Friday, 23 January 2015

Drifting into February

Anyone new to this blog and our Derby Cathedral peregrines may be surprised that, even as early as February, the pair begin to court and scrap a depression in the gravel.
This pair have been with us since 2004/5 when they first began to be noticed. So they are an old couple, well used to each other by now.
Not surprisingly, there isn't the same level of noisy display flights as there was in the early years though courtship behaviour on the platform or 'scrape' seems undiminished.
If you are lucky enough to see and hear the pair together on the gravel (as Lorraine in Devon did recently), you will be able to hear the 'e-chupp' calls, especially from the female as the pair bow to each other and go through their 'ritualised' courtship 'facing each other and bowing' displays.
It is clear how dominant the larger female is (the male is about a third smaller - hence the falconer's name for him - the 'tiercel'  - from an old French word meaning a third).
If you have never seen courtship or heard the 'e-chupp' calls we have over 50 You Tube videos available for you to watch.
To find them, once on You Tube do a search for VC57UK (Nick M's code) which will then bring them all up together for you to scroll down to the ones you want to see. Here are a few suggestions of some that show courtship and/or nest scraping (using the feet):

2008 Derby Peregrine Falcons (8) Courtship and E-chupping

2008 Derby Peregrine falcons (5) Courtship and Nest Scraping

Derby peregrines 2013 (6) Nest scraping and a good peer at you all (this is excellent, taken using the newest, wide angled lens!)

Our female takes a look at the new lens soon after
it was put up ( early in 2013)
And a mating sequence (best watched after 9 pm!):

2012 Derby Peregrines (8) Good mating Sequence.

All these clips were extracted by Nick Moyes, our technical wizard. For each one he had to climb the tower to the ringing room, find the clip on the video server (no easy matter!), save it to a CD and take it home and put it on You Tube. Where would we be without him?

Nick B (DWT)

17 comments:

Anita Squires said...

Keep up the hard work and enthusiasm Nick its very much appreciated

Lorraine said...

Thanks for You Tube link Nick B and interesting nugget of info about how the birds 'e-chupp's' change over the years, so look forward to checking this out later.

Can also appreciate afresh, just how much effort goes on behind the scenes for our enjoyment.

If any of us see anything unusual or noteworthy during the coming season, we must all do our best to note the Cam time as CLOSELY as possible, as this could save Nick M hours of selfless effort whilst trying to pin down an unusual Cam event on the video server.

The two "Nicks" - The two "P's" -
well, there simply wouldn't be one without the other would they !!




Phoebe said...

I've just logged on to see a peregrine eating prey on the scrape.

Lorraine said...

Hi Phoebe :) saw her last night also, but had tuned in after event to see her sat on the scrape edge (with a very full crop) and interior full of white feathers! She remained in view well into the early hours. Have spotted her overnighting a few times lately, either on the tower or, more recently, the scrape, despite chilly weather.

Maybe this is the breeding instinct starting to kick in. Her increasing visits back to base have already prompted a bonding visit by the tierce, about a week ago, which I saw during a lucky tune-in.

One's been perched on the end of the scrape for ages and ages just now, whilst I'm watching and trying to catch identification on.
Laters........
PS - it's the falcon - she's just moved into the scrape and sat on the hollow !
Time 13.30




Lorraine said...

She's having a little clean up. Her condition looks good...just started making "e-chupps" and can hear the tierce close by. Hope he comes into view...........c'mon.. c'mon............my fingers on the screenshot button...

Not to be ! all gone quiet now and she's moved back onto scrape edge.

Still, he could have flown away to catch her a "bonding" morsel and it'll be interesting to see if that's the case.

Lorraine said...

Talking of morsels, my tummy is rumbling so loud, just HAVE to tune out for a bit and make a cheese butty - bet he makes a visit the moment I go in kitchen!

Lorraine said...

Despite holding a butty in one hand, cuppa in 'tother with a finger hovering over screenshot button - there was no show of tierce :( Now have to brave the outdoors and go vacuum car ready for MOT, so tuning out till peek-in tonight.

Not to worry, but think we'll all be seeing a lot more of the tiercel from now on.

Linda said...

0850 and someone is in the scrape eating prey. It looks quite small, smaller I think than Mr P but it isn't ringed. Definitely not the Falcon. Prey now all eaten and it's sitting watching the world ah just gone. I don't know how to get a screen snap but did a print screen and saved it in a doc. Nick do you want to see? I may be wrong but don't think it was one of our adult birds. Linda (ps Lorraine I have coffee in hand lol!)

Lorraine said...

2nd Feb - 1.55am - 2.22am early hours peek in -

One of the birds in view watching the sky from the scrape ledge, but not sure which.

From Linda's post, It makes me wonder if, like last season, we'll see a mystery bird turning up now and again this year. All very intriguing !

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Still very cold in Derby this morning (Wednesday)with both adults sitting on the Jurys lettering, in the sun and out of the bitter north wind.
Courtship would appear to be on hold for now - and who can blame them!

Nick B (DWT)

Linda said...

Oops 2 pigeons on the Corbel. Obviously Mr and Mrs P aren't close enough for them to worry. Not a wise move soon. Nick do you think we will see more courting soon? Its a nice day in Derby today.

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

I suspect we will soon, Linda. Both adult birds are now being seen closer together for more of the time. Yesterday, both were up on the side of the Jury's Inn hotel in Derby - giving them great views of the Cathedral and their nest.

AnnieF. said...

The falcon has been on the scrape ledge for some time now, and the depression in the scrape has been widened, deepened and tidied up. No sign of the tierce yet.

Lorraine said...

Don't know if she's been there all this time, but the falcon is still present on the scrape ledge.

JUST FLEW OFF! 14.24pm........... and immediately back again, with tiercel below...........( or vice versa )... can't hear any ee-chupps via Cam4, but Cam2 see's them both in view and aware of each other... hoping he fly's up to scrape whilst I'm watching, so can get screen grab.... time now 14.33.51............
nearly an hour on and birds seem content to just chill rather than chupp ! Will tune out on said contented scene, as bells chime 15.30pm...

(Worth a ponder to consider the event of Nick's coming abseil visit to the scrape, in due course, in that it may also act to increase their instinct to begin courtship in earnest.)












AnnieF. said...

Falcon has been on the scrape ledge for at least 30 minutes, with the tiercel on a corbel beneath, rhs. She turns her head his way frequently but neither has changed position.

Linda said...

There were 2 pigeons on the corbel again this am. One cheekily looked into the camera. Think it was Mrs P who was sitting on the edge of the scrape at the same time but she ignored them. Brave birds......

Abby-Lynn said...

One sitting on the edge of the scape. Can't wait for nesting time.