- Four Golden Plover
- Three Woodcock corpses
- Two lovely Snipe
- One gorgeous Redwing
- and a Black-bird on the north side.
Friday, 11 December 2009
A different bird for Christmas? (updated)
Woodcock, Golden Plover, Blackbird and Redwing are all fair game this Christmas, it seems. Whilst many of us in the UK are planning to tuck into a turkey meal on the 25th, Derby's Peregrine Falcons have a more exotic menu lined up.
Derby Cathedral Tower is the second highest church tower in England, and a recent visit at the start of December to remove an object blocking one of our cameras revealed a wide selection of prey items are being taken this winter. Many of them are unusual species that most people would not expect to see in our city centre at all.
We know that our tower camera was blocked by the remains of a large Woodcock, as you can see above. We also have this bird on film, being brought back in darkness at 7.30pm in late November. We saw it's final death throes, so we know it was not brought in from a stockpile on a ledge elsewhere. Clearly, these peregrines are taking birds that are reluctant to fly in daylight and feel it is safe to move along our river corridors after dark.
It might also be worth drawing your attention to the tail feathers on the Woodcock. These have bright white tips to their undersides, making them very distinctive indeed. (A headless corpse and some feathers were recently handed in by AndyS. Thanks to this key identification clue, provided by NickB , these feathers and corpse also turned out to be Woodcock.)
So what else did we find? Well, NickB will probably have a close look at all the images taken on 1st December 2009, and we'll report back. Meanwhile, I think the prey list will probably end up look something like this (deep breath; all together now!):
A pleasant Christmas to all our friends and blog readers around the world from:
Nick Moyes, Nick Brown, Tony Grantham
(Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project Team)
Update 1: A woodcock was seen being brought back to the tower around 10.45pm on Dec 20th, and is still there at the time of this update (21st Dec). It has caused some alarm as some viewers had wondered if it might been one of our peregrines. Rest assured: they're OK.
Update 2: Below each post you'll now see a "Share" Icon. This lets you tell your friends about the content of this post via your choice of services, like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Delicious, etc. More on this in the New Year.