Monday, 27 June 2011

Wildlife in the city may divert you?

As depression sets in for those of you finding the web cams suddenly empty, here's some other local wildlife you might want to check out if you live in or near to Derby! If you can't get to Derby, well I'm sure there's plenty of wildlife in your neck of the woods too - even if you live in a city - so get looking!

Stock doves - rather surprisingly, a couple of these normally rural birds are often about on the cathedral tower. They can be told from
feral pigeons by the lovely irridescent greeny blue patches on their necks and the lack of long double black wing bars - they have just a very short one instead!

White letter hairstreak butterflies - there are small colonies of this delightful insect close to the cathedral. They live on and around elm trees - so first, find your elm tree! There's one just by the pedestrian bridge close to Jurys Inn, the one that crosses over to St Mary's RC Church.
They warm themselves on leaves low down early on in the day and then fly rapidly about the top of the tree once the day has warmed up. Also try the elms close to Chapel St. Car park.

Gingko trees - these very primitive Chinese trees have been planted on The Green just where we stand at the Watch Point...note their strangely shaped leaves.

Derby's (only) dolphin - well, this is a cheat - The Dolphin Pub just around the corner is the oldest pub in the city dating back hundreds of years - nice dolphin with green eyes can be seen outside!

And if you should want to see two green men (carved in stone of course) just look left and right as you enter the cathedral! The mediaeval stone masons often incorporated pagan symbols in the stone they carved all those years ago....don't tell the clergy though.....!

Sand martins You'll need to go to The Sanctuary Nature Reserve close to Pride Park Football Stadium to see these brown cousins of the swallow nesting in holes in a specially made nesting bank. Well worth the visit though....
Nick B (DWT)

The photo of stock doves is copyright John Robinson


Phoebe said...

An adult just brought fresh prey to the scrape and after dangling it over the ledge for a while, I think it was removing the head, it was then tucked it into the front rhs.

During this time the youngster on the top did not move but a blurry image of a bird diving down was seen on the tower cam.

Phoebe said...

I've put some screen captures of the fresh prey brought in earier.

Phoebe said...

A youngster is close up on the tower, now she has gone... on top of the camera with tail in view.

Joy said...

7.45p.m. peregrin on scrape and one on pudding cam

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Update Tuesday afternoon: three juvs on the tower and both adults on JI (Jurys Inn). Two of the juvs on the ledge above the nest (ie on the east face) and the third on the north side of the tower. Later on some juvs were seen flying well on what was a grey afternoon with only light winds.
Let's hope the fourth juv is on a roof somewhere out of sight from the ground. Time will tell.
Nick B (DWT)

KerrySuffolk said...

Two on tower, one on the platform eating!

Anonymous said...

In case anyone is interested in the fortunes of peregrines in Aylesbury, we have some good news and some disappointing news. After several years of zero interest shown in our nesting platform installed on Bucks County Council tower block, our pair took to it for the first time. All looked to be going well until Mrs P sat, and sat, and sat, and sat ... and eventually, after 5 weeks the pair departed leaving behind one solitary, presumably infertile, egg. What a daft pair, lets hope they make a better stab at it next year!