Thursday, 5 April 2012

Our clutch is complete and a possible sighting update


Update 14th April: a bird watcher in North Derbyshire has seen a peregrine with an orange/red colour ring on its leg but he was unable to see the ring number. Could this be one of our cathedral birds? We await further sightings.......
We now have a full clutch of four eggs (video below). This last egg surprised some of us as we thought this year there would only be three. The reason for that is because we thought that incubation had begun in earnest after the second egg, though it may have been the cooler weather which encouraged them to warm the eggs more than normal. (Full incubation begins just before the last egg is due to be laid)
Our thanks to RJ who reported all four eggs visible at 09.19 on April 5th. On checking our recorded footage, it's clear the egg appeared sometime between 10pm on 4th April and 3am the next day. Surprisingly, we could not see the exact moment; it all happened so quickly and under cover of lots of feathers.

The video below shows a moment on 5th April when the female was relieved from incubating the eggs by the male. We see how much larger she is than the male. Notice, too, the somewhat darker shade of grey around his head than she has. The angle they are at does make it hard even for the Project Team members to tell them apart sometimes.




The female will do most of the incubating, now. Occasionally she will leave the eggs to feed and preen herself. The male will cover the eggs as best he can while she's off but, being smaller, he's really not as good at this as the female and she will return as soon as she can, pushing the male out of the way!
His main task is to feed his mate. She will not hunt again until the chicks are quite big....and that's at least six or seven weeks away.
Meanwhile, we're sure you'll keep an eye on our birds from time to time to ensure everything is going to plan.

One day some years ago, it rained very hard from the East and drenched the incubating female. We were sure the nest would flood. Fortunately the drainage holes worked and the eggs survived but she certainly had a very testing time of it. Let's hope that doesn't happen this year.
Today it is very cold in Derby following yesterday's snow. The wind is from the north and it feels more like January!

We also hope you manage to get out to see some wildlife 'for real' once the weather warms up a bit. Migrant birds are coming back and the first influx of swallows can't be far away (though if they have any sense they will be lingering further south for the time being!).
Already a few migrating ospreys have been seen in Derbyshire. Beatrice, one of Roy Dennis' satellite tagged ospreys roosted one night near Fernilee Reservoir in the north of the county and an osprey of unknown origin flew north over the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's nature reserve at Wyver Lane, just outside Belper a couple of days ago. And a third bird was seen at Carsington Reservoir.
To follow the progress of Roy's tagged birds just put 'roy dennis' or 'highland foundation for wildlife' into a search engine and his fascinating website will come up.
Meanwhile, here in Derby, we have time to 'chill'...in both senses of the word!


We'll do our best to answer any questions you may have so do please keep on sending in comments.


Nick M and Nick B (DWT)

Ps. The faulty power supply to our Cisco wireless internet connection was changed on Saturday. This devise was overheating and cutting out and, thanks to Gavin from SERCO, we have been supplied with a replacement which we hope will give as equally long service.

Pps. Double click on the Clustrmap world map on the blog to see exactly where in the UK and in the world people have been watching our birds from. Countries (some 47 of them) include Lybia, Mongolia and the Cook Islands!

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, Phoebe and Helen beat me to it I reckon, and HelenSara (same Helen?) managed to get the screen grab I missed (it’s on the flickr site, well done!), and I can see the screen shows the time at 09.17.

RJ

Caroline said...

Great news about the 4th egg! The picture of the cathedral with the nest platform just visible really gives one a feel for where they are on the magnificent building. I find the pics on Flickr provided by photographers around the cathedral are great too because you see the birds and architecture from different points of view. I love the video of the changeover with the bells ringing but also the peregrines calling to each other. Thank you everyone!

Phoebe said...

Good news! The earliest screenshot of the four eggs is 06:32 am taken by tedgaytor, so we know it was earlier than that. Now it's the waiting game.

Jean Burton said...

A swallow was spotted at Loch of the Lowes Scottish Wildlife Trust on monday So summers on its way, I hope

Mo Cole Belper said...

Hi.... A winning draw.... Derby 4 Nottingham 4 .... Fantastic News.. Mo x

Mary T said...

That's such good news - I thought we might only get three this year. Felt so sorry for Mrs P yesterday sitting there in the absolutely dreadful weather we had. Today it's cold but snow has gone and even a bit of evening sunshine has appeared.

Joy said...

Great news about the 4th egg and on wednesday too. Lots to watcvh now.

Joy said...

Just seen all four eggs, parent bird away for now.

Sue Peregrino said...

That's great!! Just as I typed on the previous post that you seemed to have a clutch of three, it's become four! We still "only" have three in Aylesbury, but it's three more than we have ever had before and we are EGGstatic! I may even have FINALLY managed to change my image from last year's waxwings to this year's Mrs peregrine.

Ashley said...

Hello, my nameis Ashley and I live in the United States, I found this camera and website on a live camera application for the iPod touch, I am a beginner when it comes to birds. I have been watching the camera since just before Momma Falcon laid her first egg, to see this process of egg laying is very interesting, I hope to catch the moment the eggs hatch on camera as it happends. I have a question, how long does mom incubate her eggs and when do they usually start to hatch?.

Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Hi Ashley
Delighted you found us, especially via an iphone app, because we thought most iphones and iPods could cope with Flash player. Could you tell us what the live camera app is called?

Peregrine falcons incubate their eggs for about 30 days. So keep your iPod charged up around 4th-5th May for some exciting egg-hatching action. Some of the folks here hang around for days waiting for that magic moment, and I'll be zooming in the cameras given half a chance to give everyone a real close-up look. There's usually a small hole in the egg that appears first which can tantalise everyone for 24hours or more.
Checkout out YouTube Channel to see some of the previous year's hatching moments.

Any other questions you've got - don't be afraid to ask. We're all learning here -(me included)

Nick (only three eggs) Moyes

Anonymous said...

so glad this project is running again this year- a real joy to see the birds( I totaly forgot last year)congrats to all concerned

Sue Peregrino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Peregrino said...

Have I finally cracked the great conundrum of my blogger account photo ????? I think I may have ... phew

Steph (Canada) said...

Great to see 4 eggs for Derby....4 in Hamilton, Ontario too and incubation underway.
One of the chicks from Hamilton's 2009 brood is now nesting in Columbus, Ohio...they do get around, don't they?

Pax1 Canada said...

So good to see four were laid again this year.

Nick B (DWT) said...

There's an interesting article about peregrines in the April edition of BBC Wildlife magazine.
Apparently they have been recorded taking birds of some 2000 different species worldwide...from cranes to hummingbirds! Some gourmets indeed!
Nick B (DWT)

Nick B (DWT) said...

Steph: that's an interesting thing. Do you have any idea how far the two sites are apart?
nick B

Sue Peregrino said...

Isn't it wonderful how many peregrine sites there are now, and all around the world too. I suspect only Brits will have the faintest idea what I am talking about, but they even have nesting peregrines at "Ambridge" on "The Archers"! How many eggs do they have there does anyone know?

Steph (Canada) said...

Nick, It's approx a 7 hour drive from Hamilton to Columbus (650km??)
This is a link to their live webcam...

http://ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/falcons/live_nestbox_video.aspx

According to Hamilton she laid eggs last year that didn't hatch but has laid again this year so, fingers crossed.
The Hamilton site as a button in the top right 'History' and they give yearly updates of 'their' birds.

http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org/

Happy Easter everyone :)

Steph (Canada) said...

Oh and on the Columbus site there is a section on the left side for 'Other Peregrine Sites' and it is a long list and includes the Derby Cathedral site!!

Steph (Canada) said...

sorry, hit enter .....but the Derby link is not correct - i think they need an update!

RJ said...

Back to prediction time again, for the first hatch. I nearly with Nick M, who reckons 4th/5th May, it does seems likely given that the 5th would be 30 days after the last egg arrived (and they’ve gone 30, 30, 30, 31, 30 over the previous 5 years). What may slightly alter that, and point maybe to the 4thMay, is whether the increased incubation between egg #2 and #3 (which made me think #3 was to be the last) will mean slightly earlier first hatch. I think I posted over the last weekend that I was wondering whether the colder snap might alter behaviour – was that why incubation ramped up earlier? Will eggs #1 & #2 effectively getting earlier than normal full incubation, mean that there will be a longer gap between first and last hatching? In 2010 it was exactly 24 hours between first and last (#4) hatch (compared to near enough 7 days between first and last laying). I’ll stick my neck out and go for late 3rd or 4th May, followed by 36+ hrs between first and last hatch.

On the other hand, these birds seem to know exactly what they are doing, trashing my maths on the laying (not for the first year!), and will probably stick, remarkably, to a spot on 30 days from last egg to first hatch, and all out in a day!

RJ

Nick B (DWT) said...

Steph: thanks - that's a mighty long way for a peregrine to move to isn't it? Of course your birds, unlike ours, are migrants aren't they - so we can't really compare like with like.
Interesting none the less that a bird should set up home so far away from where it was raised.
Nick B

Steph (Canada) said...

Nick...... the female in Hamilton was hatched in Pennsylvania and, according to their website, one of her chicks is also now nesting in Pennsylvania. Interesting!

AnnieF. said...

Changeover at 18.32 hrs. The tirecel had been waiting on the rh ledge for ages; now he's struggling to cover the entire clutch.

Sue Peregrino said...

That's really interesting to hear that N American peregrines are migratory, I didn't know that. 650km is a huge distance - but a long way off records in the bird world. I guess it's the arctic tern that's the record holder? Migratory species normally winter in one place and breed in their summer grounds, so, as Nick says, it's remarkable that the birds bred so far from where they were raised. Maybe it's just that peregrines after all need to live up to their name and peregrinate, or "wander". I had that "wandering" in mind when I chose my blog name. It's with a nod to the Spanish name for the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, which is "perigrino" which I guess again is about the wandering aspect.

jan t said...

9.30 am Tirecel on rhs may be to take over jan

Caroline said...

They were discussing birds in cities on Radio 4's 'Saturday Live' this morning and mentioned peregrines in passing so I emailed the programme about Derby but didn't have any luck getting a mention.

I'm out of date on 'The Archers', Sue, but great to hear that they've kept the storyline.

Look forward to getting the April edition of the BBC Wildlife magazine, Nick. Your comment about the 2000 prey species reminded me that David Attenborough said on one of his programmes that one reason for the success of humans as a species is that we're not niche feeders. Sounds like peregrines aren't that fussy either!

Sue Peregrino said...

Female sitting tight, male perched on the edge of the platform. Very grey clouds overhead.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

How wonderful another 4 eggs as usual Do hope and pray they will all hatch and survive. Great news Derby my home town. xxx

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Super news 4 eggs as usual Hopefully all will hatch and survive.

Caroline said...

Best wishes to everyone for Easter, but especially the cathedral staff who have made this project possible.

Penny said...

Happy Easter everyone, and especially to the precious little Easter Eggs on Derby Cathedral!

Ren13 said...

Ohio does have a nice page, thank you Steph! I emailed them with the correct link for our Derby family, hopefully they will fix it soon.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks for doing that Ren13...very helpful.
It's been a wet bank Holiday Monday here in Derby. While we need the rain, it's not really been a day to go far...
Nick B (DWT)

Steph (Canada) said...

@Ren13....you're very welcome - glad you enjoyed the Ohio site. It's great to have so many sites that we can enjoy...thanks for emailing them the correct Derby link.

Caroline said...

If I remember rightly, you might be due to hear the outcome of your funding bid this week or next. Let's hope a golden goose hatches! Good luck.

Sue Peregrino said...

Rats, I missed the April BBC Wildlife mag - when I went out to get it today, it was the May one on the shelves (silly me, I should realise that 10th April is May already to the magazine producers) So, no petregrines - but some nice articles on black bears, swifts, maybugs and badgers. All may be quiet on the incubating peregrines front but there's just so much life bursting out all over in our northern springtime, it's great! The tricle of migrant birds is becoming a flood. I've seen one report of somebody in Bucks spotting a first returning hobby - my second favourite birds (after peregrines) I was at Slimbridge over easter and they had a peregrine book at a whopping £50. I can't recall the author, can anyone help?

Nick B (DWT) said...

Sue: possibly Derek Ratcliffe?
He wrote the definitive tome The Peregrine, published by Poyser Books (two editions).
Nick B (DWT)

Ren13 said...

Update- The web coordinator for the Ohio peregrines was very glad to have the new link to Derby, and has made the correction.

Sue Peregrino said...

Keep looking at Derby, IMHO the gold standard, first and best peregrine web watch project in the world but I'm bursting to share with the world that Derby has had another baby! Yes, with huge good luck from mother nature and a good sprinkle of inspiration from Derby, look what we now have in Aylesbury!!!!!
http://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/leisure-culture/biodiversity-wildlife-conservation/peregrine-falcons-nesting/
Our image only refreshes every 15 seconds .... but woo hoo, it's enough just to know we have the birds there. :) :) :)
PS Did I mention how excited I am?
PPS oh yers, and I managed to find that April issue of the BBC Wildlife magazine at a Bucks library

Ashley said...

Hello, there Nick, thank you so much for answering my question. I really do appreciate it. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond and answer your question, I have been very seriously sick and was unable to get on my iPad to respond. But to answer your question the iPod touch app is called Live Cams Pro. And it was developed by Eggman Technologies Inc.

Sue Peregrino said...

Hello peregrine watching comrades
The scene in both Derby and Aylesbury looks similar this morning - females sitting tight in nice sunshine. Thanks for the suggestion about the definitive book, Nick. It does sound like the one I saw. I shall have a good look at the weekend when the WWT London Wetlands Centre is having "London Bird Fair" at Barnes. Hopefully, it'll be up to the standards of the Rutland Bird Fair and there'll be lots of good birding things to do and see and buy.

Green Class said...

We have seen the four eggs that the perigrin has leyd now she is inqbeting on them we know that it is the femail becus she is bigger than the male. she looks after her eggs very good.

Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Hello Green Class!
Lovely to hear from you again after the Easter holidays.

I wonder how many of you were watching our peregrines from home?

I'm glad you've seen the four eggs. They are certainly my favourite kind of Easter egg. It's quite hard to spot them now that our two parent birds take turns to incubate them to keep them warm and help them develop.

It would be lovely to hear your guesses on when the first egg will hatch. We all like doing that. (Hint: There's still quite a long wait ahead of us, yet)

Don't forget to tell everyone roughly how old your class is when you next write - I doubt many people expect to read such wonderful comments from infant school children.

felix and finn said...

7years old, holmesdale infants
we wood not
think the eggs wood be that coler.
we think the eggs will hach in 34days.

Holmesdale Infants said...

Beth age sevn . I think its cool to see for red egg after the Easter holiday . We think the egg will hach 3rd may

Anonymous said...

Nathan age seven Holmesdale Infants
I think the egg would hatch around
thirty days. 5th may

AnnieF. said...

Wonderful comments indeed! I love to read what the children saw and what they think about these beautiful peregrines. My guess about the day the first egg will hatch is 2nd. May.

Holmesdale Infants said...

Florence age 6
I think the eggs will
start haching round about
3rd may.

megana said...

age 7 from hol

megan said...

from holmesdail infants.
i think the eggs will hatch on the
1 of may.

megan said...

from holmesdail infants.
i think the eggs will hatch on the
1 of may.

Holmesdale Infant said...

FIN7
i went to dobi kidrui to see the brb. it was ameyzin.

Steph (Canada) said...

Wonderful observations from Holmesdale Infants! I just logged on here in Canada and your comments have made my day. Thank you so much!

Olivia said...

Olivia from Brigg Infants -
Great eggs from the peregrine - don't think we'll get anymore. My class have all been excited about the eggs. The peregrine has sat on the eggs for so long I think they'll be hatching soon probably in May. It is good that our clutch is completed.