Thursday, 4 April 2013

Better late than never - our first egg!

Polite request: If you're watching our Stream 3 (fully live video with audio) do please close your browser when you've finished viewing. This saves 'bandwidth wastage' and reduces the risk of us exceeding our data allocation of 1 Terabyte or traffic per month. We are working on getting our new camera fully live, too, but this will still take at least a couple of weeks to resolve. Meanwhile we will probably reduce the 15 minute play period down to ten or less, after which you will simply need to click click 'play again.' to continue watching and listening to the live stream.  

Derby's amazing peregrine falcon laid her first egg this morning - 4th April, just two days later than in 2011. She'd kept us all wondering....but perhaps not really that late after all.
Screen grab of egg-laying moment posted
to our Facebook page by George Ted. 

The first folk to report this happy event were @mizuirokotori  in Japan (via Twitter); Hilary M (in Australia) for her comment on this Blog, and then   George Ted for his Facebook comment and picture. It seems that the egg was laid at 05.18am, local time.

The screen grab shown above was posted to Facebook, and the video clip below shows the same moment taken from the perspective of the newly installed nest camera. We don't actually see the egg as it is blocked by her body, but note the excited call of the male who is perched nearby.



Everyone can all relax now.....  The next thing will be to see if she lays a full clutch of four eggs as she has done each year since 2007 (we think there were only three in her first egg-laying season, 2006). Eggs are laid at about two day intervals...so there's no excuse for not doing the some work now, I'm afraid!
Screengrab by Marski from the new camera

Two things to note:
1) Eggs appear white under infra-red illumination, but are actually rich reddy brown in daylight.
2) Eggs may look abandoned for long periods of time, but proper incubation normally only starts after the last egg is about to be laid. However, in this year's unseasonably cold weather we may well see incubation appearing to start immediately - simply to stop the eggs chilling down too far.

Don't forget to watch and listen live on Stream 3. We are working with colleagues at SERCO to resolve problems in streaming live from our new nest camera, so in the meantime, Stream 1 gives rapidly changing pictures every few seconds. And of course, you get multiple views from Derby Cathedral on Stream 2.

Nick B and Nick M (DWT)

Ps. There is some very useful background information about the Peregrine Project on Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's website (both via the home page and also under 'What we do') - http://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/

42 comments:

Nick B said...

The egg was clearly visible at 08.56 if very briefly! Too briefly for a screen grab I'm afraid....
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

I had a feeling I would wake to see an egg. I didn't get a capture at the time but I got one just now when the male arrived to check things out.

Caroline said...

What fantastic news to wake up to! What would we do without our international watchers ;) And well-spotted if said egg only appeared briefly. Might be interesting to add the time of laying to the egg chart under FAQs? I seem to remember them coming in the early hours before? I don't have time just now to go through previous years' blog comments to dig out the data but if no one else has time, I'll try and do it in the coming months. Actually, it is the kind of job which perhaps several people could do, i.e. each pick a year and do the trawl. We know the dates from the FAQ chart which narrows things. Just a thought and perhaps a way in which we can help you, Nick & Nick?

Congratulations to MDStar on the egg in Buffalo too!

Phoebe said...

TedGaytor42 posted the first picture.

Also Helensara posted some nice captures.

thanks you both :)

Tiercel just arrived with food that the falcon has taken off and left the egg alone for a moment.

Caroline said...

Just seen it glowing in the sun! Amazing view on the new webcam. And would you believe that the 'prove you're not a robot' thing is saying something eggy too ;)

Penny said...

I woke up in the night (around 4a.m.) and could not resist a peek. I felt sure that this time she really would produce her first egg - she looked so intent! Shame I had to go back to bed, but delighted to see the great news this morning! Congrats to Mrs. Derby P.

Sue Peregrino said...

I was totally confident that the Derby eggs were coming and I'm just as confident that there'll be a full size clutch. As I already said, they are one wise old pair of peregrines at Derby. As I've mentioned before, I joined the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust due to their part in this project. As such, I get to hear about their programme of events ("Wild Times") and I see that the excellent Nick Moyes is giving a peregrine talk to the E Derbyshire group on the 10th. I may even try to make the long trek up from Bucks espacially for it.
And oh yes, Nick B, you are quite wrong about housework, there is always something better to do!

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Sue: the full details of Nick M's talk will appear here later.
Let's fill the hall!

Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

What a lovely tender video you've put up. Both there with the egg in the early hours.

AnnieF. said...

Phew, what a relief - the tension was becoming unbearable! I'm so pleased all's well, & I look forward to the full clutch that Sue P. predicts. Congratulations to the watcher in Japan who reported the happy event!

Anonymous said...

First egg at last, great. I had a feeling it would be around now, and clearly there was a self imposed delay caused by the weather early last week. The falcon looked very ready to lay when that that snow was filling the scrape. Very clever these birds! @Caroline – you were asking about the times. Lat year I clearly had too much time on my hands..


Laying 2012
1) 29th March 01.04
2) 31st March 07.40
3) 2nd April 15.00
4) 5th April 06.30

Laying 2011
1) 1st April 22:57
2) 4th April 11:20
3) 6th April 20:40
4) 9th April around 07:00

Laying 2010:
1) 24th March 5am
2) 26th March 2pm
3) 28th March 10:44am
4) 31st March 7.26 am

Laying 2009:
1) 23rd March 9.27pm
2) 26th March 7.30pm (?)
3) 28th March 4.30pm
4) 31st March 3.00pm

Cheers (and first post this year, although I’ve been following events..)

RJ

Sue Peregrino said...

Crazy things happening in Aylesbury - there I was thinking we were at day 12 of incubation, when a watcher has commented that they observed a changeover and saw a second egg!!!!! What on earth is going on. Unfortunately, every time I look, there's a bird sitting very tight. We have no screen grabs and no facility to record and go back and check, so the moment is lost - drat!

Phoebe said...

Thanks for the laying times RJ I knew one of us would have them.

Sue, I am so pleased you have two eggs, it was obviously laid unseen. You never know there might be a third egg yet! fingers crossed. I will keep a look out, if I get a screen grab I will let you know.

Caroline said...

Welcome back RJ. I remember all the careful work that you and Phoebe did last year. Looks like my theory about overnight laying is rubbish though ;) Interesting to hear about your second egg in Aylesbury, Sue. Your experience reminds us how much monitoring relies on equipment and peregrine-eyed volunteers! The video and grabs on the blog here are wonderful what with both birds and that view across Derby.

kate said...

Thanks everyone.
Typical, have been away from computer and missed the Grand event.
Thank you everyone for updates and photos, wonderful after all the work put in ..
Still not able to be back following regularly for a few more days Grrr.
kate

John B (not the sloop) said...

Hardly late at all really considering the unspringlike weather. It's good to see the first spheroid object anyway...

Phoebe said...

@ Sue Peregrino - You do have two eggs! I got a screen grab just now.
It is in my flickr. see Marski

Penny said...

Fascinating turn of events at Aylesbury Sue P! Congrats on your two eggs - I wonder if there will be more?

Sue Peregrino said...

A certain DWT legpuller from the Derby project tried to tell me that he'd flown over and put a dummy egg on the Aylesbury platform because he felt sorry for us. Hmmmmmm. It's very weird though, the manual on peregrine breeding, which our birds have clearly failed to read, says a clutch of 3 to 4 eggs is laid at intervals of roughly 2 days. We have had a gap of 12 days. Surely, it will be impossible for egg 1 to hatch?? And if it did, the chick would be monster by the time egg 2 hatches. Will there be yet more eggs? It just shows the value of these web cam projects, we'd never have had a clue what was happening without them. I must be the only person not to have actually seen the two eggs yet so I'm very grateful to all the people who have passed material on, especially Phoebe :)
Unlike Derby, we don't have any recording and once the moment has passed, it's gone.

Phoebe said...

Hi Sue, I'm no expert but I think it is quite likely the first egg will be okay, it may not have been fully incubated yet. They usually keep the egg/s below incubation temperature until all are laid, there could be a gap of 12 days between the first and the last when incubation starts proper. you never know there could be more to come.

I was pleased to get the screen grabs for you :D

Meanwhile our pair are looking after their first egg. There could be another as early as sometime tonight.

Sue Peregrino said...

I don't think any of us are experts Phoebe, but the great thing about the webcams is that it allows us to actually become experts. We've entered uncharted territory at Aylesbury with our strange pair and only watching will reveal what's going on. Our worry is/was that there could be fertility problems - they bred for the first time in 2011 and laid just one egg which was abandoned after 5 weeks. When it was examined later, it was well addled. Last year, there were 3 eggs but only 2 hatched. With appropriate permissions, the unhatched one was retrieved, examined and given to our County Museum. That egg was found to be infertile. So, you can see our worry at only one egg - would we wait another 5 weeks for a non-event.

Phoebe said...

Sue P, I didn't know the history of the Aylesbury pair. I can understand your concern. I did notice the different colour of each egg. I hope all goes well this year.

I wonder if we will see a second egg here in derby tonight...

Sue Peregrino said...

If I was a betting woman, I'd put money on the Derby pair working like clockwork and the next egg coming on cue. As to the Aylesbury birds, my gut feeling is that they started laying just exactly as the bad weather kicked in which stalled the process, as if the first clutch failed. I think it was early enough for them to try the unusual second brood. They have been observed (visually) mating again. I think that all should be well with the second brood but the first egg won't hatch. Time will tell! The really frustrating thing is - our server now needs rebooting and the council staff have gone home! There's a faint possibility that there might be someone who can do something on Saturday morning, but no guarantees.
Don't ever take Derby's superb webcam for granted, fellow watchers, see how tricky it is and what a huge learning curve new sites go through!

Helen said...

I'm not sure but I think I might have glimpsed two eggs a minute ago?

Nikki said...

Still only one egg at 8am;)

Helen said...

Yep, still definitely one egg. Sorry folks, must have been wishful thinking earlier!!

Caroline said...

I'll second Sue's comments about the superb service we receive here at Derby and the support that goes on behind the scenes. Your comments about trying to get help from the Council in Aylesbury at the weekend reminded me of many a time the 2 Nicks have had to get out-of-hours access to the Cathedral from one of the bell ringers! When egg laying and peregrine watching go well, it is easy to forget that this is against the odds really! Wonderful to feel some warmth in the sun today :)

Phoebe said...

I am going out soon, she will probably lay then !!

Phoebe said...

The falcon has just jumped up and is pecking at some food in the scrape, is she ready to lay the next egg I wonder.

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

It's certainly the right time (something like 52-62 hrs after the first egg, if I remember correctly.
So anytime over the next four hours -sooner rather than later, I'd have suggested.

Egg-laying video has just been uploaded to YouTube at http://youtu.be/Ed12Ikh45O0

Phoebe said...

Just watched the egg laying video. It's wonderful! Thank you.

Phoebe said...

This could be it!

Phoebe said...

I think she is laying!!

AnnieF. said...

I do too Phoebe! Eggciting, eh? :)

Anonymous said...

2nd egg!
RJ

Phoebe said...

Is that a second egg behind her?

Anonymous said...

I think it's a 2nd one!

Phoebe said...

Yes! 2 eggs now !!

Phoebe said...

She is guarding it well!

Phoebe said...

I didn't manage a capture..

Anonymous said...

I reckon it was timed at about 17.45, but not sure. I caught a quick glance of both at around 17.50 (pic on flickr).

RJ

Mo Cole said...

Yessssss.... Derby 2 Nottingham 3...Well done Mrs P.. x