Thursday, 19 September 2013

Autumn arrives....

For over a week now, the weather has turned much colder (and often wetter) and it certainly feels like autumn has arrived rather early.
The leaves are beginning to turn colour, migrant birds like swallows, house martins and meadow pipits can be seen moving south each day and butterfly numbers have begun to drop away.

View from Cathedral Green
We can expect that the juveniles that are still around the tower to depart soon and set off on their own. 
One year, one of the juveniles did hang on well into the autumn but mostly they go by the end of September.
Meanwhile, we are already beginning to plan for next year. Ian Layton, our Engagement Officer, who's first contract ended in July, will be back to complete some of his work for a few days in October and to help us get ready for 2014. He'll start again in March 2014, working (part time) with us through until June.
We have been in discussion with Rolls Royce about using some of their apprentices to help us with some of the things we still want (or have) to do. Each year, new apprentices at RR must get involved in some community project or other. It develops their team work, their understanding of how other businesses and organisations work and forces them to think 'outside their engineering box'. Teams of ten or so will spend a few hours each week between January and September 2014 working on their chosen project.
We met the organisers of this scheme a fortnight ago and they were very enthusiastic about the possibilities we offered them so, while it is very early days, we are hopeful that this new partnership will bear fruit.
One thing we hope they can help with is the matter of embedding the peregrines deeper into the DNA of the city. We have a number of ideas for the apprentices to watch this space!
Nick B (DWT)


christine said...

2 peregrines on tower at 4.45am this morning! Christine

AnnieF. said...

Adult (?female) having a thorough preen on the scrape ledge, rhs.

Helen said...

@Lorraine, your blog posts do seem to be getting through on the previous post when you scroll down the page, although I'm not sure if you tried posting others as well. They are also showing up on the right hand section of the screen under 'recent blog comments'. Again you might need to scroll down to see them. Comments on the previous post were being moderated for a while so that might be the reason why they didn't appear immediately. Hope that helps.

There was an adult bird on the nest platform for most of the day.

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

(copy of comment left on previous blog entry, dated 26th August)

Hi Lorraine
Your comments here are most welcome. The reason for the delay in them appearing is that comments left on all old posts (over a certain age) are subject to moderation by the Project Team, so they don't appear instantly.

This was introduced to reduce the large number of spam comments which were being left by automated programmes, often containing hyperlinks of very dubious character. In effect, if a blog post is over a certain number of days we, the Team, have to approve it before it is published.

We spotted this was causing a problem to comments left on the previous post (written on 26th August), so Nick B specifically published a new blog post, which would have solved the problem for you. Unfortunately, for some reason you're still posting comments on the old post, hence your apparent problem and very obvious frustration. Just post on the most recent blog post and (for the time being, at least) you will have no problem.

From time to time we do alter the way this blog operates, and sometimes we require all comments to be pre-moderated. This is done somewhat randomly, and very specifically to prevent non-peregrine supporters thinking they can post inappropriate comments here. Though this is not the case, here.

Nor is it case with you and others, of course. So, it's nothing wrong with you or your experience of Blogger, just a setting we have specifically on this blog. Just post on the most current blog entry, and all should be well. We welcome your observations of the peregrines, and hope this assures you there's a good reason for carrying on.

Best wishes Nick M.

AnnieF. said...

Come back Lorraine!

There's an adult on the scrape ledge in exactly the same place as I reported on 24th.; it seems to be a favourite spot.

Lorraine said...

It's all so surreal !!

I hope I'm back on track and also hope the following explanation will be easy to understand.

I think I posted how I was feeling a little unwell a bit back ( I don't know for sure when, but don't want to venture into the realm of "older" posts to find it, in case I mess up on this post! )and I've now grasped what I've been doing wrong re "older" post's and "current" post's.

Just when I thought I was over the bug I'd caught, another one hit me, even worse, and really knocked the stuffing out of me. Ears and nose blocked up, very ( I mean very ) dizzy and really tired, but unable to sleep etc., and I could even "see" and "feel" my heartbeat in my eyes ! How weird is that? I even woke up one morning and found a boiled egg in my bed !! I vaguely remember waking up in the night feeling very cold and got up to fill a hot water bottle, but must have boiled an egg instead and took it back to bed !! (I know, it took me ages to figure it out, but can't put it down to anything else) I'm now in the stages of recovery ( lost 5lb and feel hungry and less confused ) but still have a horrendous cough to shake off.

A couple of people have mentioned how I've seemed a bit "vacant" lately ( cheeky mares! ) but actually, maybe this accounts for my sudden inability to grasp how to send a simple post via the normal route. You'd have thought I'd have it off pat by now, but there was a stage when I just couldn't seem to coordinate the most simple of tasks.

Nick B kindly emailed me with assistance, but I just couldn't understand, let alone respond and then Nick M also entered a helpful post. Only now, today, do I feel less dreamlike and a bit like my usual self.

My system scan did in fact expose two malware alerts, now removed by my nephew. Afterwards, it became too late to ask him to then walk me through the posting procedure. The reason I thought it was my laptop at fault, was because when I looked up the Australian peregrine site, as per the info posted by "Dutch Eagle Fan" a bit back, I read they had experienced a lot of problems concerning malware and virus attacks on their site, though they offered assurance that it had all been sorted out and was now safe to access. Well, of course, as I became more unwell, I wrongly equated this to my posting problems! I must have been a touch delirious when I thought I couldn't post again. Then, reading Nick M's post carefully today - it all just clicked back into place. I'd felt so sure I wouldn't be able to post again.

Well, here it is ( and by now, don't you wish he'd left well alone!! ) This one must surely get through though, as I recognize the old familiar format on this page. I'm just glad is was delirium I was suffering and not dementia!

So, sure I'm on the mend, I'll take up the midnight watch again now I'm feeling less tired ( had 10 solid hours kip today - bliss ! ) I did see the overnight tiercel on his ledge in the early hours, but couldn't coordinate an actual post then, and see he's back in the same place just now. Annie F has also spotted his liking for roosting there. Oh, I see another bird is now under the scrape. Want to try and catch the juv later and get a screen grab.

I've set up my blog again and earlier found the perfect BP to ease me forward and express exactly my recent confusion. I've been a bit of a jackass stuck between two posts - the image says it all....

I'm the one in the middle !

I'm grateful ( really ) to Helen and both the Nick's for easing me back into the land of the living ! I'll be extra good from now on, keep my post's clipped and to the point and try not to get myself into any more trouble.

Lorraine said...

A presence on the tower at midnight - will check back later to see if it's moved any closer. Hope to catch a screen grab if it's the juv.

AnnieF. said...

Lorraine, welcome back! I'm so sorry you've been feeling ghastly but hopefully the worst is over & you're on the mend.

Two adults on view this lunchtime, one on the scrape ledge rhs, the other on a corbel below, lhs. It's very encouraging that they always return there, a good omen.

christine said...

Welcome back lorraine! Glad ur feeling better now! No birds present at the moment. From Christine

Lorraine said...

Haven't tuned in to find any bird(s) roosting over on the tower either Christine, though I did spot the tiercel on the far end of his ledge at 00.25 but didn't catch when he left.

Phoebe said...

Welcome back Lorraine!

There is a juvie on the top and another bird, bot sure which sitting on the pud cam with tail hanging over the lens. Oh it's another juvie I think from the browner colour.

Phoebe said...

bot should read 'not' lol

Lorraine said...

Blowing a gale here in Plymouth right now, but see Derby has the clear weather we enjoyed yesterday and that the tiercel is happy on his ledge under the scrape.

Have to nip out and brave the weather to stock up the food cupboard now that my appetite is back, but don't think I'll bother getting any eggs in, just in case it's a chilly night - going to purchase an electric blanket instead but hope I don't wake up tomorrow to find the hoover in my bed ! )

If it remains clear in Derby, I might get lucky and catch a clear s/grab of the juv later on.

steph said...

Lorraine, so sorry you have been poorly, I was going to say it sounded like really bad 'flu but perhaps something worse. Not really funny, I know but I had to smile at the 'boiled egg' incident! Anyway, glad you are on the mend and back on line with your great comments - they and you have been missed!

Phoebe said...

@ lorraine and steph, I must admit to chuckling quite loudly at the boiled egg incident, it's something I could see myself doing. I am also getting over a virus and I hope you see the funny side of it Lorraine.

No birds in sight at the moment.

Lorraine said...

Yes I did see the funny side Phoebe, and it came in the form of a full tub of Ben and Jerry's which went down a treat over the weekend - just what the doctor ordered, but that 5lb's I lost is probably now only one!

Haven't caught much activity over the weekend, and no visitors now at 1am check out.

Lorraine said...

Well, though I haven't had much opportunity to tune in to the birds today, on those occasions when I did, I haven't seen hide nor hair of any of 'em, not even Mr.T !

None present now either.

Phoebe said...

Finally an adult on the tower!

Lorraine said...

So relieved to tune in and find one of the birds in view. It looks like the falcon, having a good old preen on the edge of the scrape. Smoothing and separating her slightly ruffled feathers, using the oil gland to weatherproof them, she looks alert and in good shape.

Where have you been little lady ? Chasing pigeons and rainbows no doubt !

christine said...

Webcams frozen last nite at 00.22 From Christine

Lorraine said...

Cam 2 still frozen but falcon can be seen enjoying a meal on the scrape on live cam 3 and a gory close up on cam 1
Tiercel watching from his perch at the far end of the ledge under the scrape. Bells just chimed 6.30pm

Lorraine said...

Meal now finished. Falcon did a lot of flapping of wings before flying off, the tiercel spotted her and quickly followed.

Lorraine said...

Was nice to tune in just now and see both adults in view on Cam 3

Haven't seen a juv now for quite a while.

christine said...

Cam 2 still frozen! When will it be up and running again? From Christine

Lorraine said...

Hi Christine - I think it was mentioned somewhere in an earlier post, that the cams were going to be cleaned at some point. As Cam No.2 hasn't " re-booted " of it's own accord, perhaps it needs in-situ adjustment and may have to remain dormant meanwhile.

I tuned into Cam 3 just before midnight and was chuffed to see what I hope someone will confirm as a juvie. It spotted something overhead and flew off, then returned moments later but with no prey. It has remained since ( now 1.35 am ) but I can't get that elusive screen grab of a leg ring to confirm it. I'm almost sure it's the remaining juvie and was really hoping to see it again after such a long absence, so it may well just be wishful thinking on my part.

The BP isn't that clear but see what you think. I'll have to tune out now but I bet the minute I do, the perisher will waltz up to the near gargoyle, shake it's leg at the cam and blow a rasberry into the microphone !!

Phoebe said...

Hi Lorraine - sorry to disappoint you but I think the BP shows an adult not a juvie. The reason is the white bib looks too big for a juvie although the chest feathers can't really be seen but on a juvie the bib is only on the upper neck. I may be wrong but that is my opinion. I will keep an eye out to see if a juvie appears.

Lorraine said...

Think you may be right Phoebe !
The adult falcon does tend to prefer the scrape ledge for long stays but she also occasionally chooses the tower ledge. I remember someone telling me in a post how the juv's feathers remain brownish in colour for at least a year. I'll keep trying for a clear screen grab meanwhile

Lorraine said...

The falcon stayed for hours last night, well into the early hours,(see BP ) She flew off and re-appeared immediately up near the spout where she settled in for the rest of the night. I noted she had no leg rings, so for sure, she was the falcon.

Tuning in on my return home just now, I see there must have been a proper old nosh up going on in the scrape sometime today. Looks like two pigeon carcasses and something dark and bulky left up against the scrape wall. I tried to get a closer view on Cam 1, but the image has gone psychedelic ! Check it out - it's like a 60's art poster - quite nice actually !

No doubt one of the family will return for another nibble on the pigeon stash, so hope to catch some action and S/Grabs later on tonight.

Phoebe said...

An adult just landed on the scrape with prey. Such a lovely orange glow on its feathers!

Lorraine said...

With Cam No1 being the only remaining option, now that Cam No3 also appears to have frozen, I doubt there will be much to view for the time being, at least after dark anyway. It may well be working again by morning though. Lets hope so.

Meanwhile, I've been doing some research into the falcons eyesight and the BP image shows the reason why it is so incredible. Unlike most animals, us humans included, they have not one but TWO visual sensors in each eye!

Nature is so amazing. If a species (or a living entity of any sort for that matter) requires a biological adaptation in order to survive, then evolution seems to just simply add the required recipe into the DNA to accommodate the need. It brings to mind that forest animal ( cant recall it's name just now ) that has evolved a weird looking elongated finger, in which it uses to access the deeper hollows in tree trunks, in order to hook out grubs and the like that it wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. There is also that weird fish ( again I can't recall it's name! ) that lives in the darkest depths of the ocean, which has evolved a light on the end of a protrusion coming out of it's head, attracting it's food source like a flashing lure. We ourselves have our thumbs, which enable us to be so precisely dexterous and our little toes, though seemingly there for no reason (certainly not for aesthetics anyway!) are quietly working away to afford us our balance when walking upright. How neat is that !! The list is endless - Woodpeckers brains for instance, are cradled in fluid to prevent it from damage whilst it hammers it's beak against a tree trunk - also, the giraffe, it has a massive heart ( pump ) to defy gravity and send sufficient blood supply all the way up to its brain. Incredible innit !

As for the peregrine, it's eyes capture so much information that the larger part of it's brain is dedicated to processing it.

Does this mean that the male of our own species will evolve a long, long arm, so that they can reach into the kitchen, open the fridge door and grab a can of beer without even having to leave their comfy armchairs? Or us females even, so we can point out to the shop assistant exactly the pair of shoes we've spotted right at the back of the window display! - Oh, I do hope not.

Anyway, night y'all - have a good weekend.

Helen said...

Camera 3 seems to be working fine this morning. Looks like the birds are in for a very wet and windy day!

Lorraine said...

Just returned to Plymouth after a hard days work in Mum's back garden, thinning out the mombrisha and giving the lawn it's final mow, to return and find Cam3 has re-booted and is up and running again. Smashing !

From reading the new DWT post, maybe we'll see the falcon a lot more on the tower this month, looking upwards for the redwings and woodcocks as they fly over the City. I had no idea there were so many coming in !

After their many years of residency, no doubt the falcon and tiercel are eagerly awaiting them.

Slurrrp !!

steph said...

Lorraine - thanks for a very informative as well as hilarious post on the 12th.! I do enjoy reading what you post and it seems to keep us closer to the birds, even though there is no 'nest-action' to watch until next year. Thank you.