Thursday, 24 March 2016

Will we get an Easter egg?

(Blog post updated with video)
With Easter being so early this year we stand a better than evens chance of getting a first egg laid before or over the weekend than in most other years.
For some unknown reason, our Derby female, despite having laid eggs in ten previous years, lays rather later than many other presumably younger females elsewhere.
Already as I write this on Maunday Thursday (24th), we hear (thanks to our super-comment sender Kate in Devon) of eggs at Nottingham (4), Sheffield (3) and Exeter (1).
The last two years she had laid her first egg on 29th March (ie next Tuesday) so perhaps she will just 'miss the boat' as regards Easter.
When she does lay it will be her fortieth egg....quite some achievement!
Usually she lays during the night and therefore under the infra red camera lights which make the eggs look white.
In fact, peregrine eggs are usually a lovely brick red colour when seen in daylight, with varying amounts of darker blotches.
Four clutches from a collection in the British Museum
Our female has laid four eggs every year since 2006, her first, when she probably laid three (she certainly reared three chicks). That year there were no cameras so we can't be sure there wasn't an addled egg which failed to hatch, and the birds' legal protectoin prevented us from looking over the top to count them from above.
The gap between eggs is usually about 2-3 days so her clutch will not be complete until over a week after she lays the first egg.
Full incubation doesn't start until the last egg is laid, though she may spend time covering her eggs before that if the weather is particularly cold. In fact, the early eggs can withstand going cold so we don't need to worry about them being left is normal peregrine practice to do so!
This delayed start to egg incubation means that the eggs all hatch out more or less together, though sometimes there is one which takes longer to chip.
However. peregrines are great parents and will ensure that even a smaller chick gets fed and thrives.
Of course, we shouldn't really count our eggs before they hatch...and certainly not before they are laid, so we need to watch and hope that we do indeed get an egg for Easter (or soon after!).
No doubt our eager web cam watchers will put up comments as soon as anything happens. So keep an eye on the comments as well.
Some clever viewers have even been capturing their own screenshots and videos of the webcams. This one by Wendy Barrter was shared on YouTube: 

Nick B (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)


Joyce S said...

Fingers crossed Nick! She does seem to be spending more time on the nest ledge

Phoebe said...

The bells have just chimed and the falcon on the scrape started a lot of chup chupping. She looks plump and ready for the first egg.

Heather said...

Has anyone actually seen them mating this year? Sometimes the two have been together even during the night displaying to one another with much chup chupping (as Phoebe says). The falcon then shows who's in charge of the nest site and the tiercel flies off!

Wishing everyone involved with this project, us armchair viewers, and especially the school children, even though they're on holiday, who follow 'our' peregrines, a very Happy Easter.

Kate said...

Morning all
Hopefully we will see and Nick will have his Easter Egg!!!

She has spent a lot of time doing the usual turning and cleaning ritual this morning in the scrape. Looking very promising.

Kate said...

Both of them spent time on the platforms this morning.
A cute capture on flkr at 10.30 of the male lurking behind the drain, looks just like a penguin CHOL:):)
Heather you asked about mating, I have not seen them and recall 'henfeather' saw them sky dancing mantling back in Feb.
EN at the moment.

Kate said...

Forgot to leave a link to Wendys Video of action 23/24th

Paul said...

Birds were mating on the ledge below the nest at 3:00 Thursday afternoon.

Heather said...

Late night so thought I'd have a quick sneak at the cameras. Mrs.P sitting in centre of scrape and not on ledge at moment so perhaps.......!

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments and especially to Wendy for putting such an interesting video on You Tube, which Nick M has now put on the blog for all to enjoy.
Thanks to Paul for confirming that mating has been taking place.
It's now a very wet evening in Derby (Saturday 26th) but the wind being from the south means the nest is relativelky dry.
Nick B

Kate said...

Thought we were ready earlier today, but sitting on the ledge now , so maybe Easter Egg in the morning.
Sheffield have four Eggs and Exeter now have Two...

Phoebe said...

The falcon is very still in the scrape is this the first egg on its way?

Kate said...

Morning Phoebe

CHOL:):) you more than anyone should know, she keeps teasing us.....she was on ledge now flown


Vicky said...

Happy Easter from Canada. Will check later to see if we have an Easter Egg.

Kevin said...

Will Camera 4 be fixed so we get a live view with sounds before the eggs start to be laid? Also the same applies to camera 3. It would be a shame to have to rely on the delayed images from camera 1 this season.

Kate said...

Hi Kevin
Web Cam 4 is working for me, as is one and two, at moment someone is down on the ledge beneath scrape. but three I fear is an ongoing long time prob ,

We are grateful and privileged to have such wonderful views of these beautiful Birds,and am sure we will enjoy and find ways around the blips.

Kevin said...

Hi Kate,
must be something to do with my PC, I will restart it as Camera 4 link still not working for me, camera 1 & 2 are but when I click on camera 4 I just get a page with text and no camera view. Very strange !so camera 1 is the only decent view that works for me and that is a delayed view....don't know why 4 doesn't work for me

Phoebe said...

Mating just happened on the corbel below the scrape!

Annie C said...

When I click on Cam 4 on my upstairs laptop I get a green screen where the picture should be. This also happens when I click on the Nottingham peregrines cams. Anyone got any idea why?

Phoebe said...

Hi Annie C

I had the same problems with Cam 4. I thought it wasn’t working until yesterday. I got a black page with no option to hit PLAY. I went to the blog post and selected the webcams from there and that worked. It could be a broken link so try going from the main page.
What browser do you use? A green screen could be from DOLPHIN browser.

Phoebe said...

She is doing it again, looked like laying was imminent but she is back on the ledge. She does this every year, I think it has to be 'just so' for her.

BTW Thanks for the zoom, team!

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

Webcam 4 is working fine for me on Google Chrome today. Sometimes just hitting the 'play' button after it has stopped doesn't seem to get it going again. But refreshing the browser should do it. PLease report back and let me know what you experience. As far as I'm concerned, webcams 1, 2 and 4 are all working at at 19:10 Sat 27th March.

I've captured some screen shots of recent nest activity, and am uploading a 2 minute video clip to YouTube of this afternoon's merry dance on the nest. I was convinced she was going to lay just now. I'll put them in a new blog posting.
Nick M
Peregrine Project Team

Annie C said...

Phoebe, thanks for the tip, I'll try that. I'm using IE (not very adventurous!) and it works on this laptop but not on the new one in my "office" - lol. That one's quite temperamental so maybe I'll stay watching downstairs in case I miss something!