Tuesday, 28 March 2017

A new male at Derby

Yesterday it became apparent that a new adult bird with a small ring on its left leg was on the platform and was behaving as if it was the male of the pair. It was first spotted yesterday by Helen who is a teacher and was showing the web cam to her class. Some of her children's young eyes could see the ring clearly. We're really impressed by this bit or original observation.

We've checked back our recent camera footage, and the two clips from 27th March below clearly show this new, ringed, male bringing in food as part of the courtship ritual. A second video clip later that morning shows the ring even better.






This video by Wendy also shows the ring very clearly as do these screen grabs by Kate, watching from Devon. This demonstrates just how effective all you webcam watchers are in keeping us informed of what's going on on a daily basis.We have checked back through Wendy's YouTube channel on which she puts all the video clips she makes. So far, we've not been able to see evidence of a ringed bird earlier than this.Would you like to give it a try?  If so, here channel is here

Ring on left leg showing clearly
                                                     
Note the ring here also


So it begins to look as if the male who had been at the cathedral since at least 2004 has died or at least been ousted by this new male.

So it begins to look as if the male that had been at the cathedral since 2004 has either died or has been ousted, or even killed, by this new male.
What we don't yet know is when this changeover took place - so we've had a look back through some of the video clips that Wendy Bartter made from our webcams earlier this season. What we can see is that nest scraping and food exchange is still happening. But we've only managed to spot a ring as far back as 16th March. If you fancy trying to help by looking through these clips yourself, check out the myriad of videos Wendy has posted on YouTube, and let us know what you spot.

Footnote: Wendy subsequently found this video clip below from 12th March, the latter half of which (2min:30sec in) clearly shows a quite agitated male bird repeatedly flying back up to the nest ledge, whilst calling loudly. (at 2:56 one can imagine a ring - at other times one can't see one) This also appears to coincide with other reports that our adult male hadn't been seen on the nest ledge much around this period.



What effect this swap has on the female, we don't know. She certainly looks well pairing up at the moment. Of course, this could mean a delay in egg laying.... but if not, stand by for any day now . . .

The Project Team


32 comments:

Sue Peregrino said...

Back on the 25th March, I saw 2 birds with one of them on the scrape and "scraping" a hollow in the platform stones, so there are definite signs of wanting to start egg-laying. As Nick says on the previous post, the "incomer" only has a BTO ring. The inscriptions on these are hard enough to read when in the hand so will be impossible for any watcher, whether by webcam or scopes, to read. So, it must remain a mystery where the "incomer" has come from. The other odd thing I'd noticed was the build up of prey items on the platform - a normal pair would be keeping the scrape scrupulously clean as long as possible. Prey would only be brought to feed chicks, not foul the scrape. Maybe it's the "incomer"'s way of courting the female?
I don't expect we'll ever know what has happened to the old male either, but what a bird he was - and he has spread his genes far and wide. Gone maybe, but not forgotten!

Sue Peregrino said...

13:38hrs 28/3/17 Platform unoccupied but one bird on the parapet just below. Have grabbed a screen image but as can't recall how to post on this site's Flikr, have tweeted from @bucksperegrines

Phoebe said...

Could the new male be one of the offspring from a previous year. I don't remember the colours of the rings used.

Sue Peregrino said...

The Derby birds (like some other projects, but not all) have 2 rings, one on each leg. One is a small metal band, the standard BTO ring. The other is a large coloured plastic band - Derby use an orangy-red, some other sites, like many in the west country, use blue. The "visitor" just has one ring, the small metal one. So, it's definitely not Derby, nor is it from any of the other projects that ring that way. The plastic bands have a unique code in big black lettering that you can just about read with binoculars or on a webcam. The metal BTO ones also have a unique code on but its in teeny weeny lettering. The only way anyone would ever be able to read it is, to be blunt, picking up a dead bird. Do you have access to twitter? @bucksperegrines will post an image of a bird from Aylesbury that came to grief in Aylesbury. Permission was given to have it preserved as a specimen. It had both rings and you can see the difference.

Helen said...

The plastic rings that are used can sometimes break and fall off, so it's not impossible that this bird did have one at some point. However it can't be a Derby born bird since the large orange plastic ring has always been placed on the left leg and the small metal ring has been put on the right leg. As this bird has a metal ring on the left leg it must have originated from somewhere else.

Karen B. said...

Hi- how sad to hear that the old Tiercel may have been oused / died or killed by a new male.. as said before he was a great Dad and passed on his genes.
I watched a pair at Norwich where shortly after chicks hatched the Falcon dissappeared but the Tiercel did really well and raised the young, just around fledging a new Falcon appeared and killed some of the young which is really rare apparently. The falcon and Tiercel then started courtship!!

What are the chances of a sucessful clutch now???

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi Karen: it's difficult to say but there does seem to be some pair bonding happening apparently so fingers crossed. At other nest sites, new pairs can settle down quickly and lay eggs....
I've asked some bird photographers to try to get a good shot of the ringed male so we can see his plumage details and even get something on the ring itself!
Nick B

Wendy Bartter said...

Just such a pity that I have been experiencing awful problems with recorded footage ... had to resort once more to capturing a few still images from yesterday's early hours when I saw the ringed male again followed by the female poking around on the scrape ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20JXBqofu4k

Wendy Bartter said...

Sudden cam problems ... all frozen pages & no cams except for cam #1

Alex Rock said...

I'm getting this problem too. Cams down! I will go up and investigate whether or not the aerial has been knocked.

Karen B. said...

Hi Nick, thanks for comments lets hope the Falcon accepts him!! From Wendy's vid she appears too!! Or prehaps she is happy to be given a free meal.

Fingers crossed that we may get some eggs then!!

Noted that Loch of Lowes and Rutland waters - Ospreys have arrived.


Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks Alex, don't know if that was the problem but they came back after not too long!

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

I've updated the blog post with a couple of videos downloaded from our digital camera that clearly shows the ringed male exchanging food.
If anyone else would like to have a go and work through Wendy's video clips to see if they can spot evidence of a ring from earlier in the year, you can find them all here: http://ow.ly/PpmZ30an38s (I failed - but maybe you'll have more patience and success!)

Sue Peregrino said...

16:36hrs 29/3/17 - just one peregrine on camera. Perched on the rim of the slate half of the platform.

Sue Peregrino said...

16:45hrs Now she's hopped over to the rim of the gravel side and is "eee-chupping" away whilst watching the sky.

Wendy Bartter said...

Some footage from early this morning ... https://youtu.be/XDzT-C2n5mM

Paul said...

If the female has already mated with the first male will the new one be able to telll the eggs aren't his? If so will he try to destroy them and then mate with the female to ensure the eggs are his?

Wendy Bartter said...

More of this mornings actions ... the new male seems to be very attentive & is feeding her ...
https://youtu.be/XDzT-C2n5mM

Wendy Bartter said...

Good bonding session here but male looks scared stiff! ...
https://youtu.be/Eh8cUslBgK0

Wendy Bartter said...

Experimental dual view footage to show action in slate scrape, needs to be on bigger screen & no good at night but does illustrate just how tiny this new ringed male is compared to Mrs DP ... no wonder he looks so scared! Lol
https://youtu.be/8XUICmijjzo

Bee Thistle said...

I'm so sad. :( I was attached to that bird, I watched him and his brood every day last spring, from courting to fledge. Mind you he would have been what, 13 years old this year? So perhaps we can hope he just carked it from old age, a life well lived. The new 'un doesn't waste any time does he! I saw some enthusiastic courtship going on over the past few weeks, whether it was the old tiercel or the new, and lots of scraping and wriggling by the female, so fingers crossed we still get a successful clutch this year.

Sue Peregrino said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wendy Bartter said...

Well said Sue, am sure you speak for many of us as we watch & wait for those precious eggs!

Emerald Class said...

We were exited to see the new male. And we didn't expect it. We spotted the ring on it's right leg on the platform. And we were really surprised to see it on a peregrine falcon's leg because we don't really see it a lot when it's a bird of prey. The old male didn't have a ring on it's leg. Have you seen the old male or do you think it's dead?

Bee Thistle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phoebe said...

The new ringed male just brought prey to the scrape. The female took it and flew off. The male is sat on the scrape ledge.

Sue Peregrino said...

I have asked the administrator to remove all comments of mine for which unintended offence has been taken where none was intended.

The Project Team said...

Hi all: at the request of Sue we have removed one of her comments. Having done that, it seems only right to remove related comments since other readers will not understand what the issues were all about.
We’re confident that no-one intended to cause upset to anyone else – but these things can happen.
We really do welcome all comments on this blog that are constructive –and all of these were intended as such. It’s great to have newcomers contributing and telling us what they feel, just as much as others who’ve been watching these birds for some years. Please all continue with that.

From the Team’s point of view, we’ve always felt it exciting to share the opportunity to get engaged with these wild birds. Over the years we’ve been torn emotionally many times– mainly by keeping everything running smoothly! -and sometimes literally hanging by a thread to bring these birds’ private liives into everyone’s homes. -and sometimes by the sheer excitement of the discoveries we all make. And we’ve been honoured to have you all watching and contributing here. We learn a lot about what’s going on by all your helpful observations and concerns. Please keep it up.

We rarely put pre-moderation on this blog. But feel free to email the team directly using peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk, rather than put further comments on the blog if you ever have any concerns.

We love the fact that local primary school children not only read this blog, but also write their own comments here. And it was these children and their teacher who spotted the change in our breeding pair this year. We’re proud of them.

So, without wishing to take sides over innocent remarks on both sides, we hope the matter can be considered as over and done with.
Let's keep our focus on the birds and their exploits.....

The Project Team

Heather said...

Have been away so have only just caught up with the recent events. Whilst this is very sad news for those of us who have watched the pair over many years we have to realise that this is nature and congratulations to Emerald Class for being so observant. He was a splendid mate and as Karen says the genes he passed onto his offspring will have stood them in good stead.

Any thoughts on Paul's comment re any new hatched eggs? I've seen this in lions but not thought much about it in the bird population. Also any further ideas where the new male has originated from regarding the ring colour? Now we must all look forward positively in the hope of some eggs from our falcon.

The Project Team said...

Hi Heather: we have no idea when the female will lay or whether the change of mate will affect the date. We're not even sure when the newcomer appeared on the scene. The earliest date seems to be 16th March but perhaps he had been around for longer.
We're fairly sure the new pairing is working and that we will get eggs even if they are delayed a bit...
Yesterday was the mean date for the first egg over the 11 seasons so far....but the latest is still a few days ahead and in the first year when there were no cameras we estimated the first egg wasn't laid until mid or late April!
The ring is a metal one not a coloured one so the only way to get any information from it would be to read the number which is well nigh impossible unless someone with a massive lens can get very close to him which is unlikely. So unless the new male somehow comes into our hands (through injury or death) we will probably never know where he came from...
The Project Team

Anonymous said...

Sad to see that some comments have been removed I could not see or take offence at any of those that have been removed just honest comments.

Wendy Bartter said...

Seem to be up & running on the problem PC again & edited a couple of vids regarding overnight activities & early morning prey discovery ... good bonding sessions taking place regularly still so there is hope for eggs ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaxN53WCyw4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGAvVEswg4o