Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Watch Point events on Cathedral Green and two reports



Please Note: we are aware of connection issues which are affecting our live cameras. These are beyond our control, but rest assured they are being investigated by Derby City Council's network engineers as a matter of priority since other services are also being affected.

Upcoming Watch Points:
The next Watch Popint will be on Wednesday 8th June and will start at 10 am and run straight through until just before David Lindo's talk at 6.30pm (have you booked your ticket yet?).
Before and after the talk we will have a display and videos of some highlight moments showing in the cathedral . Do come and say hello before or after David's talk entitled 'Tale from Urban Jungles'!

For details of the talk (which will include slides about our Derby peregrines) and to book tickets, see here.

Report on Watch Point 4th June
A near perfect day for a first watch point of the season (fairly calm with bright but not too sunny skies) resulted in steady views of the adult birds.
Nice to meet up again with some old friends and greet some new people. If you are new to our website and visited us today (along with approx. 130 other people) we offer you a warm welcome and hope you enjoyed seeing these magnificent birds.
We had a steady stream of visitors from as far afield as Eritrea and Austria along with many local people.
The chicks are still rather small to get really good views of but we did get some tempting glimpses of them moving around. They are now losing their fluffy white down and the feathers are showing below. This gives them a very scruffy appearance at the moment.
The adults performed a food pass at about 12.45 right above our heads. It’s a good job they are very skilled at this! We held our breath in case the prey landed on or near us but of course we should not have worried  - the parents have impressive skills.
The falcon was present for most of the time, either sitting on the platform or on the nearby Jury’s Inn. The male brought in the large prey item and was met and relieved of it by mum.
We were all surprised a short time later to see the male seeing a buzzard off the territory which had obviously strayed a little too close for his liking. The buzzard put up no resistance and left, an argument he had no wish to pursue.
We closed the watch point at approx. 1.45
(We were pleased that people could see us via the web cams Karen - we did wave a few times.....).
Volunteers Chris and Andy M on behalf of the Watchpoint team.

Every summer, once the chicks are big enough to become visible from the ground, the Wildlife Trust organises a series of Watch Points on Cathedral Green - the grassy area immediately at the back of the cathedral on Full Street.
This year Emma Wood from DWT is the organiser, ably assisted by Marc Whitlock.
The first Watch Point will take place on Saturday 28th May between 10 am and (roughly) 1.30 pm depending on the weather and how many people are still around by that time.
Report on Watch Point 4th June
Another very busy and successful watch point today. There was a constant stream of visitors throughout the morning, including many families. It was good to welcome back some familiar faces from previous watch points, as well as lots of newcomers. A special hello to the home education group who attended today. They were clearly very knowledgeable about the falcons and it was great to know that they had made such fantastic use of our online resources. We would love to see their finished drawings and work!
Although the chicks spent quite a lot of time at the back of the nest platform, there were some good views of them wing flapping and stretching. They seem to have grown a lot since last week's watch point and have lost much of their white downy feathers. Both adult birds were around, and at one point they could be seen on the nearby hotel sitting next to each other on the lettering, which made for some interesting photo opportunities. Even at that distance it was easy to see the difference in size between them. The birds were also seen in flight on several occasions and the female's loud calls attracted lots of attention from passers by and our watch point visitors.

The volunteer team

There will then be Watch Points every Wednesday and Saturday up to and including 9th July.

For more details please click on the Watch Point tab above.
Please note that these events have no protection from the elements so if it is raining hard with no sign of stopping, the Watch Point that day won't happen.

If you live near Derby please do come along and introduce yourselves to Emma or Marc and to our wonderful team of volunteer helpers....and see our birds 'for real', flying about and perching on parts of the cathedral you can't see online.
The team will have telescopes at the ready giving you close up views. It is a quite different experience from watching online and well-worth making the trip to Derby for.
Watch Points are free and open-ended - so just turn up when you want.


The cathedral cafe is open opposite the front (West) end of the cathedral (on Irongate) and they do excellent lunches and brilliant Bakewell tarts...so why not drop in after you've seen the peregrines? The Silk Mill pub (also close by and a good friend of the Peregrine Project) also does light lunches and has an exciting range of beers!

David Lindo's talk on Wednesday 8th June
On Wednesday 8th, in the early evening (6.30 start) the self-styled 'Urban Birder' David Lindo, will be giving a talk in Derby Cathedral as part of Derby Book Festival. 
He calls it 'Tales from Urban Jungles' and it will include a section on Derby and our peregrines which David visited a few years ago.
Beforehand, our team will run a special Watch Point for anyone to visit before the talk begins.
To buy tickets for the talk (the Watch Point is free to ticket holders) visit the Festival website here .
Nick B and the Project Team

64 comments:

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

My apologies for the breaks in the live feed being experienced. I reported this to the City Council's IT Team at the beginning of May, and have chased it up again today. Please bear with us (and them) as the entire IT support structure for Derby has just changed, and no doubt they have many other priorities to deal with.
Meanwhile, thanks for everyone's helpful comments and feedback here.

Do come down to our Saturday or Wednesday WatchPoints if you live locally - we can guarantee the only interruptions to seeing the birds for real will be as a result of rain!
Nick M
Project Team

Kate said...

Thanks Nick for update, am sure I speak for many,that we truly appreciate all everyone does in trying to give us the best opportunity in watching the life of these wonderful Birds from our armchairs, with the added bonus of watch days if you live near Derby.( too far for me sadly)

all huddled in corner as white balls of fluff at the moment( cam2)


Helen said...

Saturday watch points will now begin at 10.00am (rather than 11.00am as previously thought).

Lesley Gerrard said...

Cam 4 is fine at the mo.

Don't they grow quickly?

Annie C said...

Tea-time and the littlest one's right next to mum, grabbing at her beak before she has a chance to offer the meat to the others.

Annie C said...

Meant to add, thanks to Nick for the update on the tech. difficulties, and to Derby City Council's IT team for getting Cam 4 up & running again.

Vicky said...

Some of them look like the top of their head is dirty because of the new feathers coming in. Cam 4 coming in strong way over here in Canada. I am so grateful to a friend in Derby who put on to the peregrines.

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

Just wait until they're a little older - when their 'adult' feathers start to come through the white fluff, they'll look dreadful. Just like the poo-covered platform, in fact. There's a good chance you won't be able to spot them at first - so don't be alarmed if someone leaves a comment to say that one of the juvvies has fallen off. It's not happened so far, though.
So glad you found our project, Vicky.
Nick M Project Team

Lesley Gerrard said...

All 4 chicks lying right at the edge of the scrape. Three on the left, and one on the
right who looks absolutely huge!

Joy said...

They are growing so fast now. Can't believe how the tail feathers underneath are so distinct.

Heather said...

Hate to be the one to rain on the parade but Cam 4 on my iPad is playing up again, but appreciate Nick's efforts to try and get this sorted with the City Council's IT team.

The Sheffield threesome are beginning to look a bit scruffy too and I dread to think how they'll manage when they start wing flapping as their scrape looks so small, but as have said before it may be optical illusion. The Woking pair are also showing signs of their adult feathers and are hunkered down near edge of scrape with parent in front trying to protect them from a rather windy day. In comparison the Rutland chicks are tiny but often being fed on their diet of fish, perhaps this is is the slimmers alternative!

Kate said...

Hi Heather and the Nottingham Crew are being really adventurous.CHOL!!
Here at the moment Mum far end of tray with one little flopped out beside/underneath her.
Others this end under cam Doh!Pics on flkr.

Lesley Gerrard said...

Look at tail and wing feathers starting to come!

Lesley Gerrard said...

Poor Mr P looks quite confused with 2 chicks really close to the edge and the other 2 on the other side of the scrape!

Karen B said...

Morning.. can see you all enjoying your first watch point , unfortunately I cannot make it this time. Quiet amusing watching one of the chicks with Daddy P trying to eat one of his talons.
All appear hungry!! Awaiting Mummy P to arrive with prey.
Enjoy watch point..

Anonymous said...

Report of watchpoint 28th May
Starting at 10am
A near perfect day for a first watch point of the session (fairly calm with bright but not too sunny skies) resulted in steady views of the adult birds.
Nice to meet up again with some old friends and greet some new people. If you are new to our website and visited us today (alone with approx. 130 other people) we offer you a warm welcome and hope you enjoyed seeing these magnificent birds. We also hope you will continue to enjoy them.
We had a steady stream of visitors from as far afield as Eritrea and Austria along with many local people.
The chicks are still rather small to get really good views of but we did get some tempting glimpses of them moving around. They are now losing their fluffy white down and the feathers are showing below. This gives them a very scruffy appearance at the moment.
The adults did a food pass at about 12.45 right above our heads. It’s a good job they are very skilled at this, we held our breath in case it landed on or near us, of cause we should not have worried the parents were used to these impressive skills. I am sure the chicks were observing and learning as well.
The falcon was present for most of the time she sat either on the platform or on the nearby Jury’s Inn. The male brought in the large prey item and was met and relieved of it by mum.
We were all surprised a short time later to see the male seeing a buzzard off the territory who had obviously strayed a little too close for his liking. The buzzard put up no resistance and left, an argument he had no wish to pursue.
We closed the watch point at approx. 1.45
Pleased that people could see us Karen, we did wave a few times.
Chris and Andy M on behalf of the Watchpoint team.

Karen B said...

Hi, glad to hear Watchpoint went well and some good viewing took place, WOW to witness food pass over your heads must have been amazing!!

Checked in on Sheffield chicks earlier they were laying down in scape and you could hardly see them due to their feathers coming through their fluff really camouflaged. Ours will be like that soon!!

Vicky said...

Quiet on the scrape. Babes on one side all cuddled together and mom on the edge of the other side.

Heather said...

Our chicks having a bit of a squabble over pieces of prey in scrape - I might have missed feed.

Heart stopping moment from one adventurous Sheffield chick who has taken to sitting on edge of scrape looking down and decided to do some wing flapping at same time.It was also rather windy and fortunately fell backwards into scrape with surprised look on face and promptly went to hide in far corner - hopefully won't try to do the same thing again!

Glad Watchpoint was a success and food pass must have made it all worthwhile.

Karen B said...

All quiet when I checked on cam, all chicks on left hand side.

Heather-I saw the Sheffield chick flapping about , great pic taken on website.. butI missed it pearching on the edge!

Checked in on various Osprey's all doing well, poor Loch of Lowes nest looks over run with ants!

Springwatch starts tonight yeah!! Looking forward to watching this series.
Must buy Chris Packham's autobiography looks a good read.

lynn scott said...

I noticed that... It made me smile he's a little fighter

lynn scott said...

I still can't get the cam 4 live feed on my phone... It stopped on Saturday and nothing since . Is it still down or is it me?

lynn scott said...

I still can't get the cam 4 live feed on my phone... It stopped on Saturday and nothing since . Is it still down or is it me?

lynn scott said...

I noticed that... It made me smile he's a little fighter

Helen said...

Hi Lynn, stream 4 is working fine on my phone. I usually have to refresh the page though each time I go back to it otherwise the camera comes up as unavailable. But once it's been refreshed it works well. Hope you manage to view it.

Annie C said...

Cam 4 working fine on my laptop. The clock just played a bit of a well-known hymn (Christians awake?) but it didn't faze any of them - lots of screeching, flapping and barging going on. They look well fed and healthy, a great sight. Terrific parenting. One of the adults is with them & got pushed aside by the biggest youngster!

Annie C said...

Lynn, I checked with my phone & Cam 4 is working well.

Annie C said...

Tea-time and they're all ravenous. Little one (well not so little now) is well placed again.

Lesley Gerrard said...

Poor little chicks look very cold. Typical English summer temperature today!

Heather said...

What miserable weather for June and chicks just hunkered down in corner trying to keep warm, so not getting much exercise either. Relative in Sweden smugly informs me it's 26 degrees and another in USA that its 32 degrees - contemplating emigrating! Hope it brightens up for all our birds and wildlife soon.

lynn scott said...

Must be something wrong on my phone then as it comes up with a message saying this website isn't allowed to stream ... and then a message about paying... could get it until Saturday. .. so dissapointed as used to love to hear the bells... can only get the normal cameras without sound...

lynn scott said...

Must be something wrong on my phone then as it comes up with a message saying this website isn't allowed to stream ... and then a message about paying... could get it until Saturday. .. so dissapointed as used to love to hear the bells... can only get the normal cameras without sound...

Kate Bunting said...

Did this morning's watchpoint not happen? I was at the Cathedral and left by the Full St. door around 11.30 hoping to say hello and get a look before going off on my other errands, but could see no-one there.

Annie C said...

Lynn, I get that message on my screen if I've left Cam 4 open when I log out on the laptop. I solve it by going to another Cam, then going back to Cam 4. Would this work on your phone?

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Kate: I do apologise re. the lack of a Watch Point today. I hadn't noticed that Emma Wood and Marc Whitlock were unavailable today to run a watch point so hadn't planned anything for today so when I wrote the blog text (three weeks ago because I was on leave the last two) and asked Nick M to post it for me I hadn't checked back with them.
I do hope you hadn't travelled too far and that you can get down to a future Watch Point.
They are now indeed every Wednesday and Saturday until and including 9th July....weather permitting of course.
The weather today is very un-June like isn't it.....I'm quite sure the chicks will be fine (they are very resilient) but I worry for smaller birds and for swifts and other insect eaters in particular.....
Nick B

Lesley Gerrard said...

Dinner time, and as usual the little one hasn't bothered going over to get any!
Really funny, because one of the bigger ones waddled over to tiny and kept nudging
him as if to say "Go on, go and get some"!

Tideswellman said...

I left a similar comment on the Sheffield Peregrines page, I'm wondering what it is that's driving these raptors to the Cities? I live in the Derbyshire Peak District and have only ever seen 1 Peregrine Falcon in the wild.

Heather said...

One of the Sheffield three has taken to flying onto the top of the box and back again, saw from blog it did it earlier in the day but have just seen it repeat the same manoeuvre, quite unnerving!

Saw the lunchtime feed Lesley and only two seemed interested in the prey. Much wing flapping went on but tiny hid in corner looking timid and trying to avoid being hit but he (surely it must be a male?) did do a bit of wing stretching.

Enjoying 'Springwatch' on tv and especially the item on raptors yesterday. However Derby didn't get a mention despite them stating that peregrines definitely hunt at night and only referred to the experiment that was carried out indoors.

The Project Team said...

Hi Tideswellman: despite continuing and illegal persecution, peregrine numbers have increased across the UK since they almost went extinct in the 1950's and 60's due to the use of persistent pesticides like DDT, aldrin and dieldrin.
Once all the old traditional nest sites had been filled, new breeders needed to find new sites and began to discover that tall stone structures in towns and cities, aka cathedrals etc, were in effect just narrow cliffs.
In the Peak District national park (and indeed in all other areas of the UK where grouse shooting occurs) peregrines, hen harriers and other birds of prey are routinely removed/killed. This is entirely illegal but very difficult to deal with since the moors are remote and the killing happens discretely in the early hours of the morning when there's no one about.
In the last 2-3 years, attempts are being made to both bring this to the public's attention and to try to do something about it.
To read more see http://markavery.info/2016/04/28/peak-district-fulcrum-change/#comments and http://markavery.info/2016/04/26/man-not-breaking-law/#comments
and draw your own conclusions......
The project team

Karen B said...

Morning... just checked in on Derby brood all quiet some preening taking place.
Sheffield crew ready to fledge soon ! I will miss their antics.
yes Springwatch has been good this week , enjoyed seeing the Sparrowhawk - piece on raptors. The Golden Eagle is magnificent. I would love a job on that program lol.

Kate said...

Morning all
See our crew all moving around itching to feel their wings .
Yes Sheffield all three on top of box, will fledge properly today I would think.
Thanks for all the comments.

Kate Bunting said...

Nick B - Thanks for the explanation. I'm a Cathedral volunteer and was due to be there anyway, I was just puzzled not to see any folk with telescopes.

Julia said...

Just had a look at the Sheffield blog. They have fledged although one of them had a bit of a tumble and went to ground in quite a spectacular way. Thankfully he/she is ok but some brilliant pictures of the event.
Glad to see ours doing so well. I will try and get to the watch next saturday

Heather said...

Thanks Julia for alerting us to the Sheffield blog. Let's hope it hasn't damaged its beak too much, and fortunate that there were people around to stop it making its way onto the main road. (perhaps it was making its way afterwards towards the church doors for sanctuary!). Just shows how dangerous the fledging process can be and why this is just the start of their battle for survival. Amazing photos of the drama.

Lesley Gerrard said...

Wing flapping has begun!

Helen said...

Another very busy and successful watch point today. There was a constant stream of visitors throughout the morning, including many families. As always, it was good to welcome back some familiar faces from previous watch points, as well as lots of newcomers. A special hello to the home education group who attended today - they were clearly very knowledgeable about the falcons and it was great to know that they had made such fantastic use of our online resources. We would love to see their finished drawings and work!
Although the chicks spent quite a lot of time at the back of the nest platform, there were some good views of them wing flapping and stretching. They seem to have grown a lot since last week's watch point and have lost much of their white downy feathers. Both adult birds were around, and at one point they could be seen over on the nearby hotel sitting next to each other on the lettering, which made for some interesting photo opportunities. Even from a distance and with the naked eye it was easy to see the difference in size between them. The birds were also seen in flight on several occasions and the female's loud calls attracted lots of attention from passers by and our watch point visitors.
The weather forecast looks good for our next watch point on Wednesday 8th June.

On behalf of the watch point team.

Vicky said...

Mom & dad flew in together with a large piece of prey. Dad took off. 2 of the chicks ran to the other side and are watching. Then all 4 get into the act. They are so big now. I haven't seen them for a few days. They help themselves to the food now.

Karen B said...

Hi.. some dramatic pictures of the Sheffield crew fledging! One of the young who crashed their way down side of church then landed on ground looked traumatised bless. Hope yours don't have any accidents when they fledge! It will be a bitter sweet day as I will miss watching them.
They grow so fast will not be long !! Bless um.

Vicky said...

One of the parents came and dropped off a piece of prey. All 4 little ones are attacking it. oops, now mom took it away from one of them who put up a fight for it. Mom won of course and is now feeding them. But they still take bites while she is offering some to another one.

Kate said...

Morning Vicky
Have just tried to post and it disappeared, caught a few of this morning feed on flkr, some wingercising maybe another week before we hold our breath,
Kate

Lesley Gerrard said...

Nobody seems to be blogging much now?
I can only see 3 huge chicks!

Kate said...

Hi Lesley
I would think that most of us follow other nests and species, that are either just hatched or just about to fledge, and now that our little foursome losing their down and fledged mid to late this month last year, would think we may have more on the BLOG soon. There were certainly four this morning .As I type you can see three and would think the other is right in the corner out of view( It seems to like doing that)
Kate

Mary T said...

Hi there, I don't live in Derby now, having moved to the East coast last year but still keep an eye on what is happening at the cathedral. As ever it's fascinating to watch. Can you tell me if the birds have been ringed this year? Can't see anything on their legs. Best wishes for a successful fledge soon. Mary T (ex Belper)

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi Mary T: good to hear from you and glad you are still watching.
For various logistical reasons the chicks haven't been ringed this year I'm afraid so we will never know their fates...not that we know the fates of 90% of the ones we have ringed.....
Lesley et al: As to how many chicks are left - rest assured that all four will be there and will be fine. They get into corners and hide and before long, they'll be up on the rigging right out of camera shot.....so don't be alarmed!
Nick B DWT

Karen B said...

Hi Nick, I was just about comment on the chicks being ringed, as Sheffield ringed quiet a few weeks ago. What made you decide not to ring this year?

I have just watched a vid from Cananda where the chick ringing looked terribly traumatic for the guy taking the chicks out of the scrape the Falcon and the Tiercel were attacking him from all angles just missing his head he will be glad he wore a hard hat, the aggression from the Falcon was something else.. what good parents these raptors are.

Just watched a feed, our brood are very greedy... the little one wades in they do make me laugh.

Mary T said...

Hi Nick thanks for the prompt reply. I miss not coming to the watch points but great to see progress via the webcams. We have peregrine falcons up at Bempton near where we live along with gannets and puffins! Keep up the good work

Joyce S said...

The adults are spending lots of time on Jury's Inn lettering these days - I see them most days. Guess it's pretty crowded in the nest scrape as the chicks are pretty advanced now.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Karen B: we didn't decide not to ring, just had no option as things turned out. Our two regular abseilers were both unable to help this year for different reasons and the ringer himself was also very busy with another project. they do this voluntarily so we decided that we would have to let a year go by without doing it. Hopefully next year we'll ring them.
Nick B
Ps There is only a short window when the chicks can be safely ringed, ie when they are about 20 days old. Now they are far too feisty and might jump out of the nest if approached.

Vicky said...

There were some feathers floating down and one chick looked up a couple times probably thinking "where there's feathers, there is food". They are so big now and last night when one passed the other I thought the other might get knocked out of the nest. I love watching them.

Vicky said...

Dad just dropped off a piece of prey and one of the girls grabbed it and took it to a corner. One of the others is squawking. Earlier mom took it away but not without a fight. Dad is sitting on the edge. And now he took off. The other chicks aren't trying to take it away.

Karen B said...

Hi Nick, thanks for your reply on ringing.

Just checked in on our crew the scrape looks a right mess, bet it is rather smelly up there.
Not long to go now before fledging... what am going to do!

Vicky said...

I know how you feel Karen. It starts with an egg, excitement starts to build, we see the first baby, then all of sudden they are almost ready to fledge.

Right now mom is feeding them again. The little guy can't get to her mouth as she is feeding away from him but I expect any time now he will jump in. He is on the other side and the girls and mom fill up the other side from him. Its funny how they face the wall when they are finished being fed. Finally the little guy is being fed. He finally made it over to where mom was and she is feeding him. So all is well at the zoo!

Vicky said...

The little monkey, he grabbed a piece and ran to the other side of the scrape. Good for him!!

Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks for all your updates ... am having a job catching up ... a vid from 4th June showing a couple of energetic chicks, the near one investigating the pile of assorted legs & the far one not quite got his balance! ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWiA9_5uwVY