Monday, 6 December 2010

Arctic Derby

The weather remains bitterly cold in Derby. While the heavy snowfall of last week has been beaten down (and doesn't look much now, eg in my photo), it is increasingly difficult to walk along pavements which have become very icy and compacted. Similarly side and country roads are rather lethal!
Tonight's temperature is set to plummet to minus 10 degrees at best.


This afternoon both adult peregrines were on the Jurys Inn signs, one on the sunny south facing side and the other round the corner on the East facing side. They are well equipped to cope with cold weather. There's plenty of prey about. Today I found feathers of a teal and beak of a snipe below the tower.

Other birds are beginning to struggle.

This woodcock visited a suburban garden in North Derby one day last week. Remarkably it was managing to find earthworms in the soil below the snow. You may recall that woodcock are one of many species of wading bird that the peregrines take and that in December 2009, we managed to capture footage of one of the peregrines bringing back a live woodcock to the tower at 11pm at night, proving that these birds hunt after dark using the floodlighting.

Nick B (DWT)
Ps. A big thanks to Barbara M for providing the excellent photo, taken through her window.....

17 comments:

Erica said...

I am always amazed by the bird species found in Derby (and try not to be appalled by the fact that they are our peregrines' prey! Nature red in tooth and claw'.
i have only just watched a recording of the 'Songs of paraise in the cathedral. No mention of peregrines as it was an Advent Service but the cathedral looked absolutely beautiful.

Erica said...

Sorry, that was bad typo for 'Songs of Praise'

phoebe said...

There is a peregrine in the scrape with what looks like fresh prey! I didn't see it earlier so I think it could have just been caught. Possible another night hunt...

Green Class said...

we can see a pergrin on the platform and one on the edge of the tower. we think they mihgt be looking for food and a warm place to sit.

Anonymous said...

I've not seen or heard the birds for a while and wondered how they are coping with this cold weather. Although it feels quite warm today compared to our recent temperatures. It's a pleasant surprise to have a quick look at the webcam a see one of the birds on the nest at the moment obviously tucking into lunch. Hopefully more healthy than the MacDonalds burger I saw some pigeons tucking into on an icy Derby Market Place this lunchtime!

Joyce S, Derby said...

There's a good view of one of the peregrines on the tower cam just now - 11am. It looks like it is standing on one leg!

AnnieF. said...

One peregrine on the tower, preening.
How are you fixed for donations - have you reached your target for 009 yet?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

AnnieF: re. donations Annie, we are OK for the time being thank you very much.
We may need a new injection of cash next year depending on how fund raising goes and what projects we decide to pursue...so watch this space and hold onto your pennies for now!
Nick B (DWT)

AnnieF. said...

Delighted to know you'll be able to go ahead with your plans for 009, Nick. As for next year, we'll have to see what Santa brings!
One peregrine on the tower at the moment.

AnnieF. said...

Peregrine (falcon I think) on the nestbox ledge, rhs.

AnnieX. said...

There's one up on the tower - I spotted an eye, just above the top of the grass stem that's in front of the camera.

Joyce S, Derby said...

Cameras still frozen at 19:30 yesterday

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Thank you for the notification of the frozen camera.
I will attempt to restart our video server inside Derby Cathedral, using the remote connection in my office tomorrow (Thursday).
I'm afraid I'm currently unable to restart our equipment from home. Please accept my apologies.
Nick M.

Anonymous said...

Never mind the cameras, I'm frozen. It has been very cold month so far in Massachusetts and the wildlife sightings have been scarce. So far, NO snow.

AnnieF. said...

One peregrine up on the tower again, roughly the same time as last night.

nick b (dwt) said...

Nick M has had a very heavy cold this week and therefore been unable to go up the tower to restart the web cam pictures on Thursday as he had planned. Please bear with him. It is now likely to be next week before he can fix the problem, assuming he is better by then. We do apologise for the delay.
Nick B (DWT)

Joyce S Derby said...

One peregrine on Jury's Inn south side this morning at 8am