|Falcon on eggs and chick with broken egg fragment beside her.|
|Inside the Ringing Chamber at Derby Cathedral|
I had an opportunity to go up into Derby on Friday, so I called in to the Cathedral and went up to the ringing chamber to check our equipment. It was lucky I did, as one of our DVD recorders had recently frozen up and stopped recording. Having restarted them, I went through the remaining six-hour chunks of recordings that had been made and found a couple of interesting clips which I thought were worth sharing here.
The first was a lovely change over (dare I say, eggs-change?) between the female and the male, around 7.30am on May 3rd. The low, raking sunlight really highlights the shallow depression, or scrape, that the birds make for their nest, and you can really get a feel for the difference in size between the larger female (falcon) and the much smaller male (known as a tiercel)
The second clip shows a lovely sequence with our adult male arriving with food. You can just hear him calling very faintly in the distance as he flies in with prey. He continues calling from the tower top, and the adult female responds to him. She sounds so much louder because she is incubating four eggs on a nest platform on which our microphone is located, and it picks her up so much more clearly . After a few moments she flies up to take the food item from him, flies briefly around the tower and then returns to a favoured point to start the process of plucking and feeding.
For those wondering about my future involvement with the Peregrine Project, I can only say that the project partners met last week to discuss how we take things forward this season. My former colleagues at Derby Museum are also working on getting permission for me to continue accessing the City Council's VPN (virtual private network) which for the last four years has allowed me to zoom the cameras in and out, listen for activity and remotely restart the equipment or to switch camera feeds. Whether I get new passwords to access that network before the eggs hatch our remains to be seen. It'll be touch and go, I fear.
But rest assured that we'll do all we can to maintain the same level of activity and involvement which brings so many of you in to watch and read about Derby's famous peregrines, or to visit Derby for yourselves. In fact, we hope we can find ways to enhance things in the year ahead. We're always keen to listen to viewers suggestions, too. Just leave us a comment on this blog with your ideas.