Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Cathedral Cafe window display

Yesterday I took time out from preparing for the launch of my new book on The Flora of Derbyshire to pop down to the Cathedral to reinstall our peregrine display.
Window display in Derby Cathedral's cafe on Irongate.

The window display in the Cathedral Centre cafe opposite the cathedral was designed and constructed with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is based on a life-sized reconstruction of the real peregrine nest ledge, and includes a live link to one of our nest webcams. This monitor can be viewed by passers by on Irongate (though the view is best if  the early morning sun's not shining on the window).

The main focus of the cafe display was to highlight to visitors the fact that there are not only peregrine faces to be seen on the mediaeval tower of Derby's cathedral, but many others too. In fact, there are 26 carved stone faces in one form or another on the tower. For example, there is the intricate  face of the 'green man' with vegetation sprouting from his nostrils which most visitors probably never notice, despite two of them being at eye-level as they walk in the main west entrance. There are also smaller green faces and tiny human figures half way up the tower, except on the east face.
Green man beside the west entrance to Derby Cathedral.
Then towards the top of the tower, of course, we have the large stone grotesques that for over four centuries have stared down at us mere mortals with their beastly, cold faces (the stone figures, not the mortals). Actually, I rather like these eleven grotesques, apart from the times when I have to abseil off the tower and end up treading on some rather unpleasant and slippery avian remains as I climb over the parapet.
Clearly however our peregrines like them, especially as they form a great perch on which to feed or roost. You can see them using these perches in our tower cam view, which is on the recently re-activated Stream 3.
One of the carved 'grotesque' figures on top of the tower

Our best nest views are now either the live audio-video feed of Stream 4, or the equivalent images which change every six seconds or so in Stream 1. It's this latter stream that we normally use to drive the Cathedral Cafe window.  Unfortunately right now there's a bit of a problem with the cathedral's own WiFi connection, so until they get that fixed the window monitor itself will not be turned on - possibly later next week. Let's hope it's in time for when the chicks start to hatch out. And that's really is not all that far off now!
Meanwhile Ian Layton our People and Peregrines Engagement Officer is gearing up for the start of the new season and organising watchpoints, whilst I've been working on producing a new visitor leaflet for Derby Cathedral, looking at the many faces found on its ancient tower. Nick Brown is keeping us all in order and  drives us along, really helping out as a lead volunteer in so many ways that we don't know what we'd do without him. Meanwhile Jane and Kaite back at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's HQ in Belper are doing a great job with the finances and promotion of our project - like our new Donations Page which a number of you have kindly contributed to in recent weeks.

Here's to seeing the new chicks very soon!

Nick Moyes
Peregrine Project Technical Advisor
Ps There may be a short interruption to web cam transmission on the morning of Friday 1st May. If so, it should last no longer than 30 minutes and hopefully much shorter. So don't panic, normal service will be resumed asap.


Ann Chambers Hancock said...

Lovely display in the window of the café. Am coming to Derby again this September. Sadly the chicks will be gone by then. Hope to catch a glimpse of the adults though. So when do we think we might expect the first egg to pip? any ideas anyone please. Ann.

Hilary Mallela said...

Hi Ann. In recent years the first egg was laid on my birthday, 29th March and the first chick hatched on or around my son's birthday on May 9th. Keep your eyes peeled end of next week!

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Please note that tomorrow morning (Friday 1st May) due to some essential electrical maintenance and upgrade work in the cathedral, it could be that the web cams go offline for up to 30 minutes.
Hopefully it will be less (and maybe only for a few minutes) but if the web cams suddenly disappear, you'll know why and not panic!
Please bear with us if they do disappear temporarily....
Nick B (DWT)

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

Hi Hilary
I think you might be mixing up two different years-worth of dates.
In 2011 the first egg hatched on 9th May, but that year the first egg was laid on 4th April.
In 2014 the 29th March was the first date for laying - same as this year - but the first egg hatched on 2nd May. So, if the same schedule holds out, my money would be on this coming weekend - probably Saturday, although I have been known to be wrong (many more times than she cares to remember, says my wife)

Anonymous said...

10:43 Time for a swop over on egg duties. 4 nice little eggs, hopefully for 4 nice chicks.
Craig, nottingham

kate said...

Morning all
I notice Abby posted on the other blog this morning, saying Cam 4 freezing.
It has been intermittent for a wee while, it is 'Stop-start-stop' about 7 to 11 seconds at a time, all other cams seem fine,this is happening for me now
07.36.01 if thats a help for you Nick.

Very grateful for all you do.(so not moaning honestly)


Linda said...

stopping and starting for me to at 0755

Anonymous said...

10.40am May 2 Mr P. arrived for changeover. Main reason for comment is to confirm that Cam 4 has been freezing intermittently on second hand constantly for most of week and still is. This can vary between 2 seconds, 5 seconds and even 15 seconds and sometimes screen will freeze altogether.

Don't know if this is due to me using iPad but seems others have noticed this problem too. Again, like others, not complaining just hope we can get it sorted before the chicks begin hatching. Thanks to Team for all their hard work.

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

My thanks to everyone for their feedback on the camera streams this week.
I went down this morning and reconnected aerial and ethernet cables in an attempt to see if the problem was a poor signal feed from Cam 4 out to our hosting company.
This involved disconnecting the video server for a while, which I think has caused Stream 3 to freeze at 10:40am. I will attempt to see if I can remotely access the PC within SERCO's offices to restart this - but don't hold out too much hope!
Meanwhile, I'm not convinced I've entirely solved the problem, so please continue reporting issues with all four Streams.
Nick M

Abby-Lynn said...

Letting you know that every time I checked today the cams were all working properly. Now if Mr & Mrs P's little one would hurry up and start pipping all would be well! Thanks to all the Nicks!!

kate said...

Morning all
Sitting dutifully on the Eggs, with the rain pouring down,and canhere it quite heavy down the down pipe CHOL:):)
Two Big rain drops watching the goings on .
Thankyou Nicks Cams 1,2,4 running smoothly

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Sunday 3rd May: it really is an awful morning in Derby with the cold wind, being Easterly, in exactly the 'wrong' direction for the nest since it is coming straight onto the incubating bird.
Fortunately, the drain holes in the bottom of the platform seem to be working and there is no apparent build up of water in the gravel. The parent birds, especially the female, will sit through thick and thin on those eggs, how ever wet their feathers get.
The rain is due to stop by lunchtime and tomorrow will be a dry day so with luck our eggs will survive this episode and hatching won't occur just yet. Fingers crossed!.
Nick B (DWT)

Caroline said...

Many congrats on your forthcoming book on local flora, Nick M. Exciting! That display in the shape of the nest platform is great and Nick B's comments show how vital the design is. Been thinking that the Derby peregrines later egg-laying than their neighbours has proved to be a weather-beating strategy in past years so fingers crossed. This weather isn't great for exposed eggs or brooding parents but at least the pair are not trying to feed tiny chicks as well. Their determination to remain on the nest in the face of cold wind and rain is truly incredible. I hear that the weather is likely to improve tomorrow so here's hoping!

Abby-Lynn said...

She seems awfully restless. I have never seen her move around so much. Changing position much more often that I have ever seen.

Abby-Lynn said...

She has gotten off the eggs and gone to sit on the edge of the scrape twice in the last few minutes and then goes back and checks the eggs and takes so long to settle again. Maybe one of 2 of them are ready to start pipping. I hope I get to see it happen.

Abby-Lynn said...

She is off the eggs again. I have never seen her do this and I watch them a lot.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Abby-Lynn Hi: yes I think chick hatching is approaching with these changes in behaviour.
Tomorrow (Monday) promises to be a sunny day though with more rain due that evening....certainly a lot better hatching weather than today!
Nick B
BTW please comment to the latest post...this one is now old hat!!

Abby-Lynn said...

She has been quiet for about 7 minutes now.