See Update at foot of this post added 13 and 14 March.....
The splendid 'green man' stone carving below has stood the test of time near the base of the cathedral tower, just to the side of the cathedral's west door (be sure to seek him out when you next come to Derby!).
This ancient symbol, with leaves coming out of his mouth, nose or ears (or all three) evokes the links between nature and humans. Versions of it can be found on many cathedrals and churches in the UK and as far a way as Asia (try a wikipedia search to find out more about the green man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Man ).
This Derby green man (there is only one) has seen some 500 springs come to Derby since the early 16th century, when the tower was built. Had his ears not been covered by foliage, perhaps he would have heard the songs of many birds through the centuries.
In the last eight springs, he would certainly have heard the loud display calls of peregrine falcons as they carved through the air above him.
|Green man by the west door|
So, with the same parent birds as we began with in 2006, we can be fairly confident that we will have a full clutch of eggs before very long - with the first appearing by Easter or soon after. Last year the first egg was laid on 29th March. The dates for other years were: 2006 - late but unknown/no web cam, 2007 - 3/4, 2008 - 28/3, 2009 - 23/3 (the earliest of any), 2010 - 31/3 and 2011 - 2/4.
Anyone want to guess on what day the first egg will appear in 2013?
Peregrines elsewhere: there are web cams set up on peregrine nests at many urban and other locations across the UK and abroad too. Keeping an eye on all of them is a big task but if anyone spots the reporting of a first egg somewhere else in the UK before our birds lay one, do let us know!
|Peregrine eggs are a wonderful colour|
|The male does some scraping 13 March|
Clearly from Kate's comment, the birds are getting really noisy and active despite the freezing weather. She guesses a first egg on 18th which would be very early - but who knows! Thanks Kate for sending in the grabs.
UPDATE 14 March: Nick M has put the new camera view up but it is not streaming, just refreshing every 6 seconds. Also, we are aware of the problem with the 'pud' cam but won't be able to fix it for awhile unfortunately. NB
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. While we await an egg, Beatrice, one of Roy Dennis' satellite tagged ospreys, has begun her migration north. She winters in southern Spain but has flown up to SW France, a regular stop-over spot for this bird. To follow her go to http://www.roydennis.org/category/osprey/beatrice/ .