Thursday, 27 June 2013

An (often) empty nest but still things to see (and do!) and updates

UPDATE Friday evening: Christine reports that all four young were on the tower this afternoon and had been flying well today - which is good news. Tomorrow's Watch Point will go ahead, weather permitting, and run from 11am to 2pm  - so do come along. We should be able to find at least some of the young and with luck see them flying about begging the parent birds for food! Exciting viewing.....
And a big HELLO to all the teachers we met at the County Eco-Conference today. If you have any further questions you want to ask us - just email peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk and we'll reply to each one. (NB)
UPDATE SATURDAY: the Watch Point went well and the sun shone. All four juveniles were active and food was brought in to them. New people came specifically to see the birds while others became 'ensnared' as they walked past! Hello to one family from Ann Arbor, Michigan in the States with whom we had a long chat - they seemed quite impressed with our birds and promised to send in a comment when they get home. Big thanks to all our volunteers today too. (Nick B/Ian L)
UPDATE MONDAY 1st: all four juvs on the east side of the tower this morning after some frantic chasing of adults. UPDATE WEDNESDAY: all four still present and correct, viewed at lunchtime by DWT staff who had a look during a staff day.
This Saturday (6th) is the FINAL WATCH POINT of the year so if you've not been down, it's your last chance!
And a big thank you to everyone who has been donating recently towards the project including several people who left us no contact details preventing us thanking them individually. (NB)

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The last chick fledged this morning (Thursday 27th) at 6.45 am. Thanks to several people who notified us on the blog and via  Facebook. She was soon located on a roof near the cathedral and later moved to another roof above a solicitor's offices (we were able to show several solicitors the bird through the scope).
024 on solicitor firm's roof - poor digiscoped shot by NB

I did a radio (Derby) interview as I stood there - and was able to promote this Saturday's watch Point too!
Earlier Ian and I had a group come along from a  local school, one that I and Maria Desborough had visited a couple of months ago with a presentation etc. They were only infants but with the sun shining, they all seemed to enjoy the experience.
Later a passing school from Duckmanton (in N. E. Derbyshire) stopped to have lunch on the grass nearby.
Children file past the Watch Point - most had a quick look during their lunch break

Most of them (and there were 75!) came over in ones and twos to look through the scopes.
The birds themselves played hard to get today much of the day. When the first school arrived there wasn't a single one on the tower but, before they left, two had appeared on the flats over the river and both eventually returned to the tower, with the adult female sitting right at the top of a pinnacle, keeping watch.
While the nest box will now be empty more often than not, there should be some good viewing from the 'pud' cam above the nest so please stay with us!
Donations: thanks to those of you who have donated already. We could really still do with  more income so if you have been enjoying watching the birds and appreciate the work we've been doing to bring these remarkable birds right in to your home, office or school, please consider making a donation. The details of how to do it are on the previous post - so please scroll down to see them.
In effect, it is very simple: just ring the DWT office on 01773 881188 in working hours and use your your debit or credit card (completely safely)! OR put a cheque made out to DWT in the post to DWT, East Mill, Belper, DE56 1XH and please make it clear that the money is for the peregrine project.
If you are willing to Gift Aid your donation please ask for a GA form. Thanks.
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. Other birds seen today included a heron flying over the tower, a pair of grey wagtails nearby, a mistle thrush and blackbirds on The Green and goldfinches in the trees by the cathedral. Inner city wildlife can be very varied!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear the final chick is ok. Looking forward to seeing some more photos of the fledgling, another cheque is winging its way to the wildlife trust as we speak, its such a worthwhile cause. Thanks all...Bridget from Burton upon Trent.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Bridget - excellent!
Nick
Ps I should also have said you could just put a cheque in the post to DWT, East Mill, Belper DE56 1XH marked 'for the peregrines' - but made out to DWT.

Anonymous said...

We went down this evening and saw mum feeding 22,23 and one other. Dad was also present on Jury Inn.
We met another of our young fans who was keen to see the birds.
We then went to Belper and saw the male and 3 young on the roof. A good evening bird watching!!
Chris and Andy M

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi A and C: thanks for feedback. the last one to go was 024 but it was a big bird and looked female to me....she was on a roof between JI and the cathedral when I left about 3pm.
Nick B
ps Incidentally, an adult was perching on the rim of the platform at 9 pm tonight - so even if the chicks have gone, an occasional adult may re-appear (plus chicks too if it has food with it!)

christine said...

All 4 juveniles flying around the cathedral and jurys inn! All flying well! From Christine

Lorraine said...

Wasn't the least bit tired so had a very late night last night, not going to bed till 5am this morning! Three birds were chilling out watching the dawn come up with me - one on the lip of nest box - think it was Bell ( my pet name for female chick ) - one up close to cam on tower (cheeky youngster who seemed to know I was watching him!) and one under nest box, which must have been mother, because she so confidently flew between both chicks before flying off as the light came up, no doubt to catch breakfast for them both. Fingers crossed, today's watchers on the Green will find lots of exciting activity going on. The pics they take are are truly wonderful, allowing such clear images of the birds and their individual markings etc., and so many thanks for sharing such lovely close up images of the chicks. I live in Plymouth, but plan to visit the Green and Cathedral in person next year. So grateful to the team for all they have done and continue to do and for all the info from the regular bloggers. Cheque winging it's way to DWT ( deff not by pigeon carrier though! ) and do hope the donations keep on coming in to ensure future projects. The team should be proud of themselves. Hope to be able to shake some of you by the hand and thank in person one day. BFN - Lorraine

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Lorraine: thanks for those kind words (and for the donation) - both much appreciated of course and we look forward to you coming up here next summer.
An update about today will appear on the blog shortly.
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

I've logged on to see three juvies, one in the scrape mantling prey! And now eating it. The other two on the tower. A parent on the scrape ledge watching the proceedings. A joy to see them. Have screen shots will put on flickr.

Helen said...

Five birds visible on the webcams this evening, including one adult on the nest platform and a nearby juvenile eating prey. Two birds landed at the top of the tower and then hid themselves away next to the far water spout. One juvenile in the foreground on the tower cam has just flown off.

Phoebe said...

A parent is now eating the prey and a juvie came in and tried to pull it away, quite a struggle but the parent did not give it up, she is now feeding the juvie. Another juvie is waiting on the other side of the scrape, another is flying in view, there is quite a tussle now with three youngster in the scrape, the parent has flown off and left them to it. They are very noisy! Thjis is better than TV! Now the bells are striking.

Phoebe said...

There is a juvie sleeping in the scrape with a parent sat on the ledge, just like when they were little aww

Sue Peregrino said...

I'm back after a few days away and I see it's all been happening. It's great to hear that all the fledgings have happened successfully and can't wait to come up and say "au revoir" until 2014 at the final watchpoint of the year on Saturday 6th July. Lorraine, I hope you make it up to Derby in 2014, you won't regret it, trust me! I won't mind a bit at having the long distance visitor crown passed on :) IMHO you are spot on to rate Derby as the number 1 urban peregrine project, but I wonder where your nearest one to Plymouth is? The books tell me that every English county now has urban peregrines, so it can't be too far away. I sooooooo want to share something with all the Derby bloggers. I had to visit London yesterday and whilst walking over Paternoster Square, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up to the loud loud cries of peregrine falcons. And there, on one of the front towers of St Paul's Cathedral was at least one adult peregrine and one juvenile with a food delivery going on. Unfortunately, I didn't have my scope or binoculars with me (you don't expect to need to take them shopping in London!) As far as I could tell, I was the only person who noticed this small miracle going on out of the hundreds of people in the area. I've just been so bursting to share this, I hope I'm forgiven for putting it here on the Derby blog!

lorraine said...

Well, end of day at Peregrine Peaks and though no show around the midnight hour, one now returned to tuck in for the night alone on tower ledge. It's pretty much a safe bet, I reckon, that we'll continue seeing the little perishers around the cams for some time yet. They do seem to like coming back home to chill and preen and we can see some of their new skills emerging from the cam views alone. Their time spent in watching M & D's many tutorials in the art of "processing" prior to "tucking in" is beginning to pay off now, as they become more confident in handling any prey that is left for them to de-feather by themselves. I once sat enthralled whilst watching Dad doing this in full view of the cam. He followed a precise logic in raising each of his preys wing tips and then methodically plucking out all the larger end feathers from tip to base in one continuous well practiced action. I also witnessed what appeared to be compassion by the female, when after landing close to the cam with prey that was still alive but in shock, she seemed to deliberately wait, content to cover it loosely with just one foot, until it had succumbed, before she then began the processing. Just amazing!

Hi Sue - glad your trip to London included a shopping trip. Drool ! Yes we do have the Plym Peregrine Project here in Plymouth. I used to walk Plymbridge Woods often some years back, occasionaly sighting the resident falcons. It's a beautiful area for wildlife but is so dense in places, I no longer feel secure to go alone, but aim to visit with a friend over the expected coming heat wave. The Plym project has been unfortunately targeted over recent years and attempts ( some sadly successful ) to poison the birds and chicks by an, as yet, unknown perpetrator, have been very distressing. They now have round the clock watchers on the bridge and a live webcam. Unfortunately, I cant enable the info given on the site to view the live cam, but I urge you to check out the project Diary and view the unique video footage taken in June, of the male falcon reacting so alarmingly to the prey he had just digested. The Plym team say they have never witnessed anything like it. I'm sure Nick would also be interested to view the captured footage. All was well in the end, but the cause is still a mystery. As for the 2013 Plym chicks,(two brave little mites) again, tinged with sadness and mystery with one of the 2 dead chicks apparently coming back to life ! Frustratingly, I cant find any recent updates to confirm if it survived. I hope it recovered and went on to fledge. If it did survive, they must surely name it Lazarus. I'll enquire of news from one of the bridge watchers when I go.
Wish I could have seen the St. Paul's incident Sue, what a special moment that must have been. Lucky you! I decided to "google-walk" the area around the Derby project to try to find and view the watchpoints etc., Derby looks well worth a visit on many levels and I was also wowed by the cathedral interior. Fitting home to our fave little crew !

Night all, ( yes I know it's morning - but you know what a night owl I am by now ! ) Lorraine

Sue Peregrino said...

Hello Lorraine
Welcome to the Derby fanclub - you have earned your credentials to join us :) Don't wear yourself out with too many late nights though. When you do make it up to Derby, the organised watchpoints are right by the cathedral. If you look at the webcams on Saturday, you may just see us. If you peer through the gunk on stream 4, the big grey roof to the right of the platform is the nave of the cathedral. Look beyond that, and you'll see some grass and on the left of that, a few trees (and further beyond, a footbridge that goes over the river Derwent) There is actually a road which runs between what you see of the cathedral nave and cathedral green (I think it's called Full Street) Anyway, the watchers stand on Cathedral Green and we have two big banner flags. Check us out on Saturday! As you look at that view, Jury's Inn (where the birds like to sit on the hotel lettering) is a few wing beats away to the left. This is often a great spot to see the adults birds in wintertime - I've stayed at that hotel specifically because of that knowledge. A bit of interesting trivia .... we share the Cathedral Green space with a statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Derby was as far south as the Jacobites got when they tried to sieze the English throne.
As I've already said, Derby is for me the first and best urban peregrine project. It was good fortune that brought the birds to Derby but some very special people have had the skills and generosity of spirit to reach out and share their miracle with anyone who cares to care. And people from right around the globe have shared - just checkout the "where in the world" section on this website. However, wherever we live, our "home" projects will always claim a special place in our hearts, home will always be home. My home project is Aylesbury. If you check out the "other sites" part of Derby, you'll see us listed. There's also a London Peregrine Project site (an excellent one) They too list sites and I see now that your own one of Plymouth is listed. Once our own UK peregrine breeding season finishes soon, you'll find you can continue to occupy yourself with webcams around the world. It's a busy life being a webcam watcher!
Good watching!

Lorraine said...

Just had a chuckle whilst re-reading some of the comments from the Green Class children during the event, loving the way the teachers allowed them to express themselves unaided whilst tapping in their messages and questions without any editing etc., and you can feel their genuine excitement and involvement. It warms the heart that they will carry the experience beyond their school years and become future champions of wildlife, in all its forms. Their addition to the project has been a real treat. All seems well from the cams,( still plenty of visits ) and very much look forward to reading the updates and, especially, seeing any air-born pics of the young falcons following tomorrows final watch point. Have a splendid day, you lucky lot - and enjoy !!