Thursday, 1 April 2010

Royal Visit to Derby

Watch Point 2010
Updated (Watchpoint Report now added)

There were smiles all round when the Queen came to present Maundy money inside Derby Cathedral earlier today. The Royal Standard fluttered in the chill morning air as crowds gathered to watch her arrival.

Outside, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ran a special Peregrine Watchpoint, which was still going on at the time of posting this! So a full account of today's events will be provided later.


Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral
Above: The Yeomen of the Guard. Below: The Royal Standard.


Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral

It's unlikely we'll be offered jobs as Royal Photographers as the picture below was the best we could manage of Her Royal Highness and Prince Philip arriving! Nice hat, though.

Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral

Andy and Chris, who helped at the Watch Point this morning have sent in this report:
"We had a bright, sunny day in Derby but with a bitingly cold wind.
As we had expected, with the Peregrines now incubating their eggs in
earnest, there wasn’t a lot to see but on our arrival on Cathedral Green
at about 9.45, Nick B. had already spotted one of the adults perched on
Jury’s Inn.
This bird disappeared later in the session to be seen flying low over
the Assembly Rooms before disappearing from view only to return around
the North side of the cathedral carrying a prey item a couple of minutes
later. We were then treated to this bird flying in a complete circle
around us looking as though it would land on the cathedral but
eventually making its way back to Jury’s Inn where the food was cached
out of our view. He (we were pretty sure it was the tiercel) remained in
view there for the next half an hour, landing on the nest platform for a
short while before disappearing from view for the rest of the session.
Other birds noted were a Buzzard which flew low over the Green being
mobbed by a pair of crows and a Sparrowhawk which was glimpsed over
rooftops to the North.
Today’s was the first (and only) Watchpoint with the Royal Standard flying above us
on the Cathedral tower and with a contingent of the Yeomen of the Guard
in attendance across the road as the Queen presented Maundy Money in the
Cathedral. All-in-all an unusual and very colourful day in Derby!"

62 comments:

Mo Cole said...

Our two feathered friends also came out to see her (it was shift change over)

Ann ( Canada ) said...

What a wonderful time for you all in Derby, sure makes me wish I was back home to have seen it all. Excellent pictures Love them and thanks for sharing them with us.

Julie said...

Should there perhaps also be a permanent Peregrine Standard to be flown when Mrs P is sitting in residence??

AnnieF. said...

Two peregrines on the tower, and the eggs are un-sat! Is this normal?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Julie: it does happen. The male brings in food above the nest and the female flies up to claim some of it. The male usually comes down and covers the eggs until the female returns but sometimes he delays this. The eggs can withstand being left uncovered for short periods - so no worries.
Nick B (DWT)

Karen Anne said...

Perhaps a peregrine family flag.

Michael - From south Derbyshire said...

On A link to this site on another forum I'm going to rename it "Derby Cathedral ROYAL Peregrine Project - 2010"

Did anyone tell the Queen or Philip about the Peregrine's ? on the tower.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

You all must be very proud of Her Majesty's visit. I was thinking about you all day to-day. I am so hoping that all the eggs hatch and that the "Young Ones" ooops another Cliff Richard song lol are raised this year without any casualties. Wish I could be there to celebrate with you, being our 40th wedding anniversary. Derby is where is was born and raised and also married. Colin how is Cathy doing? I will try and sell some of my design this year and donate some money to the project.
Wonderful work you all do. Much appreciated on behalf of all wildlife.
Regards Ann

Terry, Herts UK said...

I'm sorry to spoil the party but let's remember that most of the royals enjoy hunting and shooting for their amusement.

The Queen and other members of her family could use their position to influence others against blood sports rather than be seen to support fox hunting, hare coursing, etc, but they fail to do so.

And where do you think those palace guards get those lovely dark furry hats from? Clue: They're called bearskins. Purely ceremonial, the guards have resisted all attempts to persuade them to use synthetic alternatives. The queen could easily order them to do so.

Phoebe said...

@ Terry Herts

I totally agree!

Well spoken Terry!

Mary T said...

I'd like us just to stick to the subject of the peregrine falcons and not get into any political debates please?

John B (not the sloop) said...

And lets not forget the November 2008 Sandringham Hen Harrier incident eh Terry? Funny how investigations into that one seemed to get nowhere.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Yes. If we can guys, let's stick to Derby's peregrines.

AnnieF. said...

The sitting peregrine (falcon?) shifted her position and moved a couple of pieces of debris from around her; otherwise there's not a lot to report! Everything appears to be proceeding as expected.

AnnieF. said...

Tiercel (?) just arrived on nestbox ledge rhs.

Pigeon_fancier said...

tiercel - i just learnt a new word! :-)

"The female falcon is called the falcon; the male is called the tiercel meaning 1/3 since he is 1/3 the size of the female."

i can't wait to tell my friend my new WORD FACT.

happy easter all!

KerrySuffolk said...

Pigeon fancier, thanks for that info, nice to know how the name is derived.

Mary T said...

Are there any Watch Days planned yet? Happy Easter to all.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Watch Points will happen much as last year Mary, 2-3 per week starting once the chicks get big enough to be seen above the edge of the tray - ie from about mid-May.
If you can help, ideally but not essentially on a regular weekly basis for 5-6 weeks, please email wildlifeenquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk
Exact days of the week will depend on volunteer availability and a timetable will be worked on in the next couple of weeks.
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

As far as I know there are two definitions for tiercel. The tiercel is only a third smaller than the falcon, not a third of the falcon's size.

OE. tercel, tercelet, F. tiercelet, a dim. of (assumed) tiercel, or LL. tertiolus, dim. fr. L. tertius the third; -- so called, according to some, because every third bird in the nest is a male, or, according to others, because the male is the third part less than female. Cf. Tercel.]

Mary T said...

Hi Nick - thanks for the info. I would like to be able to help at the watch points and will email the address you gave to see if I can be of any help.

Kind regards.

:Queenie said...

Wow, What a WORD FACT Pigeon_Fancier! I wonder if there are any other WORD FACTS related to Peregrine Falcons?


Will we be able to tell which egg (1,2,3,4)is which chick when they hatch?

Pigeon_fancier said...

Thanks Queenie - do you like WORD FACTS? Peregrine comes from 'peregrinus' which means 'wandering'.

I'm not sure how we'll know which chick is which, perhaps someone in the garden or next-door will knit them numbers to wear?

AnnieF. said...

One peregrine sitting, another on the tower.

Pax said...

the chicks get banded with a number

Beth said...

-Hello from USA and the Netherlands-

Today 4/4 is the first year of
Froona Veldhuis passing.

The world knew Froona for her devotion and passion for the Peregrine Falcon.

Message from DEF/Netherlands...

Please see the candle link for Froona, we are asking for everybody to light many candles. I would very much like to see at least 365 candles burning at 9.15 pm (GMT+2), the time of her passing.

http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=fv

:Queenie said...

i love a word fact Pigeon_Fancier, i hope that they will appear in a crossword in the not too distant future, so that i get some correct.

I suppose the numbers will not relate to which egg or in which order they hatch then?? just the order of which they are pulled out the bag for the ring to be put on??

Phoebe said...

I was watching the cams today and saw the tiercel land on the tower looking as though he had just had a bath. I missed the next part but came back and saw he was sitting on the eggs, he is still there now. He looks so cute and small compared to the falcon. I will put a pic of tiercel on tower into flickr pool.

KerrySuffolk said...

Falcon has just booted tiercel off the nest after some nagging/persuasion!

Pigeon_fancier said...

:Hello :Queenie! I did see a falcon fact in a crossword once but it was an anagram - and it was got by the colourer-inner. The rest of the people drinking Ps were :impressed.

Here's a PFF tho. In America PFs used to be called Duck Hawks, even though they don't go QUACK!.

I think you're right, i guess the order of the ring numbers will be all down to the sack-man. I always get nervous when i see him dangling on his rope - it's almost as scary as Quatermass!

AnnieF. said...

There's just been a changeover, & the one that was sitting is now on the tower.

AnnieF. said...

...and eating something that seems to have been cached just behind the pillar.

Pigeon_fancier said...

There was a lovely moment last night where both mum & dad were inde-sitting together.

Did anyone take a photo? i'd love to add it to my collection.

AnnieF. said...

Another changeover. The one that flew to the tower had a look inside the guttering first - presumably there's a cache - but I don't think it took anything out.

AnnieF. said...

I think there's a peregrine at the top of the tower - webcam feed 2 top right picture, about an inch down from the top of the frame.

AnnieF. said...

Just seen the answer to my last question now that the lighting's better - it wasn't a peregrine, just light reflecting off the underside of the top of the sticking-out round bit. (Please forgive my appalling lack of knowledge of cathedral architecture).

AnnieF. said...

The falcon has just spent a few minutes trying to persuade the tiercel to let her take over, but he just sat there until she flew away!

John B (not the sloop) said...

Hey Annie - there's a handy guide to cathedral achitectural terms here

="http://www.newyorkcarver.com/Glossary.htm"

John B (not the sloop) said...

Sorry - HTML was never my forté. If this one doesn't work try typing it into your favourite browser

6 April 2010 10:40

AnnieF. said...

@John B (not the sloop):
Many thanks for that - I think what I was trying to describe is called a "capita".

AnnieF. said...

Falcon has just turfed tiercel off the eggs. He was reluctant but she was determined, so it only took a minute or so.

Terry, Herts UK said...

As a courtesy to John B,

here's the link

Hope it works.

AnnieF. said...

@Terry (Herts.):
Thank you! It's a capital, not capita, I've discovered. Fascinating subject!
All quiet on the peregrine front. How long do they incubate these eggs before hatching begins?

Pax said...

Dad on the tower, mum left for a minute but then came back to the eggs

John B (nort the sloop) said...

Thanks Terry - I so flunked "HTML tags 101".

It seems that the Derby pair are quite early this year. Down at Yat Rock our new couple are still faffing around looking at nest ledges. London's 20 or so pairs haven't made much progress yet either apparently.

Anonymous said...

Love the close-up of Mum on the nest, pitty she's being shy with her back to us. Still, lovely plumage.

I did notice a slight red patch on her left wing, hidden by her back to us - may have just been the camera or her last meal. Hope she moves round.

Craig, Nottingham

Anonymous said...

AnnieF asks: How long do they incubate these eggs before hatching begins?

I did a quicky Google search and found this page: http://falconcam.travelers.com/falcon-faqs.html

"The female does most of the incubating which takes about 33 days."

It appears to be an American version this our livecam - although they aren't nesting :(. The information page is very useful and the Photo Album is well worth the looking through.

In other news, our feathery friend has moved around and there isn't any red on her left wing, must have been the camera angle.

Craig, Nottingham

AnnieF. said...

@ Craig: Thanks for the link! I had a look at that website & found it really interesting.(I should have googled it myself but was too idle!). So we've got roughly another 4 weeks, maybe a bit less, before the first one appears.

Joyce S in Derby said...

We could see a peregrine on Jury's Inn letter Y when we drove past at 15:30. It looked like it was having a meal.

:Queenie said...

Maybe they were called Duck Hawks because they liked to eat ducks?? :wonder

is there anyway of telling the lady falcon and tiercel apart other than the size of them?

Mary T said...

Yes Joyce, I also saw the peregrine on the Jury's Inn lettering this afternoon. It was about 4.30pm and I was stuck in the usual traffic jam on the way home from work.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Queenie. In my experience male Peregrines look as if they've just been laundered while females have a bit of a beige tint to their breast feathers. This is partly explained by her spending many hours lying on the nest scrape. Females can also appear "top heavy" ie somewhat broader in the upper body area than in males. The overall size difference is quite striking when you see them together in flight.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Oh, and yes they do eat ducks....

KerrySuffolk said...

Something odd going on with the nest platform camera. Giving very, very, close up pictures.

Pax said...

Mum off the nest

Karen Anne said...

(Unattached) feather in the nestbox, photo on flicker.

Pigeon_fancier said...

Hi :Queenie - just to add to John B's falcon facts, my book of Wildlife vol.100 (also features newt identification) mentions that PFs are so good at catching ducks that they used to be used for hunting by the King in the olden days, and became a symbol of Royalty. This led to them becoming the first bird ever to be protected by law. :fact face.
They also eat coots, which don't have webbed feet.

Another fact from my book is that a PF's nose is called a cere, but it then it goes on to say that there are no PFs in Derbyshire which i think is a LIE.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi PF: You don't give a date for the Wildlife magazine that you quote from but I would guess is was quite old. In which case, there were no peregrines breeding in Derbyshire back in the 1970s/80s and in some years there were only a handful of sightings all year - if that! This was due to the persistent pesticides that farmers were using at the time. The chemicals accumulated in the fatty tissues of the birds and had the effect of thinning the egg shels such that they cracked before incubation was completed.
Coots have not yet been recorded as prey at Derby but they have elsewhere in the UK I think. Moorhens are regularly taken but they are much smaller birds. Coots are pretty bulky and I would guess only the falcon would manage to catch and carry one.
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment by Beth on 04 April, I for one remember Froona Veldhuis. Her photographs and her knowledge of birds were outstanding. RIP

AnnieF. said...

I think a changeover's imminent - there's a peregrine on the nestbox ledge looking hopefully at the sitting one.

AnnieF. said...

Well, no changeover has happened yet but they are both still in their places, occasionally glancing at each other. It seems as if the one on the ledge is just keeping its mate company.

AnnieF. said...

I'm pretty sure it's the falcon on the eggs. Anyway, the other one has just flown off after they both appeared to have been disturbed by something. Just before that, the falcon was changing her position by about a quarter-turn, and adjusting the eggs underneath her; the tiercel was very interested & looked keen to take her place, but wasn't quite assertive enough.