UPDATE: The programme is now viewable on I-player and if you don't live in this region, the BBC has produced other regional Urban Jungle programmes to go out simultaneously. Just do a google search for "BBC 1 Urban Jungle" and you get to choose from all the various regional programmes.
The SW one features Nick Dixon (who's been a great help to us in Derby since 2005) plus footage of peregrines attacking a buzzard and the Lincoln one shows peregrines in Sheffield with Mike Dilger presenting. A feast of peregrines and other urban wildlife it too! But beware the programmes will disappear in six days time....
Avid readers of this blog will already know that a few weeks ago, Nick Frazer, a bird watcher living in North Yorkshire, found a pair of peregrines nesting on a natural cliff. Although the site is quite well known locally we will not be mentioning exactly where it is simply because the site is remote and therefore not secure from interference.
If anyone reading this knows that part of the world and guesses where it may be, please do not mention any locations in your comments to this blog.
|Mystery female on the cliff face - could it be 002?|
Looking at the adult female bird, Nick could see an orange ring on its left leg and a friend went a stage further thinking that he could read the number 002. The ring was reported to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the body in charge of bird ringing in the UK. They keep all the records and were able to work out that this could well be a Derby Cathedral bird....ie a chick that had been ringed here in the past and had successfully reached maturity, paired up with a male and started to breed.
If the number was proved to be 002 then the bird was reared as a chick here in 2007, one of only two female chicks reared that year (two eggs failed to hatch).
The first photo shows the bird on the cliff face and you can just see the colour ring.
A week or two later, I was in Yorkshire for a few days and diverted to the site to try to see the bird myself. Eventually, after a lot of searching, I located the female sitting on the clifftop. She was undisturbed by me and I could see her well through my telescope, sitting on what appeared to be a favourite look out position.
|Show us your left leg please!|
My view of the ring wasn't good enough to read any number, even with a zoom lens and there was no way I was going to get any nearer to her perch without disturbing her should she return.
Nick Frazer was on holiday then but when he returned he and a friend with a large telephoto lens returned to the site and saw the male with two juveniles, newly fledged. But the female remained elusive and wasn't seen to perch nearby.
Adult male with one juvenile
As the pair's youngsters begin to move away from the site so it may take a lot longer to get that much wanted close up photo but we are very grateful to our Yorkshire colleagues for their continuing attempts to see that all important number that would clinch it!
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. There is clearly still some action to be seen on the (remaining) web cams - with reports of juveniles and adults too (thanks to those who have sent in comments). My visits during the day have been fruitless so perhaps the birds mainly return to the tower in the evening and to roost.