Saturday, 14 March 2015

Ship shape and Derby fashion

As you can see, the nest has been cleaned and the cameras checked for the start of what we hope will be a successful tenth breeding season for our peregrine pair. Thanks to Nick Moyes, assisted by Ian Layton who we now know will be back with us for his third summer as Engagement Officer (part time) running the Watch Points among other things.
We are confident that these are the very same birds that originally colonised the tower back in 2004/2004.
Nick Moyes has abseiled down the tower to the nest platform
many times since it was installed in 2006
So the next question is: when will we get our first egg?
The Nottingham pair have just laid theirs but a pair in London were the first to lay an egg in the UK, doing so on 7th March - which is really early!
Four clutches of peregrine eggs
Last year our first egg was laid on 29th March. The earliest ever at Derby was in 2010 (23rd March) and the latest was in 2013 (on 4th April - the year of the late snowfall!).
Eggs are then laid at about two day intervals but not incubated until the third or (more usually) the fourth egg such that they all hatch about the same time.
Nick B (DWT)


Caroline said...

Excellent news that Ian is rejoining the team for a third summer, especially as funding is rare as peregrine's teeth these days.Well done to all concerned. Many thanks to Nick for being window cleaner extraordinaire. All the best to everyone.

Linda said...

Mum's asleep on the nest in Nottingham. Not seen the egg yet but she's there.

Cherrill said...

here we go then ,web cam watching ,seen NTU,s egg tonight , will we be next ?

Anonymous said...

I am rather surprised and worried that the clean up was left well into the breeding season can you explain the reasoning behind this descision ?

Jodie said...

Nice courtship 07:23- 16/03/15 :)

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi anon; we understand your concerns but the weather is a major factor since if it is windy and/or wet the abseil cannot be carried out. And it was windy and wet for those relatively brief parts of the previous weeks when Nick M was available and ready to do the job (he works elsewhere for much of each week so is very restricted in when he can do it).
As you can see from comments left subsequently, the birds are back courting on the newly cleaned gravel and, in ten years, they have never taken any notice of brief disturbances at the nest as long as these occur before egg laying. Since our birds have never laid earlier than 23rd March (and that was five years ago, last year it was 29th) we were confident that the abseil would have no effect on the breeding cycle and so it has proved.
Nick B (DWT)

Nick Moyes said...

If I may, I'll add to Nick Brown's response to Anonymous by explaining that I did have a chat with Natural England on this matter, as well as in relation to future building work being planned by the Cathedral later this summer.
We agreed that activities up to the end of last week would be acceptable and would not cause disturbance or require a licence. I would have much preferred to have carried out the tasks during February, but this was not possible, as Nick B explained. It was pleasing to see the adult birds sitting on nearby Jurys Inn, unconcerned by our presence, as they always are at this time. I hope this puts people's minds at ease, and that we've always had the best interests of the birds and the law in mind.

AnnieF. said...

Nottingham - two eggs!

Meanwhile, our Derby pair are quite happy with the nest-box clean-up (thanks again to Nick M. for that, and to both Nicks for the detailed answers to questions), and are still performing their courting rituals totally unfazed by that man on the rope!
I don't know if anyone else is getting as jittery and impatient as me ...? I've been watching for several years now but still worry!

Kate said...

Thank you both Nick's,I wonder Anon, if this is your first year of watching??If so, do enjoy, as you have much to look forward to, you only have to read back on the blogs to realise that these birds are well looked after and their welfare is of the utmost importance, none of the carers would allow or do anything in the slightest to upset their natural wildlife environment,and I always appreciate, how much time is taken in replying to the many queries that arise, and am so appreciative to be able to witness these Birds cycle.

Thank you all once again, and like Annie I always start worrying around this time of year.
So fingers and everything else crossed for a productive Season.

Anonymous said...

It's so great to see the view looking so good again .Can't wait for the new arrivals?Thaks a lot to you all.xxxxx Ruthxxx

Lorraine said...

Nice to see all the familiar names again, with many more to come, as things now swiftly unfold to enthral us.

Well, the nest is chippa, the birds are chippa (and we all know how chippa NickM is!) - so big thanks to the team for their preparations, and


MaryT said...

Really looking forward to the nesting season coming up. I will be moving away from Derby but even though I won't be visiting the Cathedral Green in person I can still keep in touch through the fantastic cameras and great informative blog

Julie said...

Here we go again's good to be back!!

Linda said...

One on the scrape Mrs P I think and one on the corbel. Think they're enjoying the sun.

Lorraine said...

Both birds stayed over on the Cathedral last night - female on the tower and tierce on the scrape - and were still there at tune out at 2.30am this morning.

Don't forget to try and tune in during this coming Friday's eclipse (duration 8.30am/10.30am with maximum occurring at 9.32am)

Apparently the sky will darken quite significantly ( even as low down as Devon ) If the birds happen to be on cam, it will be interesting to monitor their reaction ( if any ) May not have been witnessed before, so a good opportunity for all you Flickr Wizards out there to capture any unusual behaviour!

Lorraine said...

I think MrsP is getting impatient now. She's started shaping out the hollow in earnest and is definitely acting more broody.

Can't wait to find out how many little ding dongs will hatch out this year.

Please Sir, can we name the first to hatch " Eclypse"? Aw, go on Sir, please, please, just this once?

Julia said...

Looking forward to this years chicks.
Eclypse a great name

Lorraine said...

Ta Julia :)

( meant to spell Eclipse with an i
not y! ) either way, it's what I'll be calling 1st hatch in my head at home!

No sleep-overs last night but often saw MrP on the scrape and think that's him there again just now.

Julia said...

Lol Lorraine I thought you were just making it unique with the spelling.
I think ill name one Kylie in honour of neighbours.
Be nice if an egg arrived on eclipse day


Anonymous said...

Kate said

Quote >I wonder Anon, if this is your first year of watching??< end quote.

in answer to your question No!it is not my first year following the pair.I have followed them for many years and Possibly longer than yourself.
And I also have the welfare of the birds in mind Hence my comment.

Anonymous said...

Kate said

Quote >I wonder Anon, if this is your first year of watching??< end quote.

in answer to your question No it is not my first year following the pair.I have followed them for many years and Possibly longer than yourself.
And I also have the welfare of the birds in mind Hence my comment.

Lorraine said...

The tierce has been watching the eclipse from the scrape. His shadow has now disappeared as the light reduces more over Derby. Heard the female calling, she's on the corbel under the scrape..........

Lorraine said...

Well, that was very interesting. Though the light only dimmed over Derby, it was still very atmospheric and I felt sure the birds acknowledged it, remaining very still throughout. Now active again, the female is grooming
away, checking the hollow and looking for MrP who is audible but out of cam view.
Here he is!..

Both now greeting in the scrape.........will they, wont they....lots of banter but keeping distance ( time 10.30 01 ) long-held bows...female flown down to corbel below....tierce remains, has a clean up, preens, checks the nest hollow, though still aware of the female below....time now 10.58:42

Wendy Bartter said...

Just saw your post Annie & rushed to computer, wonder if she's having us on, I know it's early for eggs here but she has been around scrape for most of today!

Wendy Bartter said...

Hi, this is a question for Nick or Nick ..... re cam 3 via Outersight ... will it be coming back online at all this season or is it just me who cannot get it??

Linda said...

Shouldn't be long now I'd have thought. Nest looks well prepared, LOL. Nottingham have two eggs, Sheffield had their first one yesterday and Norwich their first one today.

Phoebe said...

I agree, it's looking very deep in the scrape and one of the pair is sat below the scrape at the moment. I wonder if there will be an early egg? Fingers crossed.

Phoebe said...

One is back to the scrape with food, the other is still below. It's the falcon, she has stashed the food in rhs of the scrape and is now perched on the other side.

Phoebe said...

The tiercel is plucking prey on the top viewed from pudding cam. They are certainly getting plenty of food stashed.

Wendy Bartter said...

Cannot see an egg yet Abby!
I have a view on Stream 3 (thank you) of T 'up top'

Lorraine said...

The tiercel seems to be increasing his food supply to the nesting area. There's certainly no lack of it just lately!Attention given to the nest hollow ( from both birds now ) has also stepped up, as we've seen.

No birds present for a while now so going to tune in later.

Joyce S said...

Both peregrines on JI lettering at lunchtime today

cherrill said...

Just been on NTU site ,mrsP off scrape ,and 4eggs .... is it a bit early ?

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

Hi Cherrill (and thanks for your gift if it was you who donated recently).

It seems that Notts peregrines habitually lay a week or two before Derby's. Maybe their city is warmer and encourages earlier laying, who knows. It did catch them out one year when a bitterly cold snap and late snow completely covered the sitting female in Nottingham, whilst ours hadn't even started laying.
So I don't think it's a too early - but we all benefit by being able to see or remind ourselves of peregrines at different stages in their life cycles.

Lorraine said...


When Earth began to dim it's light,
As Moon aligned to force the night,
A shadow crept into the scrape,
To cloak the falcon in it's drape.
And as the moment of eclipse,
Became absorbed through feather tips,
The forces born of rare alignment,
Blessed her imminent confinement.

Lorraine said...

A bird stayed over on the tower again last night and both are present at the moment - one on the scrape and one just below it. I read that it only takes 24 hours for an egg to begin forming after mating, but that the falcon can delay the process of actually laying it, until she feels the time is right! Amazing.