tiercel doesn't seem to be the best of providers which is probably why the falcon has been seen taking squabs from pigeon nests around the Cathedral this last week. However, they are experienced parent who have successfully fledged every chick hatched, so there is no reason to think this won't be as successful!

All in all, a good day with pleasant and useful company throughout from Wayne and Colin (see earlier comments).

If you live within striking distance of Derby, I strongly recommend you visit one of the Watchpoints and see these marvellous birds for yourselves. We will definitely be in attendance on every Saturday throughout May (10.30 - 13.30) weather permitting and on other dates to be announced - see the diary pages for updates.

From Project Team:
Next official Watchpoint is on Saturday 16th May. 10:30am - 1:30pm

We'd also like to thank the bell ringers of Derby Cathedral who rang a 50-minute "quarter peal" of bells on Sunday 10th May in memory of Froona Veldhuis, a dedicated peregrine enthusiast from Holland who had written much about Derby's peregrines and many other sites in the northern hemisphere.
Our thanks, too, for lots of helpful replies to questions left on this blog's comments.


Here are some images uploaded to Flickr by webcam viewers on Monday May 11th

by Colin Pass
monday 11 05 09 058 Derby Tiercel

by Dave Arrowsmith
I can see you!!!

by rejsharp
Derby Peregrines 86

by rejsharp
Derby Peregrines 101

by Marski2009
dad gets told off


Anonymous said...

I didn't know peregrines could look guilty, up to know.
Hope to make one of the watchpoints in the near future, but can't make next Saturday.
Keep up the excellent work.
Chris, Alrewas

Anonymous said...

The Peregrine looks like a naughty child being caught taking sweets!!

Classic photo!!

Thanks, keep them coming.

n1ck said...

fantastic capture wish my lens could find magnificent shots like this

Ann ( Canada ) said...

What a fantastically funny picture and caption. I know you must think I am really thick as two planks of wood, but I still can't see how to save a picture with this IrfanView thingy. It seems to me easy if you have a picture already in your files. I have tried dragging the mouse across the picture but nothing happens. I need simple really simple step by step instructions PLEASE I am begging now. Maybe you could send them to my e-mail. I would really appreciate it. Remember to explain every little detail as I am new to computers. Thanks for anyone out there willing to help.P.S. Now I have a ticket for my Mother's Day gift yesterday can I have the tour again?

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Ann- I'll get my hubby to e-mail you some instuctions :)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Here goes.

1) Open webcam page
2) Open Irfanview
3) Watch webcam until interesting picture appears.
4) Find and press keyboard key labelled "PrintScreen" / "Prt-Scn" or similar. _its ofetn on the top line by the F1,F2 keys, but all keyboards differ.
5) Go to Irfanview and you'll just see a black screen. Use top menu bar to go to Edit>Paste (a shortcut is Ctrl + V)
6) Whoa! Sudeenly you get your whole PC screen appearing again - but actually its a photo of your last screen. Sort of deja vu.
7) Left click and drag your mouse across the screen image to create a box containing the content you weant to save.
8) Still in Irfan view, go to Edit>Crop Selection (a shortcut is Ctrl + Y. ie press the Ctrl key and hod it down, then touch the Y key once)
9) Have you got this far? Yes/No please tell us.

If you do, I'll then tell you how to save it later.
Oops - must dash - back son after you've tried this out. (Apologies for any typos.)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Saving in IrfanView

Having managed to paste in your screenshot, and edited it to remove all the unwanted elements from the picture, here’s how you save it:

1) At the top menu bar, go to File>Save As (a shortcut is simply to type the letter S )
2) From the box that now appears, select “Save in” to navigate to a place on your PC to store the image in. Such a place could be “My Documents” or “My Pictures” Type something itno the box labelled “filename” to give it a meaningful name, and “save as type” JPEG.
3) Click “Save” to write this image to your selected directory.
4) Instead of “Save As” you can select just “Save” but I like the way that Irfanview remembers the last directory you stored pictures in and offers that to you again via “Save As”

Using “Save” lets you find and open an existing image, edit it, then save it into the same directory. Whether you choose to give it a new name (thus retaining the original) or overwrite the original image by using the same name is then up to you.

I hope this helps. Sorry about all the typos earlier.

Phoebe said...

That's a cracking shot does he look guilty or what!

Kishore said...

The youngs ones just been fed on what looked like a small prey or bits of scrap. I would imagine hunting would be difficult with the winds blowing at around 35 km/h from NE. This is evident as the mother is shielding the little ones with her wings.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Will try all these instructions and let you know. Thanks so much it really is appreciated. Thank you to anyone willing to help.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Well that was great I just tried it step by step and it worked Thank goodness. I am so happy. Thank you so much for your patience I know have a cropped picture nicely saved. There is hope for me yet :)

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Now do I get the tour again in September my Mother's Day present was an airline ticket to Manchester.?????????????

Karen Anne said...

Feeding time. I can't see the prey, so it can't be very big, and the parent just left, leaving no prey visible.

The ones in the front got something. Tiddler, about half the size of the others, managed to work his way to the front, but I don't know if he got anything.

They sure are growing, so hopefully all is okay. Except for the prey...

It must be very windy, the parent's feathers were blowing way out.

Roger AT) said...

Both adults visible on the pudding cam, the falcon, further awy is plucking something.
Ratgher iindisinct shot on Flickr .. if you use lots of imagination you can see the feathers.

Anonymous said...

A juicy pigeon was just served for Dinner.

Phoebe said...

That was an interesting feed time. Dad got a telling off by the look on his face when Mum caught him in the nest!

Roger (AT) said...

So the youngsters are now full of food again. The tiercel was watching the scrape whilst the falcon plucked dinner near him on the tower. He watched the feeding, but only flew down when the falcon flew off to the larder. He got turfed out smartish when madam came back a few seconds later.

One suspects he is "inspecting" the remnants. There seems plenty for a few night-time feasts, and maybe breakfast too.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

You asked in comments in the previous post about the best place to park when coming to Derby. . .

I'd recommend the Park & Ride Service at Pride Park, right next to Derby County Football Stadium.
It's well signposted, costs c.£2.20 to get the bus right up to the Market Sqwuare/Council House (which itself is less than 2 minutes from Derby Cathedral.
Plus there's the added advantage that you can visit another project of mine - The Sanctuary - Derbys first bird reserve. It's all viewable from within the public car park, from which there's disbled access to two viewing points. When I wsa there a few days ago the follwing were all visible from within the Park & Ride Car Park: 50 Sand Martins in our artificial nest bank, four Little Ringed Plover, 7 Wheatear, a par of Buzzard, a family of Little Grebe, Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, a pair of breeding Mute Swan, two families of coot and breeding Lapwing, plus a couple of Canada Goose with a family of 7 little chicks. Those Canadians get absolutely everywhere (oops - probably shouldn't have said that! Only joking.)

@Anna (Canada) Last time you came to the UK, I was on my way out to go climbing in Mexico and we crossed mid-Atlantic. Think I might stay at home this time around!

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Good job we Anglo/Canadians don't get upset too easily A? :) Yes I remember we crossed paths hopefully will get to meet all of you this time. I will be based in Derby so have much more time. Will be better prepared for the climb up the tower if I can be allowed. Now I can crop my pictures thanks to all the help I am having even more fun. Love Colin's pictures.

Phoebe (Marski2009) said...

I just joined flickr and the Derby group, my name is Marski2009, I uploaded some pictures but they came out really small, what have I done wrong?


Helen said...

Phoebe - if you are using IrfanView you can resize the images before uploading them. Click on 'image' from the top menu bar on IrfanView and then on resize/redsample. You can then make your pictures larger by increasing the number of pixels. you need to make sure the box next to 'preserve aspect to ratio' is ticked, otherwise your image will be distorted.
Hope that helps.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

@phoebe Helen's right, but if the original webcam page was displayed on your screen was quite small to start with, then enlarging will only pixelate an otherwise tiny image.

I'm assuming from your remarks that screenshot you saved looked OK at your endbefore you uploaded it? What size was it?

Anonymous said...

I keep reading your details about 'Irfanview' and wonder what you mean, where do you get the 'irfan' from? Being as so many people keep doing this I thought I would try but cannot get this thing called'Irfan' where ever it is.

Keep up the fantastic shots, the little ones are growing daily but the little one still seems to be very small hope it will be OK. Joy

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...


It's free to download and use. No registration required.

Phoebe (Marski2009) said...

@ Nick

I think I have sorted it now. I deleted the small one and uploaded another one that looks bigger. I originally pasted a screen shot to a word doc. then copied it from there into paint (never used paint before) but then I got it into Picasa (somehow?) if you care to take a look in Derby groups to see if it looks ok to you?

Phoebe (Marski2009)

Roger (AT) said...

@ Phoebe: your screen-shot looks good. Nice one!

Phoebe (Marski2009) said...

Thanks Roger is that your comment on the flickr photo?

Roger (AT) said...

@Phoebe: Yes that's me :)
Sorry for the delay. I have been trying out a couple of different screen-capture and save progs. I still like Snagit over Irfanview but it costs 50 bucks instead of free!
Irfanview is simple and works, just needs a couple of clicks more than Snagit, and I am a lazy toad.

Roger (AT) said...

@Phoebe: There is a nice description of how to use Irfanview in the blog, see it a few inches above.
Using such a screen capture and save prog will save you the trouble of moving your image from one application to another, and losing control of size and quality.
If you look very closely at your save on Flickr you will see that the image is little bit "rough". Saving direct as gif file from Irfanview would improve that.

I have added you as a Contact in Flickr .. which means you can see my email address. Send me a note if you would like any more detailed explanation. ( Never put your email address in a blog ... you risk getting spammed to death).

Anonymous said...

Just seen Mum bring breakfast home.

Roger (AT) said...

Yesterdays dinner served for breakfast! Shot posted on Flickr.

@Phoebe: I have put some screenshots on my photostream for you. How to install and use Irfanview. Between my notes and the other helpful instructions in the blog, you should be OK.

Anonymous said...

Do any of the team access the nest between now & when the youngsters leave ? The reason I ask is the pigeon rings could be identified & the owners informed,its the least that could be done having provided the meal

Anonymous said...

Another program you may want to look at is MWSnap 300, again it's free. The program gives you the opportunity to select exactly what you want to save and doesn't require cropping later. Try Google to locate the file download.

chrisx said...

Just looked at Colin's superb pic of the tiercel. Is it the left leg that has been causing him problems? Its just that on the pic it looks a slightly different colour and (I may be mistaken) slightly swollen. It may be just shadodw etc ..

Kishore said...

Feed time pix on flickr

Jayne said...

I've been following every day, reading the blog posts but not finding anything to add extra to everyone else's comments but today I've logged on and I just cannot get over how the chicks seem to have grown seemingly overnight, they seem to be really finding their own feet so to say now!!!

John B (not the sloop) said...

That "wot me?" photo is now my wallpaper of choice on several gadgets. The last time I saw anything like that was the post coital behaviour of a male Avocet. He "disengaged", ran away to a safe distance, turned his back and started feeding rather ostentatiously. As was as if his ladyfriend's partner had just returned home suddely.

Karen Anne said...

Which photo shows an apparently injured leg?

chrisx said...

@Karen Ann

Colin's pic of the tiercel against a blue sky (top pic in the group today) - its not really obviously injured - just wondered if it looked a slightly different colour and was very very slightly swollen. As I said - could be a trick of the light.

Anonymous said...

Something's bothering the parent in the nest - it keeps looking up. I've been noticing it for the last few mins. If the project team is watching at the same time as me perhaps they could shed some light.

Anonymous said...

A quick peep during my lunch break!
Glad all going on well so far and the little 'uns growing like weeds.
I saw some comment about rings ... when the summer has passed, well after activity around the scrape has finished, the team have in previous years gone on "clearing up" duties and all the grotty bits and pieces cleared up. On a previous occasion, a ring was found and was carefully identified. It was a ring administered by ringers from Stockhold, if memory serves. For anyone interested in more details, I'm sure it's all on the archive somewhere. Happy reading!
In case anyone interested, we have the hobbies around here (Tring reservoirs) On Sunday, they were way up in the sky mostly (seeking insects) but we saw one catch a swift on the wing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. about the Sanctuary. I heard about the sand martins through the TV series last autumn but had never discovered how to get to the nature reserve (the Meteor Park 'n' Ride is nearer for me).
I'm away for several weekends, but hope to get to a watchpoint some time before the chicks fledge.

Kate in Derby

Phoebe aka Marski2009 said...

Dad seems to be keeping a low profile this afternoon...

Paul said...

Snack time .... nice to see tiddler pushing his way to the front ... come on my son.

Terri said...

Yes they're growing incredibly fast aren't they, which is really great 'cos they're obviously very healthy. Even Tiddler is doing well and it's not so obvious now which one Tiddler actually is!
It's getting on for 2 weeks since hatching - will they be ringed in the next week or so? I was just wondering whether they can be sexed at the time of ringing? It looks like we have at least one female judging by the size of those clod hoppers :)

Roger (AT) said...

Another long feed. Did anyone see who brought it? Both parents in the tray when I turned on.
All chicks got a good share, the falcon moved around so the chick at the back got extra at the end. Little Tiddler got such a beakfull that he nearly exploded. ( I was worried that he had choked for a minute ). Shots in Flickr shortly.

Phoebe aka Marski2009 said...

@ Roger
I watched that feed, must have caught it at the same time as you. I saw the tiercel perched on the nest edge. I think he could have brought the food in, no sure though. I got a few pic too.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Watched the DVD today again which I purchased last year and just want to say to anyone who hasn't bought it yet that it is a fantastic film. Go out and buy it - you won't regret it.

By the way, for my birthday tomorrow we are coming up from South Wales. Will there be anyone about or anything to see?

Mary Tong - Caerphilly

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

There may be someone on the Green when you are here but you can always go into either the Museum or the Cathedral Coffee Shop and view things on the monitors. If you come to the Cathedral please make yourself known as I am on duty for most of the day and it is always good to meet members of 'the family'!

Karen Anne said...

I'll put in a plug for the DVD also. It is really wonderfully done. And remember the proceeds almost all go to the project.

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger (AT) said...

They are getting second helpings of dinner! No wide open beaks this time.

Phoebe aka Marski2009 said...

@ Roger - I wondered what was going on.

@ Colin - Thanks for your post updating on the 18:30 feed.

Karen Anne said...

The tiercel is probably busy shooing off other women :-) like a few days ago.

Poor guy, does he get any time in the nest with the chicks?

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

All fasters, how peaceful they look. Wonder if dad's out for the evening.......