Thursday, 21 June 2012

Drawing to a close - or is it?

With all four youngsters now fledged, the season is drawing to an end.

But don't forget that the family should remain around the cathedral until August at least and that watching the young learn to fly and the parents teach them to hunt is a great spectacle. You may still catch one of the young or an adult via the web cams though their presence will be less reliable (three birds were visible on the tower web cams on Thursday evening I'm told).
Watch Points continue until the end of next week (on 23rd, 27th, 28th and 30th) weather permitting - so do try to come down and meet us if you've not been already (and if the weather is better than today!).
And please do send us a donation if you've not done so yet - especially as we have this amazing offer still operating: namely, whatever you give us, our anonymous donor will add on three times what you give! We've received over £500 so far from many donors (see below) which equates to £2000 when the multiplier effect is applied. That is a marvellous start - but our target is much higher!
We want to do so much more than the HLF grant will allow us to do....so please send us something, however small. How to do it is explained on the previous post. For most people in the UK at least the easiest way is either to write a cheque payable to DWT and send it to DWT, East Mill, Belper, DE56 1XH or to ring the Trust on 01773 881188 (office hours) and pay using a debit card.
Donors so far include the following to whom many thanks:
Jane W, Phoebe, Mr. G, Ann G, Brian Q, Anon, Caroline H, Mrs Burton, Kevin H, Terence B, Gorsefield Primary School, Helen D in Arkansas, Anon, Mrs C, Brenda P in Montreal, @sueperegrino, Mrs P, Ann Frogatt, Mrs Tillett, Mrs W and Roger S in Austria. There may be more, eg those sent in via the bank but for which we don't yet have the details.
Anyway, a big thank you to everyone for your generosity. It really is very heartening to see how much the birds and the project mean to so many people.
A tail of two halves: this afternoon, I had a call saying there was a bird on the ground in the main city bus station that looked like a peregrine. When I arrived the bird had flown but a photo taken on a mobile phone showed it to be just a mistle thrush. Clearly, any bird found in the city is now thought by the public to be a peregrine!
I also called at the cathedral and was handed a brown envelope by the head verger which, once opened, contained a crisp £50 note, an anonymous donation. A big thank you to whoever left this generous contribution should they be reading this....and sorry if you had come to Derby specifically to attend the watch point. The weather this morning (Thursday) was really appalling and not fit for running a Watch Point.
Thanks to Tim: Tim Brooks has now left the employ of the wildlife trust where he was the People and Wildlife Manager since summer 2009, and as such officially in charge of this project. He steered the HLF bid to success, kept both the budgets under control and a wary eye on Nick M and me too! His contribution to the project will be missed. The post he held is not being continued with so it seems the project will now fall under the aegis of Matt Croney at DWT.
We wish Tim all the best in his new job and thank him for his contribution to the project.

Nick B (DWT)
Photos: show a juv in front of the stonework (by Andy Byron) and a food exchange between adult and youngster/sand the adult female passing the flag on the top of the tower as she arrives on the pinnacle on which she likes to watch over proceedings (three shots by Ian Bradley). And a photo of Jurys Inn on top of which the juvs have been spending quite a bit of time recently.

Lottery grant launch talk: this link on the DWT website gives the history of the project; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTPla0gtUfk&feature=plcp

43 comments:

Rej (AT) said...

All photos of the juvies will be much appreciated by us distant fans, especially as they sit and preen or learn hunting skills.

Thanks Nick for the amusing mistle thrush story - well an easy mistake, both brownish, with freckled chests. I guess the lack of a hooked beak would be a good field mark, and thrushes are not famous for their talons! Much better a false alarm than a peregrine in trouble.

Great going so far with your fundraising, I hope you make your target.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Rej. Indeed, much better that it wasn't a peregrine - and good that someone bothered to report the bird.
It is another wet looking day here in Derby and the forecast for tomorrow's Watch Point isn't much better.
I'll search out some photos of this year's juvs and add them to this post.
Nick (DWT)

Nick B (DWT) said...

If Simon Richardson is reading this could he please contact the project team who want to get his permission to use his photos on the blog and elsewhere. Please email enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk asap.
Thanks
Nick B (DWT)

Diane said...

If you are a relative newcomer to the Derby site, don't stop watching just because the young have flown. I check the cameras most days all year round and there is often something to see. Unlike some of the other pairs elsewhere, the Derby birds hang around all year.The female in paricular can often be seen sunning herself on the platform in winter. Lovely sight!

Sue Peregrino said...

Diane is right, keep watching the web-cams. You'll get a feel for the routine that the birds have and when the likely times might be. And for anyone lucky enough to live near a peregrine nesting site, this is where actual visits come into their own. Just because you can't see anything on the web-cam doesn't mean the birds have disappeared from the vicinity. They are not far away in Derby at the moment - in fact, the juvs seem very happy to sit waiting for food deliveries on top of Jury's Inn, a fact you'd never pick up on from the web-cam.
I still marvel that Derby did so well this season - four juvs fledged. The only stats I have are Aylesbury = 2, Bath = 2, Lincoln = NONE, Nottingham = 1. I don't know of any other quads. Well done wise old Derby birds!
Derby biodiversity is pretty amazing! Fancy having a mistle thrush in the shopping centre! I'm impressed, and so pleased that the good people of Derby care about their wildlife too, even if their identification skills are a work in progress.

Sue Peregrino said...

Oops, sorry Nick B, when I said "shopping centre" I of course maent "bus station" - it's still very biodiverse impressive though! I think I was harking back to the sparrowhawk when I thought of the shopping centre.

Caroline said...

Clocked on tonight quickly having got home and was greeted by 3 juvies being fed by mouth right by the cam! Then they were left to get on with the food themselves while one parent went and had a good shove around in the gravel on the scrape while the other parent seemed to be on the corbels just below? Got some grabs so will post on Flickr though perhaps others have seen it too. As you say, the good viewing is not over yet!

Mark Whewell said...

The female Peregrine at Belper Mill has now been joined by a new male.Anyone think it possible they will attempt a brood at this stage of the season?

christne said...

About an hour ago saw a brilliant food pass! Involving 3 juveniles & Mrs p! From Christine

Anonymous said...

Watchpoint 23rd June

We had views of some of the birds throughout the watch point and many people visit to enjoy them. As always it was great to meet old friends and welcome newcomers for the first time. We had around 70 people visit and many of them stayed for some time due to the activity taking place.
Although the weather was dull and windy we remained pretty dry until 1.15.
We had some great views of all 6 birds and this kept all of us on our toes as every time you looked away they seemed to have moved!
There was a lot of movement between the Cathedral and Jurys Inn. The juveniles are quickly becoming more skilled in their flying, one youngster took the opportunity to try a quick chase of a small group of feral pigeons who were happily sat on a nearby roof top this caused them to scatter and take these young birds much more seriously now!!
Mum came in with a prey item and allowed the youngsters to follow her and did a food pass to one. Despite valiant efforts on his part he was not quite strong enough yet to carry it to a roof top and dropped it. Despite a lot of noise mum did not repeat this during the time we were there.
The watchpoint closed at 1.15 when a sudden heavy shower called a halt to both them and us!
Chris Andy and Helen

Nick B (DWT) said...

Mark: no, it is far too late now for this year to start laying eggs...but good the female has a new mate for next year.
Nick B (DWT)

Ian (superbrad) said...

Pleanty of activity today at the Cathedral green as covered in the previous watchpoint blog from Chris Andy and Helen.
All I can add is my series of shots covering the main event.
The shots are hand held and heavily cropped and rather poor quality but I feel you will get a good feel of a few moments of serious schooling from the parent followed with a bit of sibling rivalry thrown into the mix and covering the food exchage.
It was all over rather to quickly but a privelage to see.
The slideshow is of an 82 shot sequence starting with the Falcon on the capped Chimley of the Silk Mill where she had the prey stashed.
.
https://picasaweb.google.com/113923448994663547451/June23RdDerbyPeregrineFoodExchange#slideshow/5757309177322454130

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did through the lens.

Regards Ian (superbrad)

Jon Salloway said...

Ian,

They are brilliant. The only thing that's missing is the audio!

I'm sure you enjoyed your day, Peregrines everywhere. Fingers crossed for tomorrow's weather.

Jon

Helen said...

It seemed like the sky was full of peregrines today. What more could you ask for?! It really was fantastic to see all four juveniles flying so well. Many thanks for all the very generous donations that we recieved at the watch point.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Watch Point donations DO qualify for the threefold multiplier effect - courtesy of our anonymous donor....so, if you put something in the donations box today, many thanks - we will get whatever you gave times three plus the original amount!
Nick B (DWT)

Joyce S Derby said...

Ian - thank you so much for sharing your photos. I really enjoyed the series of the food passing that you witnessed yesterday.
When I was at the front of the cathedral earlier on this morning I could hear the birds screeching, and guessed that there must have been a food delivery.

Simon Richardson said...

FAO Nick B, Please feel free to use any of my images of the Peregrines,
Simon Richardson.

christine said...

Just had fantastic arial display of 3 juveniles and a parent interlocking over rivermead house block of flats! From Christine

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Simon, that's good of you.
Nick (DWT)

Ian (superbrad) said...

Another great episode today the Parent Peregrine came into view with some food and approached the left hand Grotesque (Left Pig to the regulars)it was soon mobbed by two of the Juv's, During the scrabble for the kill it slipped down the left hand side of the grotesque and started to fall the parent immediately went into a dive going after it and tried to recover the kill, It managed to grab it by the wing as it was approaching the height of the scrape unfortunately the kill slipped through its grasping talons and fell out of view onto the Nave roof.
A few Minutes later after it had recovered the kill from the roof it appeared and took it over to the capped chimney across the green at the Derby Silk Mill.
You will have to visit the Derby Cathedral Peregrines soon you may be lucky enough to see events like this unfold before your eyes the parents are rather active at the moment teaching the family how to survive in the future.
.
A slideshow of the event that took place at 09:00am with 18 shots is in the folder below.
.
https://picasaweb.google.com/113923448994663547451/June24thPeregrinFoodDrop#slideshow/5757649668441578450
.
Regards Ian (superbrad).

Phoebe said...

The falcon is plucking fresh prey at this moment in the left side of the scrape! Another night hunt maybe.

Joyce S Derby said...

Thanks again, Ian, for a brilliant sequence of shots. It looks like it had a stock dove.

Anonymous said...

9.30am and it looks like breakfast has been served!

Caroline said...

Sounds like a great weekend watching the peregrines down at the Cathedral! Thanks so much for the slideshows, Ian :) You did well to catch what was going on because I know how fast things happen and the difficulty of tracking it all through binoculars never mind a camera. The slide shows really show the manoeuvring which the juvies have got to learn. Wow.

I also really like the Youtube clip of Nick B explaining how the project came about - really handy to pass on to people I know who might be interested. Great to hear about the funds coming in too!

Phoebe said...

Ian (superbrad) - A fabulous set of photos! Thanks for sharing.

Diane said...

Good News - according to the Burton Mail, a pair of peregrines have succesfully raised three youngsters in the town centre and they are about to fledge. The exact location is not being given, to protect the birds.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Diane: a pair has nested in the town for many years....so perhaps this is a new pair or a different location.
At the cathedral this morning, two juvs flying about confidently and a third on the tower top.
No sign of any white letter hairstreak butterflies on some elms nearby. A visit to see them with a guide is planned for Saturday IF the sun shines and if there are any about by then though it's been a rotten year for these insects so far (once hot March was over).

Nick B (DWT)

Nick B (DWT) said...

Donations coming in since we announced the 'multiplier effect' courtesy of the anon donor have now topped £700....but can we reach £1000?
If you've sent money already, many thanks. If you haven't please consider doing so. I'll put a fresh and an updated list of all donors on the blog soon.
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. Just three watch Points to go (weather permitting). Tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday (30th). Hope to see you there.....

Georgia from America said...

I have really enjoyed this site along with the eagles I have been watching in America. I am a real "birder". The only site left to me, sadly, are the ospreys in New Jersey and my birds in my yard. But there is next year which I look forward to. Thanks to all for your hard work!

Nick B (DWT) said...

Good to hear it Georgia...hope you keep having a look at the web cams and blog through the coming winter and rejoin us again next year.
Nick B (DWT)

Sue Peregrino said...

Yes Georgia, it's bitter sweet when the young peregrines fledge. We all miss them! But as Nick says, keep checking back on the webcam from time to time, you'll see the odd bird on the platform now and then. And who will be first to spot the 2013 action! Derby is still the finest project in my book :) but have a google and you'll find webcams to keep you ticking over! I found a FABULOUS white tailed eagle camera in Estonia last winter, to use that overused expression, with justificatioon, it was AWESOME. The British bird charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (the RSPB) has some webcams too, see here http://www.rspb.org.uk/webcams/

Hope the watchpint today is going well - touch wood, it may even be DRY for once!!!

I'm busy here at home playing and playing my swift calls CD, hoping to imprint my new boxes onto any juv swifts so they come back and use them next year. It's been an AWFUL season for the swifts too - too cold and wet and very little food about (ie no insects) Hope you find your white hairstreak butterflies on Saturday, Nick. The weather has been impossible for moths and butterflies too I fear!

If all else fails, hope you get lots of donations into the collecting tin, I'm sure you are still keen to get the project funded up just as much as you can so you can make all of your plans happen.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Sue: I often type 'watchpint' too...must be a reason eh?
Today's WP went well and the weather was good. All four juvs on the tower to start with, then the adults came and went and the juvs flew about too...some going to the police aerial tower in Chester Green (just visible from the WP.
Today we had a local infant school for an hour. Delightful children, very well behaved and all of them finally got to see the birds through the scopes! They went away happy. Their teacher, Ian, had been showing them the live stream at school and had obviously done a really good job teaching them the basics about peregrines.
We'll be doing much more of this next year.
Big thanks to Tony G, Hilary and Jim M for helping me out today.
Nick B (DWT)

Robert Taylor said...

Once we know that the birds are not going to return to the nest platform until the new breading season, I would like to make a suggestion.
After watching a recent episode of springwatch where they showed footage of the falcons in Bath, their platform has roof on it to give the birds a little shelter from the recent bad weather we had. Would it not be possible to do something similar to the platform in Derby, especially after the weather we had here in Derby & Nottingham.( I think they need to do the same for their birds).

Anonymous said...

Robert

I would think that the problem might be where it’s sighted – on a church and thus I guess there are all sorts of regulations. The scrape is actually quite unobtrusive, (though the cameras aren’t!) so fitting a roof would make it a bit more obvious. Also I think the roof would have to have quite a slope, to stop the birds perching there, and thus be out of shot. I suppose one corner might have a small canopy, maybe the left hand side, where the eggs are laid, diagonally across that ‘square’? But it would have to be cleverly designed to have little visual impact?

I have made my donation, as have others I see, hope everyone else has!

RJ

Anonymous said...

Sorry, missed the intro to my last –

Robert

Good idea, through this last couple of months I’ve wondered the same thing. Although they are not nearly as exposed as other scrapes.

RJ

Phoebe said...

There is a terrific thunderstorm where I live (18miles from Derby)my power keeps going off and somewhere in the fields opposite has been struck, it looks to be going in the Derby direction. I hope the youngsters will cope.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Torrential thunderstorms and downpours in Derby this morning.....so no watch point of course. Between the storms there was one bedraggled looking youngster up above the platform but no other birds in view. I'm sure they will be fine though Phoebe.
Robert: re. a roof: RJ is right that there would be all sorts of permission and design issues to deal with. We have considered it in the past but in the end decided against trying to put a roof on.
In the 'wild' peregrines will nest on cliff ledges open to the elements so they are adapted to cope with wind and rain. Enclosed nest sites (ie with sides and roofs may cause other problems such as a build up of parasites and disease in the nest which would not be open to frost and drying winds, so on balance we think the set up we have is probably alright but I'm sure we will be discussing this again in the autumn, especially after what happened in Nottingham.
Nick B (DWT)

Ian (superbrad) said...

Hi all
During todays thunderstorm and torrential rain Cliff and Myself had a fantastic view of one of the adults tempting three of the juveniles off the tower with prey. The visability was at the best poor and it was during one of the worst parts of the storm. Thunder and lightening and rain of monsoon proportions did not deter the Juveniles from trying to get the prey.
All this happened at around 11am Over the green and around the tower.
After it was over 4 birds were on the Cathedral tower in our sight.
One by the lightening conductor on the north face to the left of the missing Grotesque.
One the north face right hand Grotesque.
One on the west face of the tower on the left Grotesque (above the main entrance).
One of the Parent swapped from near the top of north east pinicle to near the top of the south east pinacle. None of the birds at this point would be in view from the Cathedral Green.
Some rather poor shots are in the slideshow below.
.
https://picasaweb.google.com/113923448994663547451/0628PeregrinThunderStorm#slideshow/5759132823369459778
.
.Regards Ian (superbrad)
.

Ian (superbrad) said...

The last shot in the slideshow has a mouseover to help find the position of the Peregrins in the shot.

Regards Ian

Anonymous said...

tonite at 8pm all 4 juverniles flying well around cathedral as the sun came out and 1 juvernile went into a stoop awesome to watch
from jon cliff christina

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks for reporting about the birds this evening and this morning guys. Good to hear everything is fine.
Let's hope the weather is better for Saturday's final WP.
Nick (DWT)
And belated thanks to all the donors on Saturday including Jo and David R.

Caroline said...

Wish I could join you peregrine watchers by the Cathedral, though judging by your slideshow, the weather was awful, Ian! A juvie stooping, Christina - wow, and to think that not so long ago, they were little white bean bags which couldn't sit up straight. They've been doing a fair bit of posing by the webcams while I've been working this week so I can't complain really :) but I also enjoyed your close-ups on Flickr, Cliff.

Yes, can we reach £1000?!? The wonderful legacy which the Project has been offered will make even a £5 donation fly and in memory of someone who loved the peregrines. The new technology and all the plans for work in schools are so exciting and if the new leaflet which I picked up from the Watchpoint recently is also a sign of things to come then we're very lucky. I really like the way it tells the story of the Project and I have enjoyed sharing it with people up here. Well done again everyone and good luck with the final Watchpoint tomorrow.

Michael from South-Derbyshire. said...

Did anyone notice the Olympic torch going down full Street on the web cam tonight ?.