I'd gone to check for interesting recordings, but found none worth retrieving. But just as I was setting the equipment back to standby, before heading down the spiral stairs from the bell-ringing chamber, I heard a loud eee-chupp, eee-chupp over the live microphone feed.
Switching the camera controls over to the right-hand side of the nest platform, I saw our male standing there, calling. It sounded like a typical welcome, so I wondered if our female was flying in to land. Switching the camera feed back over to the other side, sure enough, there she was on the ledge down below the platform. She had a submissive posture, and looked ready to mate. Switching back, the male had now flown off, so I switched back once more, just in time to see him fly down to the ledge she was on and mate briefly with her before flying off. He soon reappeared on the nest platform, whilst she continued to call to him for some time.
I knew the video recorders were running, so this was clearly going to be a fascinating sequence to have captured. I edited out the three minute sequence, burnt it to DVD, and headed back down the tower stairs. I couldn't resist nipping out to look back up at the nest ledge from Amen Alley. There I met a couple of visitors to Derby to whom I chatted for a while. I told them they'd just missed seeing the birds mating, and they told me this was their first time visiting Derby, though they'd read our blog and watched the birds via the webcams. Just then, Margaret, one of the Cathedral Quarter rangers came down Amen Alley, and we all stopped to look at the birds and chat about our plans for this coming season. Just then, our male flew down and mated with the falcon once more. We couldn't believe our luck!