Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Some recent pixs






Herewith ex-flickr photos of the youngsters getting adventurous, the top one courtesy of Marski2009 and the second from rejsharp...... and the last from Jennie in Hong Kong showing how the virtually fluff-less youngster is beginning to look almost like an adult (except for the dark flecks on the mantle visible in this view).






At least the weather in Derby today
(Wednesday) is much cooler and
there's rain forecast in the next
few days too...that should help
them cool off a bit!

Thanks for the photos folks!

Nick B (DWT)

66 comments:

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

@Phoebe - you asked on the previous topic which chick is which (these blogs move on so fast .....) I don't think the diary has ever reported that much detail - we just know they have a red band on their left leg and a numbered one - from 008 to 011 - on their right. There's still a video of the ringing on the archive - see MAY and the one labelled "Chick Ringing 2". Alternatively, you could get your magnifying glass out and see if you can spot it yourself from the webcam views!! Good luck.

Karen Anne said...

Ed Drewitt,

Thanks for the info you posted in the previous thread, that's very interesting.

But, catching the adult female to ring her? Won't that be very stressful and possibly injure her or her flight feathers, as opposed to ringing the young before they can fly?

Ed Drewitt said...

That's a good point.

There's a tried and tested, safe method of being able to capture adult peregrines while they are on the nest (the eggs are replaced with dummies temporarily).

It seems to be done very well on cliffs in Scotland and across Europe so we may try it in our area in the west. The incubating birds return to the nest after without any problems.

With the new tiercel in Bath - he's just come into his adult plumage. He's two years old now and came into his adult colours very quickly. Interestingly, in a healthy growing population of a species it is common for younger birds to begin breeding earlier. Exactly the same thing happens with our city herring and lesser black-backed gulls.

On another note, when adult birds do disappear it may not always be because they have died. Female peregrines will often have 3-4 partners in the lifetime (and move to other sites) and male 2-3 partners. So they are often 'divorcing' and matching up with new birds. However, I think in Bath the male disappeared while his mate already had eggs so I think in this case he probably did die.

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am concerned about any attempt to catch an adult Mom for banding. Despite it apparently having worked okay before, it risks the Mom and the eggs. What possible gain can there be that is worth endangering these birds Sometimes science loses track of larger values.

Also, is this even legal?

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast served at o6:55.

I agree with the general view that trying to ring an adult would be a very bad idea. I cannot think of a single benefit that is worth the risk.

All that needs to be learnt can be gleaned by following the progress of ringed chicks. They must surely provide a big enough sample of the population.

Anonymous said...

I've not been on here for about 10 days now and am amazed at how quickly the chicks have grown!!!

Anonymous said...

I can only see 3 fledglings,?

Anonymous said...

Looking at the webcam now, would I be right in saying the eldest to youngest is male, female, female and male thats trying to compare sizes and seeming maturity

Terry, Herts UK said...

Yes, I also believe the order is M-F-F-M.

Going by Colin's posts, the eldest is ringed #11. He seems quite a bit advanced over the others and I expect he'll be the first to fledge, and not long now, by the look of him.

Anonymous said...

How come I can only see 3 chicks? Jennie, HK.

Tony said...

Nope, there are four.

Karen Anne said...

I see four chicks now. Now that they have lost most of the white fluff, they are getting easier to tell from the gravel :-)

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 7.32am
Theres a lot of wing flapping going on :)
up early this morning have a new front window going in, luckily its a nice day, going up to 33c today

simon said...

i like the way one starts to stretch his or her wings and the rest just copy, funny to watch, dont think it'll be long before they're up and flying over derby and further a field.

Karen Anne said...

Colin or anyone, do we have an estimated first fledge date? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada
the biggest one has dibs on the food right now!

Phoebe said...

They're tucking in good and proper now!

Terri said...

Karen Anne, I was just wondering the same, it must be getting close now.

Looking at last year's calendar, everything seems to be happening 4 or 5 days earlier this year than in 2008 - last egg laid 31st March 2009 compared to 4th April 2008 and 1st egg hatched 29th April 2009 compared to 4th May 2008. Last year's fledging began on 11th June so my guess is that fledging will start around 7th June this year, that's Sunday!

But maybe it depends on other factors too, like how well fed they've been and hence how fast they've developed, maybe even the weather, who knows! (Well actually I bet someone in the know probably does, ahem)

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada
the little one is getting a share now

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Terri et al: re. when will they fledge: firstly they don't all fledge the same day - it is usually spread over 2-3 days.
The first one could go anytime in the next few days - Saturday/Sunday is as good a guess as any....but it could be earlier or (more likely) later...we'll just have to wait and see.
Strong winds could accidentally 'lift' them off the platform (eg while wing flapping!) - otherwise it might well deter them....
I think they wouldn't try flying if it was raining.....
But with four on the platform...one little push by a sibling might just mean we get a flying attempt earlier than we expect!
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

Mum has food for the little big ones.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit more interested in who has the safety net with all this flapping going on.

Anonymous said...

Last year they did a lot of sitting on the rail before going. I haven't seen them doing that yet. Has anyone?

Phoebe said...

@ anon

Which rail? Do you mean the support rail between the two sides of the scrape?

Anonymous said...

phoebe,
i believe it is the front edge of the scrape that was referred to - it was 'reinforced' this year!!

steph (canada)

Phoebe said...

@ steph

Thanks in that case there have been two sitting on the edge regularly now!

Roger (AT) said...

<< hello >> -- I cannot access the webcams.

Are they working for others?

julie/chesterfield said...

they're down for me too

Karen Anne said...

The web cams are working for me.

Karen Anne said...

I half spoke too soon. The composite view is working, but I can't connect to the single view.

By the way, the last time I looked the single view was still saying the birds had fledged (from last year.)

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
you can access through streamdays

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

We are aware of the web cam problem and will try to get it fixed in the morning.
Nick B (DWT)

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@everyone
all of my webcam views are down too - but good news because it'll mean I can't sit here wasting time (not that watching peregrines is ever wasted time!!)
The comment about events being earlier than previous years - it all started with first egg-laying which was 23/3/09 compared to 28/3/08. I think I recall comment at the time that as the adults age, they lay earlier. "Professor" Colin has already estimated first fledge at 6/6/09 and he's never far out! Ed Drewitt is also a distinguished expert on peregrines but what he didn't mention is that peregrines are strictly and specially protected by law from any form of disturbance. The liklihood of a licence being granted for the Derby adults is negligible. The ringing of chicks is another matter and permission is more easily obtained provided the ringers are fully qualified to the high standards as the Derby ringers were.
I should also report that my photos, purchased at the Bank Holiday special watchpoint, arrived today. Many thanks, Tony, they are beautiful photos.

Anonymous said...

Sue, We were talking about possibly ringing an adult in Bath, not Derby??

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 9.43pm
one chick perched on the nest rail

Anonymous said...

The right cam image on streamdays has frozen. Too bad! Jennie, HK.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.11am
looks like mum just dropped off breakfast

Kishore said...

Is the camera site still down? I still can't seem to get onto it.

Phoebe said...

Webcams are still down.

I've posted some of yesterdays antics and fly impressions on flickr to pass the time

Tom said...

The cameras are down for me this morning too, but - as the man said - they are aware and hopefully they'll be up and running when I get back from what passes as a job.

I had a look at the Bath box (is it called a 'scrape', and is this where 'getting into a scrape' comes from?) yesterday through a good pair of binos, and thought I saw a small camera attached to the side on a stalk, so presumably pictures are being taken. If (as I suspect) Mr Drewitt has his head screwed on, then his team will be selling the footage to the BBC Wildlife production unit who are also conveniently based in Bristol. This could provide valuable funding for future projects for his department.

Anonymous said...

I can't get the camera from my saved favourites but eventually Google offers me a cached page which is actually live.
EH

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

All cameras still down for me too - frustrating at this potentially important time but we all know how busy the project team are. The peregrines are only a part of their hectic jobs and often a lot of what they do ends up as voluntary effort. So, we're bearing with you, team.
On the question of ringing adults, I was just commenting on some earlier posts - I'm not sure what Ed was suggesting. Some replies sounded concerned that he was talking about Derby, which I'm sure he wasn't. When the team get time, I'm sure they'll post some information on this interesting topic (and I'm sure they know a whole lot more than me, I'm just an interested amateur!)
Finally, @Tom, yes the "nest" is called a "scrape" correctly. Sounds terribly technical but it's simple - peregrines don't build nests, they just scrape out a bit of a hollow in suitable material to lay their eggs. There's loads of other technical terms - falcon and tiercel and eyeas for example - but you can rely on me to forget to use them!

Anonymous said...

Cameras working perfectly for me now....so many thanks to team.

Exciting times!

JJ. Derby

Nick Brown (wildlife trust) said...

Everything seems to be working now but sorry for the delays in getting the problem sorted!
re. catching adults:
Ed D was NOT talking about trying to ring our Derby adults - just maybe his in Bath - and since the team here in Derby had never heard of anyone trying to catch adults at the nest or nearby until he put his comments on our blog, it wasn't - and still isn't - among our plans.
We will however watch carefully what Ed gets up to in the South West but even if he is successful, it is very, very unlikely that we would try such a thing in Derby unless we had some very pressing need to do so.
And as Sue said, we would have to get a licence and one wouldn't be given unless we had very good reasons for needing to catch them - which currently we haven't.
Meanwhile we will try to collect mounted peregrine feathers and maybe get their DNA analysed which may give us clues about their relationships to each other and to other peregrines elsewhere. First we need to check out what that would cost of course - despite your generous donations, money for the project is still 'tight'!

Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

I am rather amused at the silhouette of a chick outlined in white in the right-hand corner of the right side of the scrape. Must have been rather traumatic for the chick at the time - lol.
Great shots of various chicks balancing on the edge with wings spread today! A bit worrying to watch though......

Alan 165

Anonymous said...

These birds are looking amazing! It will be great to watch their progress in the next few days. We're coming up to the Watchpoint tomorrow so hope to see some of them perched on the ledge.

Mary T - Caerphilly, S.Wales

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hurrah! Cameras back. It's so difficult having a count up when the chicks are spread out - I THINK I still see four? The bigger ones are having some flapping practice - ooooo, tense times!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hey Mary, I reckon you could see more than a chick on the ledge - I would think there's a good chance that the eldest one could be taking its maiden flight. Enjoy your visit - I'm very jealous. Say hi to all of the Watchpoint team from me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we shouldn't be calling our young birds eyases - Encylopaedia Brittanica says an eyas is
'A young hawk taken from a nest in the wild or bred in captivity'
(ie to be used for hawking).

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada
meal time, a real huddle, when they are all together like that you can see how far they have come

Anonymous said...

Looks like it is tea time. Mom and the four chicks all lined up waiting to be fed, taking turns, they seem to have better manners at meal times than most teenagers.

They are still growing quickly, soon be gone and we will have to start waiting for next year.

Chris, Alrewas

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue

Wouldn't it be great if we were to see one take it's first flight when we were there? We've now bought a house in the Derby area so next year will be asking if any volunteers are needed.....
I'll say "hi" for you.

Mary T - Caerphilly - S.Wales

Phoebe said...

@ DWT

Is the Watchpoint going ahead tomorrow as the weather forecast is heavy rain all day?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Phoebe : it will be up to the volunteers Andy and Chris to make a decision in the morning depending on exactly how bad the rain is.
Sorry can't give a definite yes or no now.....
Obviously if the weather is really poor it is wise not to run the WP.
Decision is always left to the volunteers on duty that day. I realise that doesn't help you much deciding whether to come over....
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

Thanks Nick B, I wondered if Andy and Chris might read this and give an idea, i could do with their email...

Anonymous said...

Hi Phoebe,
We are reluctant to cancel at this stage as the forecast may not be correct, obviously if it is raining there is no point in going ahead. We will pop down at 10.30 and make a decision then.
Chris and Andy

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

There's some serious wing flapping going on. I'm not sure if it's practice for flying or trying to get dry - it looks like it's miserable and raining at the moment up in Derby.

Tom said...

Thanks for the technical term information from you experts! I'm glad to see that the foolish comments from mr anonymous have been removed, along with the impassioned reactions to them. There is a very slight problem still existing (mainly on the Scottish Border estates) which involves un-reconstructed keeper's mates trying to 'protect' their game birds for commercial shoots, but - on the whole - birds of prey are loved and respected by just about everyone these days. I'm not sure about the level of hostility amongst racing-pigeon fanciers, as some birds are worth almost as much to a racer as a Peregrine fledgling is worth to a Saudi prince. Perhaps someone could fill us in on the details.

Karen Anne said...

They sure look huddled together in the back of the nestbox, trying to keep warm maybe. Somehow I don't think anyone will be trying to fledge in what looks like a rainy cold day.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 7.56pm
looks like the oldest chick is huddled up alone in the corner on the left side of the nest

Anonymous said...

It looks foggy and having a bit of rain. The chicks are all wet. Jennie, HK.

Roger (AT) said...

They are suddenly moving about a lot, maybe there is a gap in the showers?
The BBC outlook says rainy all morning, but dryer in the afternoon.
Not good prospects for the Watch or for a first flight.

Phoebe said...

The youngsters are very wet and huddled in the RH corner. At least it will save them from having to bathe and it will most likely pull any loose down out. Will be funny to see them shaking it out.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@Tom
You speak very wise words Tom and I do try to sit on my hands but my heart and hot head run away with me sometimes. I'm pretty sure I'm a reincarnation of Scout Finch (ref To Kill a Mockingbird) I'm deeply aware of the cruelty that exists in a tiny proportion of the population through my membership of badger groups - we have speakers on a wide variety of topics at conference. Persecution is only practised by the few - and not even all gamekeepers by any means are "bad" these days. We have all been asked many times to ignore inappropriate comment on this blog and one day I may even be able to do so. I am deeply sorry for any further grief it may ever give the project - and they know they have my blessing to remove all comment I write in the heat of the moment.