Monday, 24 March 2014

False Alarm, Comments and Live Streaming

UPDATE: Webcam Stream 4 - live from the nest is now working, complete with audio. And teachers; please scroll down to read about our new Resources boxes for schools!

Last night many of us thought our female was about to lay her first egg of the season. There she stood, motionless, in the nest scrape for well over an hour, which is very typical behaviour before egg-laying happens. Although peregrine falcon eggs are a deep reddish brown colour, under infra-red light they look totally white in camera working in night-time mode. So, egg-spotting ought, in theory, to be easy at night providing she moves a bit. But our experience has been that although the falcon may inspect the egg very briefly after laying, she  will then sit on it for quite some hours afterwards, leaving us uncertain of whether she has laid, or not.

But last night she moved away to the edge of the platform, revealing an empty scrape. Another false alarm.  For newcomers to this blog, do keep an eye on the 'Comments' page of the topmost post. This is where webcam viewers from around the world may leave up-to-date information. If you post to older pages, your comments will probably not be seem by anyone. (We do use blog moderation from time to time to keep spammers at bay, so don't expect every comment you post to be available instantly.) Please ensure comments are all relevant to the peregrines, and remember that some children do see this blog in school, as it can be a valuable learning experience for them. If you are a teacher, please see the previous post here.

Last night, Nick Brown left a comment containing  the following egg-laying dates at Derby, which are worth repeating here:

Date of first egg
2006 - first year - no cameras so no date for that year tho' we know it was late April sometime.
2007- 3/4
2008 - 28/3
2009 - 23/3 (earliest ever)
2010 - 24/3
2011 - 2/4
2012 - 29/3
2013 - 3/4
2014 - any guesses? (leave a comment with your date and time, and why not predict the date and time the first chick hatches in a months time, too? 
Note that every year since 2007 she has laid four eggs,  but there is only a 60-75% success rate for reaching a year old. Success rates vary from year to year, however.

Webcameras
The first of our two live audio-video streams is now working again, thanks to Mark from SERCO, one of our supporting partners. The stream should run for 10 to 15 minutes, and currently there is a lot of background noise, presumably from building work following the recent car park fire at Derby Assembly Rooms. This stream can be a bit temperamental, so apologies if we have problems with it from time to time.
We hope the second live stream from the wide-angle nest camera will be connected shortly. (Changes have to be made within Derby Council's firewall, which is out of our control. But we think this will now happen very soon.)

82 comments:

Phoebe said...

Just to say thanks to the team for the veiws we have. I really like stream 2, being able to see the corbel and the scrape in one view.

Both bird are in sight, one in the scrape, the other on the corbel below.

They do keep us on the edge of our seats, they just have a way of building the tension.

It is so exciting.

I stick to my original guess for the first egg:
27 March between 7am and 10am.

Caroline said...

Hello again. I've managed to upload my screen grab to Flickr of the peregrines mating at 10.17 this morning. It isn't very clear but a reminder that the tiercel has to be a beautifully adept flier and hover kestrel-like. Also, the falcon hasn't chosen the non-slip rugged stonework of the corbel to hang onto with her huge talons for nothing! There will be much better shots from previous years on the blog and Flickr of course.

Phoebe said...

Here we go again!

Kate said...

Thank you to the Team again, excellent to see live cam.Very grateful.
So the waiting begins for another evening, holding my breath Ha!

Lorraine said...

Oh team, this is just great - thanks so much. To see the birds "moving" again is so strange! and to actually hear them communicating is just wonderful. Plus the bells ringing out again - smashing!

Timely screen grab Caroline - it's good to know for sure, that mating has taken place and the rest will now hopefully follow soon.




Lorraine said...

( 18.39pm ) Another mating just taken place at same location under scrape, after birds spent almost two hours in view of each other, with occasional vocal exchanges, a trial sit in the nest by the falcon and a lot of preening. It was so sudden and seemed to be instigated by the falcon who just flew down to join the tiercel below - and Bobs your Uncle !
Sorry, not quick enough to get screen grab, was so not expecting it, but maybe someone else also saw it happen ?

Caroline said...

Just seen the tiercel attempt mating again at 18.27 - he missed this time though as the falcon didn't prop herself forward. I was just admiring the pink sunset in his feathers as he sat on the edge of the scrape when he took off down to the corbel! I got a screen grab which shows his wing-blur and that the falcon is sitting too upright. It was blustery this afternoon so perhaps he didn't try an aerobatics then? There's been much sitting around and preening by them both today. I find it easy to have the peregrine webcam open on my screen when I am working from home. However, Phoebe and others are usually much better at the grabs! All the best to everyone.

Lorraine said...

That explains it - I thought it was odd that the falcon had flown down to the tiercel to attempt mating - when all the time I was looking at the tiercel - not the falcon ! Glad you were also watching Caroline.

Will have to learn to identify them both all over again now, this year!

Caroline said...

Just loaded the screen grab onto Flickr, Lorraine. Yes, it is confusing! If I didn't have the pic to look at, I wouldn't have been sure what had happened either except that she tends to sit down there encouraging him to visit. Perhaps it is out of the wind in the corner or just a good spot for her to keep her balance and grip the stonework? Others here may know more about the favourite places for mating. I seem to remember a specular picture one year of the pair mating up on the lead guttering at the top?

Anonymous said...

Wanted to drop a note of thanks to everyone who is working on the website. Stream 3 is now working on my computer, it is wonderful. Have watched your Peregrines from the United States for the past three years and have loved every moment. Thank youy so much for sharing this wonderful Peregrine Family from Derby Cathedral.

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

"Christine H has left a new comment on your post "False Alarm, Comments and Live Streaming":
I wish I could fathom how to leave a comment on this blog, it seems so complicated !!!"


Hi Christine - Your comment has bemused me, and I have no answer for you. Your comment (quoted above) came through to my email, as all comments should. But it has not appeared on the blog - so I can understand why you are frustrated. I cannot explain why that is, nor why the anonymous comment posted at 19:19 has appeared on the blog, but has not arrived as an email.
[scratches head and wanders off confused, sorry]

Kate said...

Still looking around this morning,she is keeping us all as usual on edge CHOL:):)
M
NickM hope the head survives the scratching, also wonders why some posts have the Blog symbol and others post with just a name???

Nick B (DWT) said...

Tuesday: a grey, wet and cold day here this morning....
My wild guess is that we won't see an egg until about 30th....but I could be so wrong of course!
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. I had a good meeting with Cathedral Quarter and some of the Rolls-Royce team yesterday, looking at how we might promote and embed the project deeper into the life of the city.

Ianathome said...

Just watching stream 3 at 11am today. (Thank you very much for getting it to work, by the way!)

That does look remarkably like a falcon preparing to lay an egg.

I'm hoping for the first today.

Phoebe said...

I just caught a screengrab of the tiercel flying in to the scrape where the falcon was sat on the ledge. Could have been a mating attempt but it cam to nothing, he didn't land.

Lorraine said...

Just back from Carlyon Bay ( proper lovely it was! ) and tuned in to see both birds in view. Nothing unusual happening though - just happily chilling out.

I'm ready to guess a date for first egg lay and will plump for 1st April. Late I know, but something about the falcons behaviour isn't quite intense enough somehow, more like preparatory than imminent. Anyway, the sooner the better, so hope I'm actually wrong..

Kate, that mention about some posts having Blog Symbols - I think it all depends on which system you use. Mine is Google's own account, which allows me to create a profile with an icon option for use in this blog, rather than via a Yahoo account or the like. You can change the image at random and even put a screen shot there.

Both birds just flown off as the sun is setting. One from the scrape and tuther from tower.

Lorraine said...

Mmmm... falcon back again on Cam 2 - didn't bring a catch but think the tiercel is around as she was vocal at one point. Now on the hollow, but not opting to totally lie down in it. A few little vocals and what appears to be straining - could this be it ? !!
The time is 19.07
Will continue watching.
19.09 - Nope, she's moved onto the ledge but despite the wind, seems to want to remain close to the hollow ( now much deeper BTW )

Tonight might be worth tuning in throughout the early hours - so will do

Lorraine said...

After a long stay on the scrape ledge, the falcon eventually flew off. Now presently atop the far gargoyle, where the tiercel recently brought in and consumed some unidentified food. Apparently none was left her, so she's now scouring the sky most intently looking for night flyers. The tiercel has stationed himself back on the far r/h side of the ledge under the scrape, where he's spent most of the night to far.

I doubt there will be any egg laying in the next few hours, as the falcon just seems to be in hunting mode, so will tune out now at 01.22am

Anonymous said...

Looks as though there will soon be an egg laid at Derby. Lots of activity after 4:00pm UK time.

Sue Peregrino said...

16:50hrs 26/3/14 Bird on the platform but in a fairly upright stance, not in the sort of stance suggesting an egg beneath. Is that a "real time" watcher I see down there on the corner of Cathedral Green? Great to get some of the webcam streams up again although I'm tempted to wonder firewalls in the context of recent events at the Assembly Rooms carpark? (I think they could have done with one)

AnnieF. said...

Falcon in scrape, quite still and looking a bit pensive.

Kate said...

Bless her she has been on the scrape for a while now, occasionally, turning in a circle ritual,sometimes when the angle is right you can see she has a lovely fluffy down either side of her ... undercarriage..
surely we cant have long to wait?

Sue Peregrino said...

Yes, as AnnieF remarks, the female is indeed looking very thoughtful. Having had another quick look at 17:50, she hardly looks to have moved at all.

Lorraine said...

Hi Sue - can't spot the watcher, but know that if I lived in Derby, I'd prob end up being forcibly removed, for being on the green 24/7 !

The falcons present "hovering" over the nest is fascinating me. She's seemingly aware of some bodily movement within. Oh, here's the tiercel! - a quick intense vocal exchange, (beak to beak!) before swiftly flying off. How fantastic, like he was deliberately checking on her state.

I wouldn't be surprised after that, to see the tiercel bring some food directly back to her in the scrape later on, and it will be interesting to see if she remains, actually inside the scrape, through the night.

AnnieF. said...

She actually left the scrape, Lorraine, for about 10 minutes (approx. 18.30 hrs)but I couldn't see where she went. She returned roughly 5 minutes ago, and is now looking very "intense" again!

AnnieF. said...

And now she's asleep on the scrape ledge, head tucked back into her shoulder.

Lorraine said...

2am finds the scrape empty and what appears to be the falcon, who's opted to spend the early hours on the far gargoyle again. I doubt there'll be any egg laying tonight :( - not this side of dawn anyway, so tuning out now and leaving her be. Oh well, tomorrow's another day, set to bring yet more puzzlement and intrigue no doubt!

Kate said...

Kate said...

really trying this morning, round and round with checking underneath

27 March 2014 06:24
sorry posted on wrong thread...
also c
we have lost live cam 3. at moment.
Falcon sitting still for a while but not crouched down.

Kate said...

Cam two showing Teircel also waiting and watching, but'missus' stil crouched on scrape.

Kate said...

Nope, no Egg yet, Falcon now up on the tray ledge.. doh!!! the waitng continues.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks all for keeping watch for us and reporting what's happening or, more to the point, what's not happening! If we are to recover a video clip of the egg being laid we will need to know the time that happens ideally...or we have to do a lot of running through tape searching....so your comments are really useful.
Another grey and cold day here but due to warm up at the weekend.
Nick B (DWT)

Caroline said...

Just logged in wondering if I'd missed all the action while out yeserday... one dozing peregrine on the ledge and no egg. Lots of to and fro on the blog though!

Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoebe said...

Well, my eggspected laying time of 7am - 10am has passed but still the rest of the day to go. My fingers are crossed.

Kate said...

Ha!! Phoebe, she really tried hard to please you this morning.CHOL:):)

At the moment Stream 2. Falcon on the tray ledge, Tuther bird eating prey, cannot see if it is the Tiercel, but I assume it is.

Anonymous said...

Hello from Oak class, Holmesdale Infant School.

We are excited about learning about the peregrine falcons. We think the first egg will be laid on Mother's Day.

Steve G. said...

I predict first egg to be laid on my birthday, March 31st.

Green Class said...

The female peregrine is nealy going to lay eggs. The male peregrine has bin siting in the scrap.In the scrap there was the mial ceeping it warm! The feamal is back on the scrape nou looking for food!

Peregrine Class, Stretton Handley Primary School said...

No eggs yet but we saw them mating. We are guessing she is going to lay her first egg early tomorrow morning!

Anonymous said...

Hello Green Class. Lovely to hear your suggestions for when our first egg will arrive. Keep watching over the weekend, then!

Today we turned on our live next camera, which has sound, too. It's Webcam Stream 4. You can watch it for about 10 minutes before the page changes. But just click the "Back" button of your browser to return to the webcam page to watch it some more.

We hope to hear from you again next week -especially if you get to watch our birds from home at the weekend. (Mums and Dads love watching peregrine falcons, and wouldn't it be great to have an egg for Mothers' Day?)

Nick Moyes
Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project

Hilary, B'ham said...

This time last year I was in Canberra, Australia carrying my laptop everywhere. Great to have FULL POWER back with the webcams. it's all about to get into gear. Derby must have a brilliant record for hatching and raising healthy chicks. Thanks to everyone concerned and good luck!

AnnieF. said...

Falcon flew into the rhs of the nestboxapprox. 15.33 hrs. & waddled over to the scrape, where she turned around and with her back to the world, squirted a splat onto the ledge approx. 15.34 hrs. Now she's standing on the ledge facing into the scrape-oops no, now she's looking out. The tiercel has been perched on a corbel below all the time.

Lorraine said...

Thank you Green Class and Peregrine Class and please keep watching and posting, as we all love to read them very much. They are very interesting indeed.

The mother falcon has just returned to the scrape and the tiercel gave her a little greeting from the ledge just below. They have beautiful voices don't you think? She was pushing the gravel aside and making the hollow deeper, but has now hopped onto the scrape ledge.

Sue Peregrino said...

18:20 and it's supper time.

Anonymous said...

9:30pm Falcon is sitting on the ledge of box. Still no egg.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hello too to Oak class at Holmesdale Infants and apologies because your comments went into the spam box for some unknown reason.
It is great to have three schools now sending in their comments. Keep up the good work.
Nick B
ps A further comment with questions from Holmesdale has gone missing somewhere so you may need to send that one again please.

oak class, Holmesdale Infant School said...

We tried posting this at school earlier but it didn't work, so I'm trying again...

We guess that the first egg will be laid on mothers day

Mrs Russell, oak class said...

Thank you!

Kate said...

Morning everyone.
Falcon busy looking around on the Tray at the edge of the scrape.

Thank you to the Schools for
participating in the Project this Season, it will lovely reading your continued comments, and hopefully with your young sharper eyes you will enjoy some interesting views through the Season.
@Lorraine,:: apologies I forgot to say thank you for your reply to comment re the "login names:

Woodpecker Class, Stretton Handley Primary School said...

Do peregrines alwas nest high up?

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Woodpecker Class: a good question!
Yes, peregrines usually try to nest as high up a cliff or building as they possibly can....though never too near the top where they culd be at risk. That way, their eggs and chicks are safe from predators like foxes.
Obviously there are some places in the world where peregrines live where there are no cliffs. For example the tundra of the far north. In these places they do nest on the ground because they have no alternative. Amazingly, a kind of goose called a red breasted goose, chooses to nest right up close to peregrine nests. Now that would seem to be a silly thing to do but actually it makes sense. The peregrines value the geese because the geese keep a very good watch for appraoching predators like foxes. So in return, the peregrines do not try to eat the goslings. Isn't nature marvellous?
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. In cities, tall buildings like our cathedral are really just 'cliffs' to our birds.....great, safe places where the birds can look down on all the bustke below but live out ther lives high above it all.

Green Class said...

we are excited becase the feemayl peregrin is going to leay sum eggs. we thinc that the peregrin is going to lea for eggs. She mayt leay eggs today.

Phoebe said...

Just as the falcon in sat on the hollow waiting for something to happen!? I have to go out so will miss any action. Hopefully somebody will get screen grabs.

AnnieF. said...

Green Class, I think you may be right! I hope she lays her egg before you go home this afternoon. It is nearly 1pm and she has been standing in the scrape for some time now.

Caroline said...

Thanks for your comments everyone because I've just visited and seen the falcon sitting there. I wondered how long she'd been there. She does look in egg-laying position, doesn't she, and keeps closing her eyes...

Caroline said...

Well, off she's flown after almost an hour sitting there. The tiercel visited her at one stage. He was in the other side of the platform and they bowed to each other. But we're back to vacant gravel for now...

Lorraine said...

Our falcon is still keeping us guessing. She's back on the scrape edge but the hollow isn't any deeper.

I see the Nottingham mother peregrine is quite a character - she's managed to build a little wall of gravel around her nest, to protect her eggs from the wind and rain - what a clever Mum she is ! I've also noticed that she sleeps for long periods through the night, taking slow deep breaths with head well tucked under wing.

Anonymous said...

how do you tell them apart?

Kate said...

Well this is a first for me..
16.28..ish on cam three.

Three birds around the nest.

1 in the scrape very agitated keeps looking up, another perched below,
then the one on the scrape flies to the slate end, and another bird flies in and mates with the one below.

Kate said...

Hi anonymous.
This taken from the information page on here.
"The female peregrine is called a 'falcon', and she is quite a bit larger than the male, which is called a 'tiercel'. Both the adults have a white front with horizontal lines across them, and slate-grey back and wings. The juvenile birds are much browner in colour and have vertical lines on their fronts, unlike the adults. You may find it easy to tell adults from juveniles on the webcams, but it's not so easy to tell males from females unless they are both together, and you can compare their sizes. Then it's obvious."

Lorraine said...

Very difficult ! Actually there are some photo's on flicker which show the two birds together and I found that these helped me quite a lot - though I do need to look at them again this year, as I still often struggle with their identities. I will come back to you later with the exact pics to study and their sequence number....

The new BP image at the side of my post, shows a mating that has just taken place below the scrape at 16.30

Lorraine said...

Hi Kate - I also got baffled by the recent mating event. I assumed it was the falcon in the scrape and the tiercel below. However, when the "falcon" flew off, I think it must have been the tiercel and then assumed he'd flew off so that he could gain a better angle to come down to mate with the falcon below the scrape.

Having said that - the bird in the scrape was fixing it's eyes on what appeared to be an unseen bird. Could there be a rival bird about ? If it was another tiercel, there would be fighting, if another falcon, then I think likewise. Could it be one of last years returning juvies even !!

Oh, there's plenty of intrigue to keep me tuned in late tonight now !!

Kate said...

Hi Lorraine
Hope they keep you busy tonight TeeHee! Glad you saw the mating as well, you always wonder if you have reported correctly.

Re anonymous and ? how do you tell them apart??? as you say with difficulty, but her is another link that may help, for me maybe I like the bit about the colour of the feet/talons.
http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/fallsofclyde/2011/04/13/cant-tell-the-difference-between-the-falcon-and-tiercel/

Anonymous said...

hi i think there might be another tiercel like kate has said? could that be what one of the birds is looking at also does that mean there will be fighting over the falcon? only if there was a camera of full view of the nest and the top of it

Anonymous said...

thank you kate for the link :)

Lorraine said...

Found those flicker pics for you anonymous :-

Under "Quick Links" on this homepage click "Your photo's on Flickr"

Select " HelenSara" and scroll down her gallery to pictures 14 to 18

These show the lovely event when the tiercel tenderly fed his falcon whilst she was on the scrape nest.

The tiercel's head has a much darker cap than the falcons, also his moustache ends more in a point than the falcons which is more rounded at the ends. When side by side there's no mistaking which is which, the tiercel being much smaller than the falcon. The tiercel also perches with a more rounded back than the falcon.

Anyway, give the pics a try - they helped me a lot last year !

Lorraine said...

18.07
The falcon is selecting and eating small bits of grit from the nest bed. This must be, as with chickens, to help in the production of the egg's outer shell, not sure, but perhaps we are some days away from actual egg laying after all.

Yep - I'm sticking with my 1st April guess !

Phoebe said...

I think you may be right Lorraine, I have always waited for an April Fools Day egg! I am sure they will oblige us sooner or later.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Kate: I was down at the cathedral from about 4.45 to 5.15 waiting for a teacher form a local school to hand over one of our new school resources boxes. The male was on the nest and the female below in her favoured position ('on the corbel'). There was some calling going on but low key.....and when it started to rain the male flew up and into the tiny hole in the stonework well above the nest where he likes to shelter.
Nick B (DWT)
Ps The teacher brought her son down and both of them had a look through my scope at the birds before making off with the box.
Pps.
I didn't see a third bird at all. My hunch would be that it was a returning juvenile from last year because, had it been an intruding adult, I think all hell would have been let loose!

Nick B (DWT) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda Emmans said...

It's 2342, she's sitting very upright in the hollow and looks very focused. Will watch for a few more minutes but have to be up at 5.15 so am going to be shortly. If anything happens it's after this time! Linda

Phoebe said...

I am watching her too Linda, she keeps falling in and out of sleep. she seems intent so maybe it's all systems go now. Yet again! this could go on all night.

Lorraine said...

Some definite straining now ocuring, this looks promising...

Phoebe said...

It does Lorraine, there was positive movement in her body. It is highly likely we will see an egg by morning.

Phoebe said...

Yes first egg laid at 11:29 !!!

Lorraine said...

WE HAVE AN EGG !! And very beatifull it is too

Lorraine said...

Gosh Phoebe, I feel over the moon. Did you find that Cam 3 got stuck in "buffering" mode at a crucial point? I nearly panicked but found Cam 2 pretty clear, ( 3 & 4 very grainy ) but never got to see the laying in "real" time. What a pity, but thrilled anyway. Got a few amateur screen grabs but hope someone else also managed to capture it.

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

Yep - first egg. great to see. Nick M.

Lorraine said...

Here's a BP image shortly after the event.

Phoebe said...

Yes Lorraine cam 3 was buffering. I have put two screen grabs on flickr already which show when she laid (can tell by her movement) and one with the egg in front of her. It was exhausting to watch!! I can sleep contentedly now lol

Nick will no doubt get a video for us as the time was captured accurately.

Caroline said...

Wonderful news! And I can see that we had some very wakeful watchers late last night looking out for the rest of us :) Thank you everyone and especially to Nick who will have yet another weekend trek to the cathedral to retrieve video for a waiting world. Where would we be without the team!?!

Anonymous said...

is it the same pair that comes every year or could it be the one of the peregrines from the eggs that get layed?