Monday, 11 July 2016

What now? and a further video

Update July 14th: Wendy Bartter has just sent this video showing three juveniles on the nest platform/scrape yesterday. Thanks again Wendy!
Apologies for the couble appearance of this blog post. If I delete one of the two I'll lose all the comments so for now I'll leave both up. The other post has more videos linked to it. NB.
What can you watch now that our juveniles are getting less frequently visible from the web cams?
Wimbledon and the football are over too.....so what's to do (apart from the dreaded housework)?
Well, as several commentators have mentioned, there are web cams on many other nests of other species - ospreys in particular - for whom the season is not yet over.
The Wildlife Trusts have many web cams on ospreys, puffins, gannets and owls so try the link here to
find links to them all.
Osprey chick at ringing
Photo Roy Dennis
Here in Derby it has been a very successful season with four young fledged, lots of visitors coming to the watch points and over 330,000 hits ot the blog and webcams.
So if you've enjoyed following our birds this summer, please consider sending us a donation.
The donation tab at the top of the blog takes you to a page which explains the various ways you can transfer money to DWT specifically for this project - it's very easy and quick!
(If you have already donated you should have had a personal 'thank you' email but if you haven't by any chance then please contact us at peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk ).
With our peregrines being so safe and well protected here in the city, perhaps we should spend time thinking about those that choose to nest on our moorlands where grouse shooting takes place and where their lives a re constantly in danger from illegal persecution.
You might like to support Hen Harrier Day events which are taking place all over the UK mostly on Sunday August 7th. These are designed to draw attention to the plight of hen harriers and indeed any bird of prey that ventures onto a grouse moor including peregrines, kites, eagles, buzzards etc. Illegal persecution is rife and very few survive to breed.....
The Derbyshire hen harrier day event takes place in the north of the county at Edale....see here with speakers from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the Green Party etc. We are expecting hundreds of folk to turn up.
For details of other HHD events (including one with Chris Packham at Rainham Marshes Reserve near London on 6th) see here.
Chris Packham speaking at the first Hen Harrier Day in 2014 held in North Derbyshire
Your local wildlife trust will have a range of wildlife walks and other activities you could attend throughout the summer. Visit the website of your local county trust for details. Those of the Derbyshire Trust can be seen here.
Join up and support us!

To join the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust please go here. To join your local trust elsewhere visit the national website for all the 49 trusts here.
Otherwise, may we dare suggest you try to tear yourselves away from your screens and get outside (if the weather is suitable) and enjoy what wildlife is around you in your garden, local park or nature reserve. There's so much to be seen and enjoyed in summer - flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and much more - so why not get close to nature if you can?
A hobby falcon - painting by Dan Powell
These close relatives of the peregrine breed late and still
have young in the nest......
If you have an inspiring encounter with nature we'd be happy (delighted even) to post it on this blog. Email us at peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk .
While these four young falcons will disperse away from the cathedral in the coming weeks, our adult birds will remain around the cathedral all year, ensuring no other peregrines take over. Unlike almost every other peregrine project, our blog remains open and active (if somewhat less so) through the autumn and winter so do keep commenting and letting us know what you are up to!
With thanks and best wishes to everyone who has been following us this summer.

The Peregrine Project Team

26 comments:

Sue Peregrino said...

Thanks to the project team for all their great work in sharing the Derby project with all we watchers. The lucky people who live in Derby can still enjoy interesting "field trips" around the city where the peregrines will remain for some time yet. Webwatchers will probably see less as the birds will likely not be on the platform so much.
Bird life generally will start to go a bit quiet as our residents go into moult and some early visitors (like cuckoos and swifts) start to think about leaving. Later on the rest of the summer visitors start to leave and the winter visitors start to arrive. But August is a very quiet bird month usually. A really great "birding" treat in August is the Rutland "BirdFair" http://www.birdfair.org.uk/ It's not for nothing often called "the birders Glastonbury"!
Another thing to do for now is to scan the skies for swifts and let any projects recording them know where they are. (I know there is a project in Derby) Another webcam to add to the list is the swift webcam at Oxford Natural History Museum http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/swifts.htm where you can also see an interesting diary of what's been happening there this year.

Wendy Bartter said...

Many thanks for the link to Oxford Uni Swift cam Sue, have just been watching, is going to be so good! See they are very itchy ... remember from last year seeing a close-up of that awful fly which lives on them but can't think what it's called!

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Wendy: It's a flat (or louse) fly going by the scientific name of Crataerina pallida.
But don't let that put you off swifts. They are wonderful birds and definitely look their best when out on the wing rather than cramped up in a nest. They spend all their lives airborne only landing when they need to nest and then only 'at' the nest itself in a roof space. The nest is made just from a few feathers and bits of straw caught while on the wing, glued together with saliva.
If you wnat to learn more about these birds (which are in very steep decline partly because we block up their nest access holes when we re-roof or renovate our properties) see either the website of Swift Conservation or the blog of Action for Swifts.
Nick B

Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks for reminding me Nick, doesn't in the least put me off the bird, just feel sorry for them constantly on the 'itch/scratch' ... not very restful! Have been looking at those sites again this year, came across them before as I always watched the Polish live cam & we have a few peeps on Rspb passionate about Swifts too!
I did look for local groups but nothing near me ... there will be a talk on Swifts at Ashford (Kent) Birding in September but that's a good 40 miles from mine!
Must find you that pic of the one my Nephew rescued from string entanglement grounded on pavement ... I kept it overnight to check it was ok & let it recover then took it to my Bro's house (he has upstairs) & launched it from bedroom window, fantastic to see it fly strongly away! Fascinating bird to see so close-up!

Sue Peregrino said...

Fans of swifts might like to know that Swift Conservation will be Birdfair and the wonderful Edward Meyer will be giving a talk - unfortunately, it's scheduled early (9:30am) on the 19th August - a bit of a challenge for anyone travelling a distance.
It's impossible to hear Edward speak about swifts and NOT be inspired, he's a brilliant PR man for them.
Sorry to go so wildly off-piste on the peregrine project blog, I hope I'm forgiven. I suppose to look for a connection, I could say that even the occasional swift has fallen prey at Derby to the magnificent hunting machines that are peregrine falcons showing yet again that they are top predators.

Wendy Bartter said...

Of course you are forgiven Sue, it's all so interesting ... another Swift memory of mine from 10 years ago when just moved here in the quarry & watching Swifts flying overhead catching insects, here, there & everywhere at break-neck speed on brilliantly warm day when suddenlynone dived downb& flew into my lounge through double doors ... & fortunately quickly out again!!
Happy to report that there is a Peregrine on the scrape right now!

Wendy Bartter said...

Three on scrape now .. two enjoying hearty meal!

Sue Peregrino said...

I don't know how it's been in Derbyshire today, but it's been a crazy swift day in Buckinghamshire. They seem to have taken a mass decision to form screaming parties all over the county, not just in a few localised places. I wonder what they know that we don't! Maybe not as crazy as popping into somebody's lounge (that swift was lucky the doors were open otherwise it might have crashed into glass and broken its neck) What a brilliant thing to have seen though.

Wendy Bartter said...

Probably wouldn't have crashed into door Sue as they are leaded lights, as are all my windows although did have misfortune to witness Blackbird stunning itself on one before they were changed!
Lengthy vid to celebrate seeing the three on scrape earlier ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWLqwDJ0pLU (shame the light wasn't so favourable though, not to mention the 'misty' lens!)
Bet those Swifts were a joy to watch, not much going on here but the weather not too good!

Heather said...

Breakfast is being served with some superb plucking going on by one of the two on the scrape. Still wonder if it's the same pair that seem inseparable. Are they catching their own prey now I wonder and bringing it to the scrape or perhaps it's delivered by parents or passed to juveniles on the wing?

Heather said...

Just seen the one on end of scrape pinch the prey (after all the hard plucking had been done) but the other didn't seem too bothered and just clened its talons on the ledge. Haven't seen this stealing of prey lately and assumed they realise the damage that can be done if a fight ensued with those huge talons and beak.

Have seen a few more swifts in Derbyshire in the last few days but not so many during the preceding months as in previous years.

nick b said...

Hi Heather: I doubt they are catching prey themselves yet...it takes quite a while for them to hone their prey catching skills.
Obviously they are on a very steep learning curve and it has to be said that not all the juveniles will survive the first six months of life.....
To maintain a stable population each pair of peregrines really only needs to produce two young that go on to breed themselves. Our birds have produced over 30 in their time at Derby so while probably more than two have survived to adulthood, many must have succumbed to accidental (or even deliberate) death.
Despite protection by law, peregrines (and other birds of prey such as hen harriers) are killed by shooting, poisoning and trapping away from our towns and cities where they can be 'got at' more easily and discretely...
Nick
Blog readers may like to attend on of several Hen harrier day rallies taking place across the UK on 6th and 7th August. Put 'hen harrier day' into a search engine to find the details.

nick b said...

Sue, Wendy, Heather: sadly no burst of swift activity here as far as I can tell. I have three nest boxes on my house and play the lure calls to entice the birds to come and have a look with a view to nesing....but I've not seen a single swift here for several days now.
Nick B

Julia said...

2 peregrines on the scrape at the moment. Lovely to see them still coming back

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

You're very lucky Julia....this is the first year this has ever happened (ie the fledged young returning so regularly and for so long to the nest platform/scrape).
Enjoy it while you can!
Nick B

Wendy Bartter said...

I was lucky again too catching this one tucking into late supper @ 21.51 for 5 mins or so ... do you think it's an adult? ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dEAvqK6D0I

Helen said...

Hi Wendy, it's definitely an adult bird in your video as it has a yellow cere above the beak and white underparts. It also has the grey plumage of an adult bird and yellow eye ring. The cere in the juveniles is still a blue grey colouring, as is the eye ring. I would say it's the male bird as it looks fairly small to me, but I'm never one hundred percent sure on that!

Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks Helen, my first impressions were that it was an adult male being small, neat & dark but it's always good to get other's opinions!

Ann Raynor said...

One on the Scrape been checking ever day but this the first i have seen for over a week...

Wendy Bartter said...

Hi Ann, was lucky enough to catch male adult again yesterday evening plus a juvenile & they stayed around, on & off, for a few hours ... Have some footage to sort through today & will post soonest!

Heather said...

Think it's the tiercel on scrape at the moment having a preening session. Looks like the juveniles have finally left home having truly feathered their nest so to speak!

Wendy Bartter said...

Sorry still haven't processed vid yet (blame the heatwave) ... was awake at four-ish this morning watching a juvenile jumping around scrape & foraging all the scraps for something to eat just as cam switched to day mode!

Ann Raynor said...

One resting on the scrape

Wendy Bartter said...

Still there now Ann at 15.30!

Wendy Bartter said...

Finally I processed vid of 19th activity ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txz5ANBRPyE
Just as well as I got some more today, a juvenile (I wonder) feeding on the scrape ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDQRV5WTwr0

Ann Raynor said...

One on the scrape plucking his prey