Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Egg number three is laid

Thanks to our eager band of egg-watchers, egg number three was spotted just after 9 pm tonight (2nd April).
So just a final one to go (we hope) to complete the clutch and start full incubation. Given that the gap between numbers 2 and 3 was well over 48 hours, the last egg might be laid sometime on Saturday?

Down at the cathedral this morning for another BBC Radio Derby interview (they're mad keen on peregrine stories this year!), there was no sign of the intruder.
Four different clutches of peregrine eggs
The male flew in and landed on the stonework just above and to the side of the platform - a position I don't remember seeing him take up before. He peered down into the platform and soon flew down to cover the eggs as the female flew off and away to Jurys Inn.
The male's job for the next month once 'serious' incubation has begun will be to hunt prey and bring back all the female's food requirements for her. She will do the bulk of the incubation, just slipping away to feed, preen and perhaps go for a bathe (we have no idea where they go to wash and drink by the way!).
She is rarely away more than an hour or two, returning and almost pushing the male off the eggs so keen is she to get back onto them.
Peregrine eggs are a wonderful colour when fresh
This makes sense since, being a bigger bird, her brood patch is large and she is much better at covering the clutch than is the male. (A brood patch is that part of her lower belly where the feathers moult leaving a bare area rich in blood vessels. This, when pressed close to the eggs, allows them to be kept really warm to aid their development).
Nick B (DWT)

45 comments:

Lorraine said...

Well our falcon produced the third egg like a well practiced magician!

I'd tuned in earlier to see a changeover take place on two eggs and felt convinced she wouldn't lay another tonight. How wrong I was, but extremely pleased to now find the update from Nick and flickr pics from Helen & Phoebe.

Phoebe said...

@ Helen

I think my screengrab was the earliest moment after laying.

@ The team - I have released my screengrab for use. I must alter the settings for all the Derby pics.

Kate said...

She's on form, well done.

Helen said...

As the female arrived back on the platform about five minutes ago there was another mating, which perhaps suggests that she hasn't finished laying yet.

Oak Class, Holmesdale Infant School said...

How can you tell which is the female and which is the male bird? We think the eggs are really wonderful, but we expected them to be white!!!

Caroline said...

I agree with Oak Class. The eggs are beautiful - thank you for the close-ups on the blog. Perhaps the colour means that they blend in with the natural colours of earth and stone on a cliff which is where peregrines would usually nest? Of course, different animals see different colours. Do we know what kind of vision peregrines have, I wonder? Do they see similar colours to us?

Green Class said...

to Oak class the feemal pergrine is bigger than the male bird. The male is one third smaler than the female. He has a slitley
darker head and his feathers are a bit smother. He is called a tiercel. its hard to tell that the female and the male bird are different. we was exsitued to see three eggs. We think we will have an nufer egg.

Phoebe said...

The tiercel has been on the scrape ledge for a while and is now in the right side. Not behaviour I can remember before. Could he be waiting for a turn on the eggs or is he being extra attentive?

Kate said...

Anyone else notice the other Bird on the slate?Could it be another Falcon Egg laying?

Phoebe said...

I noticed the bird on the right and did wonder if it is 'our' tiercel or not. It doesn't look like a falcon to me.

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

On stream 4 the falcon on the eggs appears to be breathing quite heavily, her body rising more than I have seen before. I wonder if the poor air quality is affecting her. has anybody else noticed that?

Linda said...

Phoebe I've been watching some falcons in other places and they have been doing that too before this problem with air quality. I wonder if it's something they do as they settle down to incubate their eggs. Nick?

Kate said...

Morning all
Tis all peaceful .The air quality does not look too bad this morning, hopefully if the wind picks up,it will blow all the nasty stuff away.

Phoebe said...

The falcon has landed on the right side ledge and is making gentle echups to the tiercel who is on the eggs. She is busy preening herself. We could get a fourth egg today.

Lorraine said...

Phoebe, I'm not fully convinced that the bird now on the r/h lip of the scrape is the tiercel ? look at it's cheek markings. I'm trying to catch sight of a leg possible ring but have had no luck so far - will keep watching meanwhile.

Lorraine said...

PS: Oh dear, I thought that the bird on the eggs was the falcon, is it not? Sorry if confused the issue - I guess identification's will remain ongoing whilst the possibility of a third bird remains unsolved. Just saw the two birds in question make a changeover however, with the 'falcon' now definitely on the eggs and the previous 'sitter' now flown off. The interchange between them seemed a little awkward to me though, so for now I'm still unsure who the bird was that has just been relieved, but can confirm no leg rings were evident on either of them. All we can do is keep watching I suppose and hope for a fourth egg meanwhile!

Lorraine said...

BTW - I also noticed the deep breathing, especially by the Nott's falcon, who really seems to go into a full-on slumber through the night, even before the pollution issue. I've yet to see the Nott's tiercel though and have never been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him yet, as I'm always too eager to tune back to the Derby nest!

Lorraine said...

One final comment on my previous posted doubts - the tiercel is now on the corbel under the scrape and I think now that it must have been him sitting on the eggs before changeover after all, as I doubt that one of last years juvs would have the instinct or inclination to assist incubation duty. I'll wait and withold further speculation to prevent conflicting posts etc., and will just remain happy to observe meanwhile.

Phoebe said...

Lorraine, I was busy and didn't see the change-over. Sometimes it can look difficult because the tiercel really like to do his bit and will only leave the eggs when pushed out by the falcon.

Regarding a third bird I have wondered if the tiercel is the same one as last year and that maybe a younger one has pushed out the older one. Just a thought.

I know there are people that visit the tower who can positively identify the tiercel by his markings. I would be interested to know if they have visited yet...

As I was typing the tiercel arrived back on the scrape ledge where a short greeting was made and now the falcon has settled back on the eggs and the tiercel is preening on the right side ledge.

Lorraine said...

Thanks Phoebe - what you say is food for thought - we'll have to await any positive identification. Happy viewing till then!

AnnieF. said...

I think I may have spotted a 4th. egg at approx. 21.45 hrs, but only a glimpse and could well be mistaken.

Phoebe said...

Annie, I do hope so, but I'm sure Helen would capture it. I haven't been watching this last hour.

Phoebe said...

Still three eggs, the falcon has left the scrape.

Phoebe said...

I switched to stream 4 when I saw both birds came back to the scrape. I saw the falcon fly off towards the Derwent beyond the green,then I watched her fly across the camera whilst the tiercel settled on the eggs. That was great to see from the bird's eye view. she cam back and landed on the top by the spout where she is feeding.

Anonymous said...

You guys got me all excited there for a moment. Maybe some more news in the morning.
NickM.

Lorraine said...

This 02.37am BP just simply shows the return of the falcon back to the scrape ( three in number clearly seen at this point ) after enjoying a well deserved two and a half hours chill by the spout. The tiercel looked a bit fidgety toward the end of his long egg sitting vigil and swiftly flew off the moment she returned.
Tuning out now at 03.23am finds her settled back in with no signs of egg laying behaviour evident.

Christine H said...

Have just seen a changeover and there are still just the three eggs

mo55y said...

Hi , i've started a thread in the Derby County Fans Forum
http://dcfcfans.co.uk/topic/14271-the-derby-cathedral-peregrine-project-2014-yawn/
Please ignore the (yawn) bit, that is a moderator just trying to be funny :)
Anyway if any of you are Derby fans and Falcon fans, you would be more than welcome to join us with your comments on our thread.
Hope i'm not intruding on your space, and if this link is unethical please remove it , Love the project BTW :)

Caroline said...

Tx for all the overnight up-dates but no egg 4 yet I gather! While we're egg-twiddling our thumbs, you might be interested to know that the poem I wrote about Derby's peregrines a year or so ago has been posted as the Featured Poem since January on the website of the Scottish-American magazine, The Dark Horse. I asked Nick B if I could mention this as The Dark Horse acknowledged the Derby project when it published the poem in its magazine and we set up mutual weblinks to the blog here at the time. I also donated the small prize money to the project from the national York competition which gave the poem Highly Commended. Perhaps the poem helped to raise awareness of Derby birds and urban peregrines. I'd like to think so, even if the poem itself may not be everyone's cup of tea. I was drawn to the Derby peregrines because my grandfather was born there and he came from several generations of tailors who had a shop round the corner from the cathedral. http://www.thedarkhorsemagazine.com/featuredpoem.html

Helen said...

Definitely four eggs now! I am fairly sure that she laid the last one at around 9.19am this morning. Brilliant news!

Helen said...

When the falcon finally revealed the fourth egg there was a lot of excitement with both birds on the nest platform calling very loudly and looking around a lot. It made me wonder if there was an intruder around. Certainly something had disturbed them. Another very exciting breeding season!

Phoebe said...

wow just noticed 4 eggs! aww I was busy

Kate said...

Definetly four clear view now 12.03

Kate said...

Definitely four clear view now 12.03

Phoebe said...

Pics on flickr

Kate said...

great news the Nick's will be pleased and also the school children, unless they have broken up for Easter Hols and watch at home.
Looks as though helen thinks 9.0.aam ish this morning.
Whatever great news...
I tried setting up flikr and did, the everybody beat me to it CHOL:):) so I will leave it to the experts!!!!
apologies for duplicate earlier, it asked to re do Doh!!!!

AnnieF. said...

Egg-cellent news, they've done it again!
Sorry I was a bit "previous" last night, but the falcon had been shuffling about and peering beneath her now & then, so when she moved slightly and revealed part of a white egg-shape,I felt this mightbe it. However, 12 hours later ...

Lorraine said...

Egg number four now safely in nest,
Laid whilst we weren't looking - we all should have guessed!
But maybe it's kindly to allow her this jest,
As she's Derby true sweetheart - and
simply the best!


Thanks for lovely flickr captures of the full set x


Phoebe said...

That is a lovely poem Lorraine - thank you for sharing! So apt.

Lorraine said...

For any who enjoy poetry with tingles by the dozen, you mustn't forget to access Caroline's earlier link to The Dark Horse Magazine, which expresses remarkable insight into the amazing world of the peregrine, of which she very kindly donated a truly deserved monetary prize to the project. I'm sure her grandfather would have been extremely proud of her.

Helen - the mystery presence of a possible third bird has been causing speculation - I'm hoping there is one of last years juvies on the scene, who may stay around to assist in the activities to come. Wishful thinking? - maybe, but wouldn't that be a lovely addition to this years events!

Lorraine said...

Couldn't resist this new BP - it's just tooooo sweet not to share.

Could this be our little mystery juvie !!

Helen said...

Lorraine - I couldn't see any other birds on the cameras at the time but they were certainly very excited and vocal about something. If there is a young peregrine from last year around it should still be in its juvenile plumage - much browner than the adult birds and with vertical stripes/streaks on its underparts, as well as the leg rings. Peregrines don't usually get their adult plumage for a couple of years. It would be great to know that there is a juvenile still out there somewhere and doing well. Buzzards also pass over the cathedral from time to time which I guess might cause the peregrines to react as well. As you say it's all a bit of a mystery but exciting for sure!

Mo Cole said...

A draw once again... Derby 4 Nottingham 4... Well done..... Now the waiting game... Give me chance to put the duster round... X

Lorraine said...

Wonder how the Aylesbury falcon is getting along? I think she laid her first egg on 2nd and should be due another today, if she's intending to do so. I'm really rooting for this determined pair, as they're well overdue a stress-free season. I'll look for an update later, unless Sue or anyone posts news, while I'm tuned out till then.

All cool and calm in the home roost I see. What characters are set to emerge and delight I wonder, as we relax in the interval........ Can't wait for curtain up!