This picture of one of our juvenile peregrines is the 1000th picture uploaded to our Flickr Group since we launched it a couple of months ago. Thanks to Andy Byron for supplying this fine shot and the other two below of the falcon, all taken last Sunday.
Thanks indeed to everyone who has contributed screenshots, compilations and photos of the fastest creature on the planet!
It might be timely to consider a number of the Team's achievements and offer a few words of thanks - and it really has been teamwork as always.
Thanks to Nick B. from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and his team of brilliant volunteers, all of whom have made such a difference on Cathedral Green and who have introduced so many people every year to the delights of Derby's now famous birds. It was Nick who got the ball rolling with this project, who continues to maintain contact with experts in feather identification (Ed D) and urban peregrines (Nick D) and who brings many years of expertise in communication, education and ornithology to the project.
To Tony G. and his team of vergers who give us access to the Cathedral at all hours, who was on hand whenever a rescue seemed imminent and who climbed the tower stairs at all hours to reboot our server.
To Nick E. for abseiling down to help maintain the nest platform that he built for us - the latest modifications really seem to have paid off.
To Martin R. and Ant M. who ringed (banded) our chicks for the fourth year in succession.
To everyone - well, almost everyone - who left comments on the blog, or phoned and emailed in Watchpoint reports, made suggestions, gave donations, suggested improvements, asked questions, drew pictures, brought school children, bought the DVD, or made that all-important visit to the City of Derby to see the peregrines for themselves and to spread the word that our city really does have something very special going for it.
To the staff and management at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the Cathedral and the Museums Service, thanks for supporting the project in a whole host of ways. And to the band of extraordinary enthusiasts out there on Derby's Cathedral Green, of whom perhaps Colin Pass deserves special thanks for his support and falconry expertise. Colin, like Wayne R, was happy to answer many people's comments - as, of course were others, so reducing the need for the Project Team to try to answer all the many questions you've asked.
To Capita and now Serco for their past and future support in maintaining the City Council's IT links that keep the project going.
To the late Froona Veldhuis for her interest in and support of Derby peregrines. To Ashley Sims for letting us have the rights to (and hence the profits from) the DVD he so competently produced last year. And a big "thank you" to every single webcam viewer or blog reader who have made this Project so rewarding for us all.
The biggest thanks must surely go to our pair of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus). We never felt we should name them - these are wild birds, free to come and go, but they've entered many people's lives and shown us many intimate moments and the wonder and rawness of the natural world on all our PCs.
Their four chicks hatched and made their maiden flights in such a short time. For many more weeks they will be seen on our webcams and in the skies around Derby before moving away towards the autumn. Our webcameras and blog will stay open and active throughout the autumn and winter of course, bringing you images of the parent birds that will remain around the tower throughout......and other peregrine news all year round.
So what else have we achieved so far this year? How about:
- 420,000 visits to our webcam and blog
- 10,800 readers to our blog last week alone (peak figure)
- 61 blog updates by the Project Team
- 3,270 feedback comments left
- 1,000 screen shots and photos posted to Flickr since May.
- 20 Official Watchpoints
- Too many visitors to count (many coming to Derby specifically to watch peregrines)
- £2,000 raised through donations and sales.
- 1.17 million webhits since first going online in 2007
- Three exhausted Team Members!
Finally, what can you webcam watchers do now that the (online) season is drawing to a close? Plenty actually.......as the next posting to the blog will attempt to explain in a couple of days time! We certainly don't mean this to sound like "goodbye", but we recognise that visitor numbers are starting to fall sharply and we wanted to get our thanks in quick.
Rest assured that we'll still be here right through the season, with news of our peregrines and other topical conservation events and ideas.
Nick M (Derby Museum)
Ps Nick B has added: the next post will also include a huge thanks to Nick M who wrote the above summary.......but left himself out of the accolades!