Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mating on the Gutter

Watch this amazing video of our two birds mating earlier this morning. It was 8am and our female was perched in the sunshine on the projecting lead gutter which drains water away from the top of Derby's Cathedral. Our male was nearest the camera. Just as the bells started tolling he seemed to be stirred into action, and moved off to briefly mate with her before landing on the platform way below, where we hear him chirping gently off camera.

Last year we saw them mating the same day as the first egg was laid, and we are expecting this year's first egg any day now. The previous blog post shows another amazing clip of them mating on the tower back in 2008.


103 comments:

Mo Cole Belper said...

Fantastic...made us laugh, good job it wasn't a fire engine that went past lol Mo n Pete Cole xx

RJ said...

Are you sure about the timing? ;-)
I found my google login. But lost my fiver for the prediction..

Terri Akers said...

That's a brilliant clip (the sound track is just perfect) - sure to go down in the archives as a classic! Let's hope the peregrines have a successful breeding season in 2011. Good luck... I'll be watching with fascination as usual.

KerrySuffolk said...

She looks settled for the night on the platform edge!

My prediction - 23.30 Friday evening!

KerrySuffolk said...

On second thoughts, she has just moved and looks fit to burst!

My second guess is 03.30 on Friday morning!

Steph (Canada) said...

just watched the clip - brilliant!!

hopefully the first egg will be laid soon....i'll keep checking in during the evening. i guess we're the night shift observers this side of the pond!!

KerrySuffolk said...

@ Steph

Glad you are watching,I have just logged on (05.45) and was pleased to see you are doing the night shift!

No egg yet.

jean said...

There are now 2 eggs at Nottingham. Come on Derby Peregrines!!

Craig said...

Jean, it's not a competition! Nottingham has always been greater (changed the word from superior to avoid arguments - There is nothing wrong with Derby afterall, won't mention football) then Derby, just look at the naming argument of East Midlands Airport, now named Nottingham East Midlands Airport. :) I tease/joke.

15.51 Falcon and Tiercel on the box edge. Tiercel (I think) on the scrape edge bowing low to his mistress, Falcon on the right, with food. 15.52 she's left, probably to go eat - on the Tower.

Don in Belper said...

A technical Point

Nothing to do with the birds themselves, but I have just upgraded my Firefox browser to Firefox 4 (running on an Mac) and the webcam pictures now seem to load much faster than they did with the previous version.

jean said...

Craig, Just a comment1 Nothing meant. I was after all born in Derby and support the Rams, over which I agree with you. I only moved to Scotland 12 yrs ago.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Hi everyone, well I am just checking in and it's 3.40pm. here in Ontario. I see Falcon on the ledge looking quite content. No egg yet. Bound to keep us waiting I think. Hopefully tomorrow will have news. Loved the video clip. Thanks for posting it.

KerrySuffolk said...

She is preening low down on her back a lot, is this a sign????

KerrySuffolk said...

They are both roosting and I will be too soon.

I have a couple of 12 hour shifts over the weekend.

I will have to get up early to check if anything eggciting has happened overnight!

jean said...

She is asleep on the edge of the scrape Head tucked under

Steph (Canada) said...

i was hoping to see an egg but she's making us wait.

mrs p (i think) seems to be spending a lot of time on the edge of the scrape - head tucked in and fast asleep at the moment....obviously not as anxious about the situation as us poor humans.

Craig said...

The Falcon, which was fast asleep on the scrape ledge I think got woken by by the Cathedral bells at 01.00.

At 01.12 She decided to fly off. Followed very shortly by the Tiercel, who was on the tower.

At 1.15 the Tiercel landed on the scrape ledge before moving in onto the scrape. I was going to comment here that perhaps the Tiercel is laying them this year. But it appears he was just having a bow and look around. Falcon hasn't returned. Probably gone to find a nice comfy quite spot.

Anonymous said...

A great video, but bit concerned by the dead bird on the ledge anyone confirm what it is, looks like a Peregrine :0((

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Don't worry abut the dead bird on the cameras. On the tower top there is lapwing prey that has been there for some time now. Down on the ledge I think there's the remains of a lapwing and a teal (can't quite remember now).

There was one adult on the Jury's Inn lettering as I went past this lunchtime.

With 4,000 hits since the end of the week, it's clear many people are returning to find out whether or not our birds have laid yet. Will it be tonight?

Joyce S Derby said...

There was a peregrine on Jury's Inn lettering at 16:30 when I went past.

Joyce S Derby said...

I've just driven past Jury's Inn again 18:30, and both birds were on the lettering this time.

Craig said...

@Project Manager - "Will it be tonight?"

Anyones guess at the moment. Last year they started laying on the 24th, before that it was the 23rd, does your bible of Peregrines mention anything about egg laying times?

julie said...

could they have found a new nest site... over on the inn maybe??

Steph (Canada) said...

neither bird in sight at the moment

jean (Scotland) said...

Julie I was thinking the same thing.
Could they be laying somewhere else?
We will have to wait a bit longer to find out Surely it will be soon now?

Craig said...

I understand it's not unusual for Peregrines to have another nesting site or more. But this is the middle of Derby, where will they find a more suitable place?

jean (Scotland) said...

Did anyone else see one of them fly from the tower with a piece of the prey. Where did it take it? (Sorry can't tell male from female unless they are together)

jean (Scotland) said...

Two birds one on the tower one on ledge beneath scrape

jean (Scotland) said...

Bird on the scrape!!! Come on lay that egg!!!

Anonymous said...

I reckon they have clicked on that we are all waiting with baited breath and they are making us wait, it would be a devil if they've found somewhere else to lay those eggs after all the trouble Nick & Co have gone to, another whip round for more cameras?? I think Jury's Inn shouls contribute with all the mention's they get!

Jane (Belper) said...

Come on, Derby perries! The Nottingham pair now have 3 eggs!! This is beginning to look like Forest v the Rams this season!

Sue, Derby said...

Hope they haven't moved out of this nesting site because of the death of the two chicks last year! Perhaps they sense a problem with the nest and have moved on? I do hope not.

Steph (Canada) said...

I've been checking regularly today but have yet to see either bird.
Glad that Jean spotted both of them.

Craig said...

20.09 She's on the scrape ledge - Will she lay tonight?? Come on, you can do it!

Well this certainly shows she's not found another nest site.

Tiercel is up the tower.

RJ said...

Agree with Craig. The way the scrape is being prepared, shuffling the gravel around and creating a hollow etc, (as was the case this morning) and the way the tiercel is guarding it, plus the fact that the Falcon is still on the ledge above (as I type, 20.15, tiercel on the scrape, falcon above), makes me think this is still the chosen site. Maybe tonight.

p.s. tiercel or tercal? – over the years I’ve been using tiercel, but wiki tells me that’s the US spelling.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Hello everyone, well I can't believe that there is no egg yet. She is really making us wait this year. They do seem around the nest scrape though more in the past couple of days. Hopefully this is a good sign. Team members How is Cathy doing?

Craig said...

RJ:
From the dictionary.reference.com:

tercel or tiercel

a male falcon or hawk, esp as used in falconry

and

ter·cel

–noun Falconry .
the male of a hawk, especially of a gyrfalcon or peregrine.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French terçuel < Vulgar Latin *tertiolus, equivalent to Latin terti ( us ) third + -olus -ole1 ; probably so called because the male is about one third smaller than the female

KerrySuffolk said...

I'm on my days off as of 1 1/4 hours ago, will be able to stay up later and see some action

Come on Mrs P, get on with it. Us humans are all in sympathetic labour!

jean (Scotland) said...

So glad she has come back to the scrape. She is sure keeping us on tenter hooks

KerrySuffolk said...

Can't sleep! Just got up to look and see what is happening.

No egg yet. Mum on platform and Dad on the tower, both of them occaisionally popping off to streatch their wings but coming straight back.

Hopefully it won't be long now as they are spending more and more time near to home.

I'm off back to my roost now. Night night all!

Steph (Canada) said...

Both birds roosting... I'm off to bed!!

Craig said...

07.04 I can't believe she hasn't layed yet. She's sitting on the tower casually preening.

Craig said...

08.52 She sitting on the scrape ledge and preening, she may either have been yarning or threatening another passing bird, but she had her head up and beak wide open.

Craig said...

08.58 and 08.59, 09.02 There she goes again, head up, beak open. Nothing on the tower cam.

09.09 Big stretch and back to preening. Exciting stuff, what will she do for her next trick? Lay eggs? She's been there done, that, ate the rabbit.

Anyway, in other news, Aston Uni Kestrals haven't laid yet. But I wasn't expecting them to yet.

Nottingham Peregrines, nothing's happing there, Falcon on the eggs.

Mary T said...

Come on Mrs P! Today would be good as it's my day off.....

Craig said...

09.18 She's on the scrape, but poking around in the corner. That's the wrong place duck, take a few steps backwards.

Oh dear bosses are lurking, need to look like I'm working, typing on the blog may make them think I'm doing something, the sound of keys being pressed on a keyboard.

09.23 Oh she's on the scrape ducking down - Nooo! She's digging. Not laying! It was a tease.

09.24 On the scrape again... will she?...

09.25 Nope, she's moved on to the ledge. She's laughing at us.

Joy said...

Find it disappointing so far this year, come on Mrs P.

Does anyone know the Nottingham address for Peregrins Thanks

Anonymous said...

They have both gone somewhere and I thought there would be an egg today.

Craig said...

13.51 Lovely shot of the Falcon preening her tail. Well it would be but the logo was in the same place as the tail. Sorry to bring up that old argument. But I did grab a screeny of her doing it on the multicam. Lovely strips.

Craig said...

@Joy
"Does anyone know the Nottingham address for Peregrins Thanks"

Middle of Nottingham, the University building near The Corner House (cinema amoungst other things) and the Royal Centre, can't miss it. Let me know if you're coming in to Nottingham I could walk you there.

Erica said...

Thanks for the brilliant mating video, with wonderful sound track.

Joyce S Derby said...

Joy
The website address for the Nottingham Webcam is
http://www.ntu.ac.uk/ecoweb/ntu_doing/falcons/103295.cfm

Craig said...

16.37 Nothing happening in Derby, but Nottingham has both Falcon and Tiercel in shot of the camera.

Not that they're doing anything, but gives something to look at.

Spoke too soon, 16.41 switched back to Derby and both birds are on the camera. Tiercel on the tower. Falcon on scrape ledge.

Nottingham, Tiercel just walked off down the ledge. Head bowed low like he saw something and was creeping up on it. Falcon is off the eggs, 3 of them, and is just standing on the ledge. One of them will get back on the eggs shortly.

Come on Derby, you've got some catching up to do!

Anthony said...

do they have another nest site??sadly it looks like they might have laid there??

Joy said...

Thanks Craig I meant the web address to view it. Sorry not planning on coming to Nottingham but thanks for the offer

KerrySuffolk said...

@ Craig

Thanks for the Nottingham update, but it's making me fed up that "our" Mrs P can't get a move on!

Maybe tonight?

AnnieF. said...

Do we know, or could an expert estimate, Mrs. P's age? I'm wondering if she might perhaps be a little too old now, & if those two sad deaths last year were an indication that she might not have the physical ability to produce viable eggs.

Terri Akers said...

AnnieF - I was thinking the same thing myself, they have been doing this for a good few years now, but it probably doesn't do to speculate!

Craig said...

@AnnieF

By no means am I an expert but I have read that they lay from the age of two and every year for the rest of their lives. I can't seem to find my source at a quick look, but I can say they apparently live up to 15 years and favour the same nest site.

But I agree, would be nice to receive an answer to that one. But I doubt anyone could answer with their ages.

As to the last part of your statement, I do hope you're wrong, no offence.

Ssteveted said...

Nottingham Link

http://www.ntu.ac.uk/ecoweb/ntu_doing/falcons/103295.cfm

or just google Nottingham Peregrines
Probably easier

KerrySuffolk said...

@ Craig
Lovely shot of preening, thanks.

19.35
Tiercel on nest platform, he is looking impatient, he must be fed up waiting too!

Sorry for putting human emotions on the birds, but it was his stance and the way he was looking about that made me think that!

Slumpy said...

The Nottingham website says they can expect to live five to six years. But that seems to be after reaching maturity. They've been around Derby since 2006. Do the sums.

Anonymous said...

Dear All--As a faithful follower of both the Derby Ps and the Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) pair (called the Ks--Kathy and Kinney) I can tell you that Kinney is 17 years old and still producing four eggs with charming regularity. Actually, Kathy produces the eggs--Kinney...well, you know. So--I think our Derby pair is still "viable" and we can expect the blessed event tonight. At least that is my hope.

KerrySuffolk said...

Night all. I'm off to bed now. No activity on tower/platform for quite some time so you can guarentee that they will both reappear the minute I log off and Mrs P will pop out an egg in no time!

@ Terri & AnnieF

If Mrs P is not fertile this year it could be because Mr P, the weaker (smaller) sex in this case, is not up to the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phoebe said...

@ Anon

I so hope your are right. It is a bit of a wait but I think they will lay when ready, the time has to be right for them. Good Luck Mr & Mrs P!

I haven't posted much before this as I have a lot on at the moment, not to mention 3 birdboxes in my garden all with nests (Tree Sparrows), but I have been watching in anticipation.

Steph (Canada) said...

@KerrySuffolk
Still no birds in sight but I'll be checking in for a while longer...it's only 9.10pm here in Ontario. We all seem to think that the egg will be laid as soon as we go to bed.....and it probably will be!!

britredneck said...

hello from Little Rock Arkansas. Originally from Derby so no laughing if you please. Watched events unfold last year with tears and joy. The P. family has a growing fan club here with our local bird seed etc. supplier checking in. thanks to all who make this possible and those more knowledgeable for keeping us all informed.Its only 9pm here so maybe we will get to witness the moment. bye for now Helen

Steph (Canada) said...

Both birds back - one below the scrape and one on the tower.

Craig said...

Morning all, 07.00 nothing on the cameras. Well, they are wild animals - unpredictable. I looked on Wiki, unreliable as it may be, and it says they lay between February and March, we have only a very short window left for egg laying.


@KerrySuffolk

Truely I'm amazed by your statement on the Tiercel. He doesn't need to be as big as the Falcon, he's not the one laying the eggs. He is no less a powerful hunter (as proven by his ability to provide over the years) and he's a magnificent specimen of a male Peregrine.

We shouldn't be jumping to any conclusions about why they've not laid. They're not on the camera, for all we know they could have gone elsewhere.

Not forgetting that if they haven't laid it could be any number of environmental or physical (on BOTH birds) conditions.

KerrySuffolk said...

Falcon on scrape, looking purposeful!

Craig said...

07.25 The Falcon, I think, on the scrape. right on the indent, all fluffed up. Is she laying? She seems to be going round in circles, crouching down.

It could actually be the Tiercel, as usual difficult to tell.

07.33 No eggs, (s)he is preening.

KerrySuffolk said...

No egg!

Anonymous said...

Both birds, I think, are on the tower at 8.55am

Craig said...

08.43 Both birds are on the tower.

Notice there was an error in my previous post to Kerry, "... physical (on BOTH birds) conditions." That should really be either bird, not both. Sorry.

09.00 Bells chiming has come and gone and the birds didn't even move. Suppose a repeat of the post video was a little too much to ask for! :)

Mo Cole Belper said...

9.30am.....Both Mr and Mrs P on the tower still looking very much in love but maybe like most the years catch up with them...if this is the case lets wish them both a long and happy retirement, they have brought a lot of pleasure to us all over the years.. Mo Cole...Belper x

Joy said...

re Nottingham Peregrines thanks for those who have given me information.

Every time I look there is nothing happening on our site.

Joy said...

Looks as though they are on the towercam, both of them

Craig said...

10.19 Looks like one of the birds, has food (on the tower) although is not eating at the moment. (10.24).

jean (Scotland) said...

If anyone followed the story of Lady the Osprey at Loch of Lowes they wiil be pleased to know she has returned to the nest from migration. http://www.swt.org.uk/wildlife/webcams/loch-of-lowes2/

britredneck said...

one crazy pigeon sitting around just asking for it at 6.30 am US central time.Could it know something we don't? another day of keeping watch . Helen

AnnieF. said...

Hi, Helen in Little Rock, Anonymous who watches the peregrines in Indianapolis (not sure if you're actually there!), Steph in Canada, Phoebe, & Jean in Scotland!
@ Jean - isn't it marvellous to see Lady again, after last year's trauma? I saw her shortly after she arrived yesterday, & this morning she's been tidying the nest & looking around expectantly for her mate.
Here, there's just been an extremely foolhardy stock dove on the tower, and a peregrine on a corbel beneath the scrape, but - no egg.
@ Slumpy. I did the sums, but they didn't answer my query which was whether she was too old to continue to produce viable eggs. Being around Derby since 2006 isn't reliable evidence of age if she was already mature then.
@ Craig : Thanks for the info. Craig, much appreciated

Phoebe said...

Hi Annie and all

@ Craig
From what I have read the peregrine can live up to 20 years in the wild, so I don't think our pair are anywhere near that. It must be imminent from what is happening in my garden the bird boxes are very active and I saw both male and female TS in the box flirting/attempting to mate.

April fools day is soon upon us, maybe Mr & Mrs P are planning something :D

Craig said...

I was thinking of commending the bravery of that Pigeon on the tower, saying that the safest place is not in the sky but on a Peregrine's haunt where you can keep an eye on them below.

But the Tiercel is nowhere to be seen and the Falcon has just flown off. Although that Pigeon can outfly the Peregrine I would remind it that it is still pray and the Peregrine could still dive it.

Good Luck to you Mr(s). Pigeon, I hope to see you on the dinner table soon!

Joy said...

Hi only one of our Peregrins on towercam.

Been looking at Notts and could see Mrs P was calling but nothing came so she flew off for a very short break and so saw the 3 eggs. Does anyone manage to get sound?

Also checked in to the Ospreys saw one come onto the nest settle down and then another flew in, the first one then moved to the nest edge.

I do wish our Peregrins would do something.

KerrySuffolk said...

@ Craig

Sorry didn't mean to offend with previous post.

Suicidal pigeon on tower.

Craig said...

To say there isn't much egg laying or sight of the Peregrines for most of the day there is a lot of chit chat around here. Although we haven't heard from Nick M. or Nick B. much. Busy?

@Joy

No sound over the webcam here also. I could just walk to the Uni for some sounds. They probably don't have a microphone setup like Derby do, I say this because their recorded archive footage also doesn't have sound, but that is speeded up. Pitty but what can you do?

@Phoebe

Thanks for the info. Wiki as always seems unreliable for exact details. Suppose that's because most people don't know all the information about these birds.

@Kerry

I think the Tiercel need the apology not me. :)

KerrySuffolk said...

She is on the scrape, hopefully something happening soon!

jean (Scotland) said...

Falcon on the scrape walking round and round and squatting in the hollow Will she lay ?????

Phoebe said...

15:26
Is this it? Is she going to lay an egg? It’s looking promising! Crikey she looks round as if to say where is that egg!! It’s looking like hard work, I wonder if the air moisture has something to do with it?
Come on you can do it!

KerrySuffolk said...

She is hunching her back, could this be it?

Anthony said...

Peregrine Falcons live a lot longer in the wild than notts suggest,their critical period for survival is post fledging/first winter.They can reproduce into there late teens but viability of the eggs and tiercels semen tails off,falcon in the scrape now,from her demeanour she has egg lethargy ,They'll be an egg in the scrape by morning .

Craig said...

15.30 Falcon is on the scrape, Tiercel on the Tower. I'm pritty sure she's not on it to lay since she's spending more time messing with the stones than laying.

15.34 Over the scrape again... nothing.

15.35 Round in circles she goes, scrambled eggs anyone.

15.36 She's looking purposful again.... 36second of looking to do something and she's given up.

15.37 Back to the stones, yep they're interesting.

15.41 On to the ledge she goes, for a quick preen of the feathers... false alarm.

jean (Scotland) said...

No not yet. She's having us on again
Back on the edge of the scrape. I got quite excited for a moment

AnnieF. said...

She's been busy on the scrape for about 5 mins. (now on the ledge) & for part of that time I was convinced she'd gone into "laying mode". I feel sure she hasn't got a nest elsewhere, & that she knows it's nearly time!

Slumpy said...

Re the second nest. If they were laying somewhere else surely they wouldn't be spending so much time away from the eggs.

AnnieF. said...

She's been back in the scrape for a few minutes, fussing over something in the front right corner, but flew off again. The tiercel was on the tower meanwhile.

Anonymous said...

I posted as "anonymous" because I am too computer illiterate to do any better! I am originally from the UK and have a life-long interest in birds, especially raptors. I live in San Francisco but, through the magic of web-cams, I watch around the world. As I said, the Derby pair and the Indy pair have become my mainstay focus and I am glad to report that the Ks (Indianapolis) have produced 4 eggs. This gives me hope that the Derby Ps will follow suit. And soon! Cheers, C in SF

Steph (Canada) said...

The site in Hamilton, Ontario is up and running and they are expecting their first egg within the week....hope the Derby pair lay first. Hamilton is only down the highway but but Derby is much more picturesque!!

The site has some good pics in the gallery if anyone is interested.

http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org/

britredneck said...

evening all 8.40pm u.s. central time oh what a temptress our mrs.P is. Divorce is on the cards if she does not produce soon and my hubby is forced to listen to the trials and tribulations of the Derby P's much longer. Still they have good settlements here in the U.S.! Will take the watch for a while. wishing all involved a restful yet fruitful night. bye for now Helen

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Looks like we may be about to see here laying this morning.
Eyes peeled folks!

Craig said...

07.05 Eyes are open, Falcon on the scrape.

07.07 Nice small stretch and turns round onto the scrape. Dare I go get breakfast?

Come on little Falcon.

Tiercel is no-where to be seen.

07.14 Need breakfast... keep us updated Mr. PM.

Craig said...

07.17 Breakfast prepared, still no eggs.
07.18 Tiercel is down on the wall below the scrape.
07.19 He's off.
07.22 Tiercel is on the tower.
07.25 Have a quick move around, perhaps dig the scrape a bit more.
07.26 More digging.
07.27 All fluffed up right over the scrape... camera zooms in, the ANTICPATION... isn't doing anything for the Tiercel. And the Falcon relaxes.
07.29 Moves off the scrape to the ledge. Camera zooms in... yep, no eggs there, and reset.
07.30 Having a preen. Got to look your best with these camera closeups.

This minute by minute report was brought to you by someone who should be getting ready for work!

Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.