Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Did She Fall, or Was She Pushed?

(Update Wednesday 8 am: the flown youngster is still on one of the gargoyles on the north side of the tower where it was all night. The other three are still in the platform).

Our posting earlier yesterday (Tuesday) detailed some of the events that unfolded at Derby Cathedral's tower. The full story of that first flight can be seen in the video clip below:




For those interested to know more of what happened, here's my rather long-winded account of some of today's events:

It so happened that around lunchtime I was already inside the bell-ringing chamber, checking on yesterday's video clips when a mobile phone call came in from Nick at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. It suggested that one of our juvenile birds had left the nest. So, swapping immediately back to the live cameras I found that, sure enough, where there had just a few minutes before been four birds, now there were only three. Nick urged me to look out over the nave roof as reports from the Green suggested it may have fallen straight down onto it. But peering out of the window of Derby's highest toilet, there was no sign of the peregrine.




Rushing back to the video recorder and reviewing film captured only moments before, it soon became clear that our young bird had not taken off in usual style. Rather, she had stumbled in the breeze and lost her footing. (Or was she pushed? ). This was more serious, so a trip out onto the nave roof was called for, guided by mobile calls to Colin and Wayne out on the Green below. The adult female was calling loudly and I was watched by three juvenile birds on the tray high above me as I stepped carefully onto the lead-covered ridge of the 18th century nave roof. Walking along its full length, there was still no sign, and by now people were gathering from nearby offices, some offering to search the surrounding area. Back inside the tower, word soon came through that she had been spotted on the low roof of a nearby building. She was safe. For now.

(This great photo by Colin Pass captures 010 mid-fall! Please note that the photo is Colin's copyright) .


I returned to complete the task of putting a few clips onto DVD for our blog and for local TV, promising to drop them into to the TV station on my way back to work. I rather liked this one of the remaining three birds excitedly bouncing around the platform a few minutes after the first bird had left:









But as I was about to descend down the tower's long, dark spiral staircase another call came in . . . the bird had eventually come down and, after a bit of a chase around a car park, Colin had captured it! I wouldn't have dared do this without gloves, but Colin is an experienced falconer and knows Photo: Wayne1984how to handle the birds. So there was falcon (number 010) calmly sitting in a cardboard box in the Cathedral. We showed her to a number of young boys from Derby Cathedral Choir who had just arrived for a rehearsal and told them how, with any luck, this bird might grow up to be one of the fastest creatures on the planet.

Meanwhile Tony the Head Verger had arrived from his day off, followed shortly afterwards by a photographer from Derby Evening Telegraph whom, along with our young falcon, we took back up to the top of the tower. There she was photographed (you'll have to buy tomorrows local paper to see all the pictures, I'm afraid) and she eventually let go of the long leather gauntlets we were using to protect ourselves from those sharp talons and scuttled off into a corner. We left her there, knowing this was all we could do, but that she would be OK. Mum was circling and calling nearby and would bring her food if needs be. Soon she'd be strong enough to fly up onto the stonework ready for her second attempt at flying. Tomorrow perhaps?




Nick Moyes
Derby Museum & Art Gallery





Our thanks to David Bradley for capturing these images today of Derbyshire falcon 010.




Photo: David Bradley

Photo: David Bradley

















From Flickr:
by rajenkinson
what are you doing

113 comments:

Joy said...

Just logged on before going to bed and can only see 2 youngsters?

The videos are great, thank you so much.

Roger (AT) said...

Thanks! Excellent, and quick work to get the video clips and detailed account published for us this evening.

The sound and action really makes a huge difference compared with web-cam refreshes.

I hope that our First Flier does not get too lonely / hungry / wet tonight before she manages to join her siblings.

Looking forward to some photos on Flickr from Colin and Wayne!

Phoebe said...

She definitely fell!

Anonymous said...

pax Canada

@ Phoebe, I agree definitely fell

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
in the video there is a bird visable on the ledge below, is that one of the parents?

Karen Anne said...

I don't think she was pushed, looks like she fell straight down, though.

Where is she in the hatching order? If she was not first, I assume she is a few days from being ready.

I see three birds in the nest box now, in a heap, so I assume they are three chicks.

Remember from Froona's writeup that the parents will bring food to the fledgling and watch over her, as Tony(?) noted.

Julie said...

How do they do it? - just made one final check and there are now 3 huddled in the corner - heads together and probably having a good chuckle about all they have put us through today - and now plotting tomorrow's mischief no doubt! Good night little peregrines, sweet dreams.

Anonymous said...

23:30, and the three remaining are huddled together. One for Colin (or others), but are they still displaying juvenile tendencies by lying down to have a kip? I’ve always assumed that birds, adult birds that is, will roost perched somehow. I’m sure the intrepid one upstairs is being looked after, and yes, definitely a fall! Great video team, so much more illuminating - shows the speed at which they bounce around..
RJ

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Brilliant blog, excellent videos, poor thing, she must have been so shocked when she fell off! Seeing the three remaining tykes all huddled together makes me feel sorry for the other up on the top, i wonder if she's missing her siblings :( What an exciting day, I wonder what tomorrow has in store!!

Tom Stephenson said...

Yes, definitely an accident - the poor thing makes a grab for the ledge with her beak as she fell!!!

wayne1984 said...

i have to say well done to colin for his fast hands this afternoon, he rounded a vast search off with the capture of the youngster. the birds suffered minimal stress for around two minutes. and then was in the box and being taken up the tower via Nick and tony, after a vast search for the bird we were all happy to learn the bird was back on the tower. a great team effort by all

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Just what we didn't hope for! Well done rescuers, especially intrepid Colin (who obviously does know exactly what he's at) Yes, I agree it didn't look exactly planned - and the one sitting alongside looked really shocked too - kept peering down to see where its sibling had gone. Fingers crossed for better luck tomorrow.

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

Thanks - Superb photos as usual Colin.

It will be interesting to see how this mis-adventure affects her next flying attempts.

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast has been delivered to the tray, the female really getting stuck in, whilst the boys watch from the edge.

Anonymous said...

I don't know when I have been so stressed as yesterday. You veterans who told us how nerve-wracking the first flights would be were right. Very well done to Colin and the team, Thanks for the account and the video clip.
RH

Anonymous said...

The last comment about tbeing stressed yesterday was from EH. i am still a quiver at the video clip.

EH

Anonymous said...

If not aquiver.

EH

Phoebe said...

It seems they're not too hungry this morning looking at what is still left in the tray. I wonder if they are missing their sister? Or even left that for her hoping she will come back, now am I getting silly? lol

Karen Anne said...

Three still in the nestbox.

I didn't realize until I'd watched the video 6-7 times :-) that her little brother seems to have almost gone over the edge after she did.

Nom de Plume said...

Is a quiver full of arrows fledged?

Roger (AT) said...

I have not seen #11 flapping up to webcam struts this morning, always 3 birds in the tray.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Update 7.49 am Wednesday morning;
the escapee chick is still on one of the 'gargoyles' on the North side of the tower, the other three still in the platform. They were fed just before I got there - sometime after 6am.
Heavy rain showers approaching Derby the forecasters say....due later this morning.
Nice piece in today's local paper page seven and on their website here:
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/news/Peregrine-chick-maiden-flight/article-1064146-detail/article.html

Nick B (DWT)

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

If the link to the paper's website doesn't work, just search for 'peregrine chick in maiden flight' on www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk
NB

Phoebe said...

Where is the third one I can only see two in the nest??

Phoebe said...

She's been hiding...

Terri said...

That 1st video clip is brilliant. What exciting times these are. I think it's funny how the second 'chick' immediately moves across to the exact same spot on the ledge and has a good flap of his wings in some vain hope of leaving the nest in the same manner as his sister. That made me laugh. I'm so glad that she's OK. Are we expecting her to return to the scrape for another go some time today? There were only 2 in there at some point yesterday so I'm assuming the second one managed to get back OK. So only 2 to go now.

Phoebe said...

Do we know how 010 is? Has she been fed this morning?

Anonymous said...

I agree ... brilliant video. I thought the other chicks were flapping to try and alert Mum to what had happened.
I wonder if they know that #10 is safe?

Pam

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

The three of them are all lurking near the front of the tray. Presume "010" is still up the tower OK. Awaiting further developments with anxiety. The picture of 010 and the choirboys is priceless, I must try to get a copy. Not much of a thrill for the bird but what an experience for the boys.

Tom Stephenson said...

Yes, good picture of boxed bird and choir-boys. Let's hope we don't find ourselves watching in horror as one of the lads is brought back to the scrape by Mother - they are almost small enough!

It's going to be raining quite a lot today, I think, so maybe the chicks won't jump until it dries out a bit?

Roger (AT) said...

The three are being fed again. They will be too fat to fly!

Karen Anne said...

Can the sibs in the nest see 010? (Is she above them?)

Dear Language Police, all is lost, at least in the U.S. :-)

PA Falcon Wire News: "6/9/2009:: First Fledge!"

PaleMaleIrregulars, June 10th: "Primus Fledges!"

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

A few answers: no, the three in the platform cannot see 010 because she is on the north side of the tower, ie round the corner.
She is higher up - ie at the same level that the pud cam looks across but, again, round the corner to the right as you look at the east face of the tower, where the platform is.
I suspect that she will not get fed there even though the female at least knows where she is. This will be a tactic to make her fly again when she gets hungry....hopefully a short flight back onto the east side of the tower - even into the platform though that may well be beyond her capabilities as yet.
Nick B

Anonymous said...

Feeding time again
Chris

Anonymous said...

Are there only two youngsters in the scrape at the mo, or are they playing tricks on us again?

Anonymous said...

All three there. I think the trick they are playing is that one of them has been feeding himself, and looked just like a parent, when they do the feeding. In fact, at one stage it looked like he fed one of the others!
RJ

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

010 has apparently just flown round onto the east side of the tower, managing to get up to a pinnacle above the nest and above the gargoyles too.
From there she may be able to drop down, eg onto the gargoyles or adjoinging ledge where the parents can feed her.
Nick B (DWT)

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

Just a quick update - 010 has taken a couple of trips around the Tower landing successfully on one of the pinnacles.
Very busy Watchpoint today and there were quite a few people around as I left the Cathedral at about 2.45.

Tony

John B (not the sloop) said...

Hey Tony - Does #010 look like she's enjoying herself yet?

Ann ( Canada ) said...

@ Tony, Hi Tony do you know if she has been fed at all today? Thanks for the update as we are all concerned. Any news is appreciated.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

010 has just come to ground again and the team are out trying to locate and catch her. Updates as and when.
Nick B

Anonymous said...

Has one gone climbing, or have we had a flight?
RJ

Anonymous said...

Has another one gone?

EH

julie/chesterfield said...

one went about four minutes ago. one second it was there the next it was gone!

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

Update again!!
Things are moving fast ans I am sure there will be a full report later but...
Yesterdays female (010) suddenly disappeared but was seen a few minutes ago on a nearby rooftop.
Yes, another one has made a break for it!! This time a male, who has been seen safe on the Cathedral Roof. Neither bird needs rescuing at the moment.
More as things unfold.
Nerve-wraking isn't it?!!!

Tony

julie/chesterfield said...

Hope the weather's not too bad in Derby, we have just started with a thunder storm here in Chesterfield.

Anonymous said...

Has another one gone? Can only see 2! We are having a horrible thunder storm here, near chesterfield, hope it doesn't reach Derby

Anonymous said...

OMG Is there only one left now?

Anonymous said...

Oh lord was that another one jumped???

Anonymous said...

Phew no! I can see his tail now.

Anonymous said...

only 1 left now

Terry, Herts UK said...

Looks to me like only 'tiddler' is left now. Busy evening for the project team - ?

Simon Rees said...

I think there are only 2 left now :o)

Anonymous said...

Do you think that's tiddler hanging back? He looks as if he's thinking ' for goodness sake stop jumping about, you're making me nervous!!!

Anonymous said...

Is that Dad with dinner?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

A quick update, to add to Tony's earlier one.

Our first birds to leave the nest ledge (010) ended up on the roof of a tall building on nearby Irongate, having initially thought to have come to ground by John and Sue who have been stalwarts at the watchpoint today.

Sometime just before 5pm a second bird -a male - left the ledge. Wayne confirmed this as 008 with his super, zoom lens.

Around 5.15pm female 010 flew towards the nave, circled around it once, chased for some of the way(can you believe it?) by a tiny pied wagtail, no less. She landed on top of the tower, visible as a silhouette by those below.

Not to be outdone, male 008 set off from the low end of the nave roof (more properly called the retro-choir, I'm told). He circled once over a nearby car park, gaining height and headed straight for the nest platform. Not having yet fully grapsed the necessary concepts of mass, lift, air-speed and momentum, he missed totally. Clattering into the ornate stonework on the east face of the tower, directly below the nest, he remained there until I left at 5.30pm this evening.

I'm sure there wil be more reports later - meanwhile we still have two birds that have not left the nest ledge yet.

Anonymous said...

In one way I want them to leave but in another I dont want them to go, its too worrying. wonder how the parents feel? Thanks for the updates project members, we wouldn't know what was happening if it wasn't for you guys. Bless you all x

Karen Anne said...

I'm getting too old for this. Is anyone else exhausted?

Julie said...

I don't think I can bear to go through this every year - but can't tear myself away now....

Anonymous said...

I have been logging on & off all day but it is so tense that I keep vowing to have a day off tomorrow. I doubt if I shall manage it though.

EH

Anonymous said...

It's very difficult to keep an eye on things at work as I don't want to get into trouble. I can't log on to the blog though as I get reported! How frustrating is that?
I have to wait until I get home at 6.00pm.

Mary T - Caerphilly,S.Wales.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

@ Karen Anne. Yes I am also exhausted. Between trying to do my job working at home IE. (when the kids sleep ) taking photos, wondering what's going on and not to forget we all have a life is it any wonder we are tired! Keeps us young though I think.
A big thank you to all those who take the time to report and keep and eye on the precious family of Falcons. Last year was good, this year even better. Can we take it I have to ask my-self if it gets better and more exciting every year. The two left look quite lonely.

Tom Stephenson said...

Mary T : You get reported for logging onto a Peregrine blog at work? Who do you work for, a Pigeon-Fancier's society??

steph said...

can only see two as well

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom - that's very funny! No it's the good old NHS but their filtering system doesn't allow blog or chat items. I've been ok so far just logging on to the webcams, maybe I will get some work done eventually when all this tension is over....

Mary T, Caerphilly,S.Wales.

Tom Stephenson said...

Ah, I see, Mary. Never mind, not watching during the day is probably saving a lot of stress on your heart (and the NHS), judging by some of the anxious comments above!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I'd hate to think that our webcams were the real reason for the global economic downturn, or for someone not being tended to in hospital.
GET BACK TO WORK YOU LOT!

BTW: Am wondering if thats four kayaks parked in the road outside the Old Silk Mill Pub that I can see in nest camera 2?
Over the last hour it's turned pretty wet here in Derby.

Anonymous said...

Well I do work in mental health! At least next year I will be living in Derby so can come and see things happening for real...

Mary

Anonymous said...

I can assure everyone that no patients have suffered at my hands - all the appointment letters etc have gone out on time!

Mary

ps is there an update on the 2 that are on the loose?

Anonymous said...

Do you think they are playing hide and seek?

Tom Stephenson said...

Project member - I thought bird-watchers had good eyesight! They are motorcycles, mate...

Right - now I'm going back to work - cooking dinner for me and her indoors.

Tom Stephenson said...

Oh, sorry, I thought you were serious! Silly me. P.S. There are a lot of people that haven't got to grips with the nest population yet, eh? (2 last time I looked)

Anonymous said...

They are still playing hide and seek. Just no where to hide!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

@Tom Stephenson are you trying to tell me you want another blog update?
Can't a man get some piece?

(PS: you have to forgive my sense of humour. Too many years working in a museum, that's what does it)

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

To whoever made the comment about nerve wracking - yes, it sure is! I've been manically doing loads of other stuff today, wondering what the heck's going on - seems like it's two "down", two to go?
Today I've been caught up in elephant issues (don't ask) and a late volunteering to help at Bucks Museum Wildlife Day (on Saturday). A chance to tell them they really need a super outreaching project like this one. I'll need to take my laptop so I can show all the kids in Bucks what they're missing - or will there just be an empty nest platform by then?????

Tom Stephenson said...

To Project Member - no, I want you to have your piece in peace. STOP WORKING!

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

The Peregrine Team Never Sleep!!!!!!
Good Night & Sleep Well!!
Tony

Tom Stephenson said...

@Tony - good job you don't monitor breeding town pigeons then - at least you'll get some sleep in a week or two's time! Thanks for your hard work and fascinating pictures. (no response necessary!)

Joy said...

I feel sad that there's only 2, not long and there won't be anything to look at. It has been excellent, hope to be down on Fri and may see something?

wayne1984 said...

Hi everyone,
just a quick note to say that there will be more pictures on my site very soon of the last few days proceedings. i hope everyone enjoys them.

Phoebe said...

Hi Wayne, did you see where the two young peregrines were when you left today, I'm wondering if they managed to get together somewhere?

wayne1984 said...

the adult falcon came in with some food, to the left hand water spout and fed 010. then swept down to the ledge to see the other two, then sat under the ledge i think trying to get 008 to come up to her, but not sure if he did. as it was raining by that time

wayne1984 said...

@ team members, is there due to be another watch point tomorrow? hpefully tomorrow will bring good fortune with the other two comming off for a fly too

Phoebe said...

Thanks Wayne, that is good news. What has happened this morning I can only see one in the left side and I can't get the right side webcam to load at all. Is that me or is it off air?

Roger (AT) said...

@ Phoebe:
Both cams are working for me.

Fiona Arrowmith said...

Both little ones still in the scrape, just hard to see the one in the east wing! I wonder what today will bring for them? One of Worcester chicks came to ground yesterday in the road, and was very fortunately rescued by a passer by almost certainly saving her life, she's back with her family now but these are indeed nervous days ahead for our little peregrines families!

Roger (AT) said...

08 is doing lots of trial flights, and has been nearly out of sight twice, up on the webcam supports.

Not long now!

Phoebe said...

@ Roger

That won't be 008 on the tray, 008 flew yesterday! 009 and 010 are still in the tray. I get both webcams now, must have been my end.

Anonymous said...

Another just flown and mum is here with food!! I'm sure??

Roger (AT) said...

The male just flew, but may of course just be up on the cam supports.

Phoebe said...

That was my anon post above in the excitement i didn't get my name in in time!

Phoebe said...

both parents in the tray one plucking the other feeding the other young one.

Roger (AT) said...

There are 3 in the tray now, but I think it is Mum, Dad and eldest daughter '09

Tracey said...

Theres only one now. I think today will be the last day. Very active.

Anonymous said...

The two adults were in the tray a few minutes ago and it looks as if there is just one juvenile left who is plucking up the courage to go.
EH

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Just one on the platform left now - and loads of "revving up" going on!

Roger (AT) said...

Yes - it looks like the male has really flown off, although he could be sat on the web-cam laughing.
(I still think it was the youngest male #08)

Oh! The excitement makes you want to be there with a pair of bins and a camera.

Phoebe said...

Roger, I was there yesterday and 08 was seen flying! He was on a low roof and his ring # could be seen. He did very well too!

Phoebe said...

Hopefully the last one will not go just yet. It's a lot for the parents to control if they all go at the same time.

Roger (AT) said...

@ Phoebe:
Yes, I just re-read the comments, and see that the ring was read as you say. I am very surprised, as #08 seemed more inclined to stay at the back of the tray, and being youngest one may expect him to fly after the eldest rather than before.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

Oooh it's all happening, i'll check the forecast and may head over to Derby this morning. One cheeky rascal sitting in the nest, he flew off and no-ones left............... :)

Phoebe said...

@ Roger

I've put a photo on my flickr photostrem taken yesterday of 08, not the best but at least you can see him, he was nick-named Roadrunner because he kept running along this low roof! He is very beautiful!

Roger (AT) said...

Thanks Phoebe, it must have been so exciting. I wish there was a cheap flight for me to visit also.

Colin said...

@ Karen Anne I use a canon DSLR eos 40d.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Quick update Thursday morning: 011 flew from the platform sometime after 6am, landing up top, joining his sister 010 on the stonework by the gargoyles.
009 still in the platform. So far no sign of 008 despite search of nave and tower roofs and surrounding roofs and car parks.....thanks to Wayne and Tony to their help in searching.
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

Thanks for that update Nick B, I hope the actions of the parents will lead us to 008. I was watching the webcam and 011 flew off just after 7am! I do hope 008 is soon located. Wish I could be there today… :(

Anonymous said...

Just logged on again and am so pleased to read the update on 008. Thanks. I vowed not to watch today but my resolution only lasted until 6.45am.

EH

Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoebe said...

Oh I am wrong there are two youngsters on the pudding cam!

Roger (AT) said...

In case you only one youngster on the pudding cam ... the other has discovered Dad's trick of sitting on it!

Mum is feeding #09 in the scrape.

Roger (AT) said...

.... so saying ... there has only ben one bird visible on the pudding cam for quite a while. Perhaps 10# or #11 has flown off for a bit?