Wednesday, 5 April 2017

An egg at last! (and a Friday Update...)

Screen grab by Kate from Devon - taken this afternoon
Update Friday 7th April: a second egg was laid sometime before 13.18 pm when the first person to spot it was Antony P. A third should appear about Sunday evening or Monday morning.
(To read more about what people are seeing and saying be sure to click on 'comments' at the bottom of each post.)

Here's Wendy's video taken this afternoon:




This is the beginning of the original post - so 'last night' refers to the night before the first egg was laid (how confusing is that!):

My colleague on this project, Nick Moyes, was writing his post last night just after midnight with no egg in sight (do be sure to scroll down and read his excellent and interesting post!).
However, at about 6.35 am this morning, an egg had appeared in the shallow scrape in the gravel where she has laid her eggs every year since 2006.
Here's a screen grab captured earlier this morning, The first sight of the egg was made at 06.35 this morning by 'early bird' Kate from Devon, a regular web cam watcher over many years.

An egg as captured on the Flickr site early morning on 5th April
by HelenSara
Wendy Bartter's videos below shows the build up to egg laying (with the female turning round several times over the hollow in the scrape. The second one she kindly created shows activity after egg-laying.




As Nick M said in his post last night, this year the first egg would be later than in any other year since 2007 by a couple of days. To see the full chart showing dates over the years do go back and read Nick's post where there's a link or visit the FAQ Tab above.

This late egg-laying date is undoubtedly due to the arrival of the new (ringed) male and perhaps also to the nave roof works below the nest as well.
Concerns that the new male might be immature or somehow not up to the job have proved wrong. His plumage (very yellow cere at the base of his beak and dark hood on his head) suggests he is fully adult. Clearly, with his frequent offerings of food to his new partner, he's entirely capable of successfully replacing the old male.

Now we can expect more eggs at roughly two day intervals. Will we get a full clutch of four - or even more as has happened at urban sites elsewhere in the UK - one nest having a remarkable six eggs!

Watching the web cams over the next week will be the only way to find out!
Thanks to all our web cam watchers for alerting us to the birds' movements.......

Nick B
Project Team

59 comments:

Sj H said...

Thanks to the Project for the lovely thanks on the main post above to we watchers. We need to thank you too, Project, for providing the webcams (and everything else you do). Events have suddenly taken a great leap forward, and some may miss Nick M's previous blog (it's well worth scrolling back for :) ) As Nick says there, PAGE 4 is currently the best place to get a glimpse of the egg. Phew, what a relief, an egg at last. I for one was having my doubts it was going to happen this year. And just to think, back a few months ago, the worry the Project had was what impact the works on Derby cathedral nave roof were going to have on proceedings. Life is so full of surprises.

cherrill james said...

so pleased we have one egg ,good luck mrs P ! we have been watching this project for
many years ,always exciting ,thank you . this years donation is on its way !

Anne said...

Fantastic, well done to both parents!

Abby-Lynn said...

I am from British Columbia Canada and have watched these wonderful birds for 4 years. Thanks to the 2 Nicks for giving us all the info we ask for . I am looking forward to a new year of chicks. But I am remembering the aggressive girls one year, the mama's boy and last years birds who got pushed off the scrape but flew well. good luck to all and lets enjoy the new batch. So happy to see an egg.

Abby-Lynn said...

I am actually Vicky, I used Abby-Lynn the first couple years but I don't know how to change it again. I came up Vicky last year. I will try tomorrow to change it again.

kate said...

More Pics on Flkr of 06:35:30 actual drop, which Wendy will soon have on Video for us all.

Now lets hope New Hubby steps up to the mark Tee Hee! am sure he will, the Birds always know whats best.

Emerald class said...

We are so exited this morning to see the peregrine egg. We were very surprised because we didn't see it coming. The peregrine is very tired today because she stayed up all night laying the egg and it is very hard during labour to push the egg out. And it takes a lot of pressure to push the egg out. We hope that we can see the other egg soon.

Wendy Bartter said...

Hi all, here's the vid & you will see that I'm a bit disappointed that one of the cams slipped during the night ... never mind, it's a record of a great event ...

https://youtu.be/NKm7cHHZ5G0

Karen B. said...

Yes Mrs P does look a little jaded.. have not seen Tiercel much when I have been on cams, prehaps I have missed him? Noted Manton Osprey's have an egg it's all go!!

Wendy - don't know how you do all vids? Which are fantastic by the way. Do you get any sleep ??? Lol.

Phoebe said...

Oh well done Mrs P! And also Wendy! Thanks for sharing your time and videos here. I was late up and have only just put the pc on. Great news, I knew they hadn't tidied up the scrape for nothing. Looking forward to a good season.

Anonymous said...

The female doesn't seem too keen on sitting on her egg, is this a problem?

Phoebe said...

Hi Anon, the eggs will not be fully incubated until the last or penultimate egg is laid, that way they all hatch around the same time. I see the tiercel is doing a bit of sitting at the moment. And very proud he looks too! Well done to him :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply and sharing your knowledge Phoebe, I am still learning about these beautiful birds.

Phoebe said...

You're welcome Anon, there are lots of things to learn about these gorgeous birds.

Wendy Bartter said...

Karen B. said...Do you get any sleep ??? Lol. ... It was a late night Karen but did sleep in a bit longer this morning!!
Here is a continuation vid showing Mum & Dad actions now they have that first egg ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TF6B9FGFjs

Sorry to see still beset by screen slippage problems!!

Karen B. said...

Egg appears to be unattended right now ?? Hope not for too long, it is quiet cold this morning.

kate said...

Morning Karen
As
Phoebe said, full incubation does not commence until all Eggs laid, so will be left unattended. Do not worry Mum knows best, but I must admit for newcomers, and those seeing a solitary Egg or two, do become concerned,

So pleased to see we are on our way and from Wendy's fantastic Video , the new Male beginning to understand his role.Like all species, the shock of the consequences of Adult hood together with its responsibilities, soon fall into a regular pattern.

These Birds have much to teach, and am always delighted to read, all the Schools comments,
and it is wonderful to read the occasional pupil, watching when at home with their parents.

Harold said...

Is the female young enough to ensure fertility?.

Lisa said...

Sorry to say but just because she has laid an egg doesn't mean its going to be fertile! So he hasn't proved 'hes up to it' just yet!! All fingers crossed but just wanted to point that out!

With it being a new male who is ringed could he be one of the Nottingham ones? They ring theirs each year so surely there's a good chance?

Love watching both Nottingham and this webcam, fascinating to see!

Ann Chambers Hancock said...

Wonderful to see, looking forward to this new season.

Karen B. said...

I really love watching birds of prey so easy now with the help of webcams!
I have watched the Derby pair for the last two years and become addicted!

Am no expert but have learnt so much though this project, it is great that school children are watching to gain an understanding of the efforts made to conserve these beautiful birds of prey well done to their teachers.

It would be such a shame if her eggs were infertile - but it makes you think ? With the change of males if this will have any implications, ?? await next egg friday/Saturday, heres to a sucessful clutch.

The Project Team said...

HI everyone: thanks for all your comments, welcome to newcomers to the project and welcome back to those of you who have rejoined us for the 2017 season.
The 'hits' have shot up in the last few days and now number over 90,000 since January 1st which is a great indication that this project and the birds continue to grab everyone's attention!
We think there's a very good chance the male will be fertile. He's clearly an adult bird (being so bright yellow around his cere and eyes and on his legs) but only time will tell.
The second egg can be expected sometime before the end of Friday or early Saturday morning.
The Project Team

Anonymous said...

The reason I mentioned about the age of the female was that I read she had been nesting at this site since 2005 which makes her at least 13, or is this normal for Peregrines?

Wendy Bartter said...

More from yesterday afternoon which progressed to X-rated shennanigans ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-_Ub2-kXw8

Heather said...

Lovely.clear shot of Mrs P? and egg on Webpage 4 at the moment. It's certainly been a rollercoaster start to this breeding season. First a new scrape then the disturbance of a new nave roof, and as we all know a different tiercel began courting our falcon. As Nick M said in his well written article there are so many imponderables regarding this situation.. Mrs P is certainly not in her prime anymore and not knowing when mating occurred, and with which bird, I'm not sure if the egg is the new tiercel's or not. Then there's the question of re-absorption and so on and so on. That said we can only hope for a positive outcome with with at least one or rwo healthy chicks.

Phoebe said...

Brilliant Wendy!! To catch the shenanigans!

It made me wonder if the previous male could have already mated with her, and would that work. Could there be eggs that were fertilized by two males. I know it happens with dogs. A question for some research.

Thanks for the brilliant video :-))

Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks Phoebe ... here's last bit of vid for the 5th showing how supportive male is with egg & prey ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGZerCiaHbY

kate said...

Looking contemplative for second Egg maybe this morning..

Anonymous said...

still only one egg at the moment
Chris M

Unknown said...

Mrs P sitting on the scrape. I wonder if the next one's coming...

Anonymous said...

2nd Egg at 13.18 :-) - Ant P

jane Tagg said...

Egg number two !

Emerald clas said...

we can see two eggs.

Alex Rock said...

Two eggs!!!!!

Emerald class said...

everybody was very exited to see the two eggs.One egg was shinyer than the other and one was darker than the other.The shiny egg is the new egg.We think there will be 4 eggs in total.We think the female is very clever.

Lesley Gerrard said...

Hurray for two eggs!

Male seems to be there much more than the female.

kate said...

While Wendy,
collates our Vid, I managed to catch a capture a short while ago and post on Flkr Group

Well done everyone that posted sighting, especially Emerald class, always lovely to read the childrens comments.

Wendy Bartter said...

The best view was from Cam #1 on page 4 ...
https://youtu.be/WCy49kYgiFg

Wendy Bartter said...

Here is view from cam #3 which shows that egg could have been earlier than first estimated ...

https://youtu.be/hXEntogoyl8

Anonymous said...

Lovely comments from the Primary School children of Emerald Class, and great observation about the different appearance of the two eggs. I missed seeing the moment of laying, but great to read everyone's comments.

NickM, Project Team.

Sj H said...

I've been away from home for a couple of days and had no computer access so am delighted to come home and read of the progress to two eggs. It's great to read all the comments on the blog and catch up with what you've all been saying. I think Emerald Class are very good young naturalists and I'm really pleased to hear their prediction that the peregrines are going to lay 4 eggs. I really hope they're going to be correct.

Sj H said...

Note for the Project Team : in case you're compiling a new list of UK urban peregrine sites, I've just heard on Radio 2 (of all places!) that they have a pair on Leicester Cathedral. It came up on Radio 2's Sunday morning programme "Good Morning Sunday" whne they were talking about the Queen's upcoming visit there to distribute Maundy money. I have no idea what access the site has, this will need a bit of research by anyone interested.

Heather said...

Have done a bit of research re Leicester Cathedral peregrines and sadly police report 2 peregrines found dead at Offers Dyke footpath near Devil's Pulpit on 28 March but didn't mention if they were ringed or not. I'd read a few weeks ago that already this month 5 peregrines have been shot dead but it didn't say where. Apparently there are six nesting boxes around the city, the one at Leicester Cathedral was installed last year I believe, with 2 eggs hatched.

Just seen Mrs P sitting on eggs so perhaps another one is on the way or she has already started to brood the two already laid. As it's such a warm day I wouldn't expect her to be doing this until the full clutch is ready to be incubated. Would she be doing this to protect them from getting overheated? Many thanks Wendy for all your video links and the one regarding the time of first egg being laid - they're certainly leading us a merry dance this year. I still wonder where our new tiercel came from and how far they fly if in search of a new mate, perhaps Nottingham or one whose territory was in the wild (hopefully not Derbyshire where I'm ashamed to say I live because they're hunted extensively here). Also possibly the coloured ring was lost if the new peregrine was in a fight with our previous tiercel.

Nick B (DWT) said...

That's a good idea Heather - maybe the eggs do need to be cool at this stage otherwise they might start to develop. By lunchtime the sun has gone off the platform so if this behaviour was only seen mid to late morning your theory might be right!
Quite a few juvenile peregrines around the country are ringed but not colour ringed. The single (metal) ring bears a unique number and the inscription " Inform British Museum, London SW7". Anyone reporting a ring number on a bird they find or can see close up will eventually receive details of where and when it was ringed from the organisation that runs and controls bird ringing in the UK - the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Some ringers, usually those doing a detailed study of a particular species, can apply to colour ring their birds as well which allows them to be recognised without having to re-capture them. So you never find a bird with just a color ring - it will always have a metal BTO ring as well. Occasionally the plastic colour rings do degrade and become brittle and then fall off but usually only after several years of use.
A ringed peregrine is almost certain to have been ringed as a juvenile in the nest. Chicks need to be about 10 days old for the leg to be big and strong enough to take rings without them slipping off over the foot.
Because of the plastic shroud we won't be able to ring the chicks this year because the abseilers have nowhere to 'land' on the nave roof.
Hope that explains a bit about the ringing set up.
Nick B

Nick B (DWT) said...

Heather/Sue: re. Leicester city peregrines: the guys involved in Leicester came to Derby a few years ago to see our set up and get some advice. I'm not up to speed with the latest news from there but I would doubt that any adult Leicester peregrines would have made it over to the Welsh borders and Offa's Dyke area. They tend to stick around their nest sites all year. Juveniles do wander but I don't think the Leicester juvs. have been ringed though I could be wrong...
There has been something of a spate of dead raptors (kites, peregrines and a golden eagle) being found in the UK recently and on analysis most seem to have been shot. There's a website called raptor persecution where you can read more about specific cases.
In Derbyshire several peregrine nests at disused quarries are traditionally robbed of their eggs or chicks so this year, a collaboration between the Trust, RSPB, raptor workers and the police will try to protect three of the most vulnerable sites.
Fuller details will emerge in the media soon but one aspect of the protection plan is to recruit volunteers to watch over the nests on a rota system. If anyone reading this comment would like to offer to help please email peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk for further information.
Nick B

Jill F said...

Why does the male appear with food and then fly off, thankyou so much for this project, I think its amazing

Helen said...

Hi Jill, the male bird has been bringing in a lot of food for the female lately. Once the food has been delivered he usually then leaves her to it. It seems to be part of the pair bonding process and appears to have been particularly noticeable this year perhaps because it is a new pairing, with the male bird having recently replaced her previous mate. When the clutch is complete and incubation starts the male also does most of the hunting, bringing food to the scrape for the female. He will incubate the eggs too for short periods of time, often whilst the female is feeding.

Wendy Bartter said...

Lost cam #3

Sj H said...

Ringing : The Aylesbury project http://www.aylesburyperegrine.org.uk has a similar situation in progress - viz the male of an established pair (both unringed) disappeared and has been replaced by a male bearing only a metal BTO ring. Nobody has a clue what had happened to the old male or "who" the new male is or where he came from. There are a few differences with the Derby situation, the most striking being that only one egg has been laid.
Feeding : I'm no expert, but from the webcams I've observed, the place where the eggs are laid is kept spotlessly clean before hatching occurs. Once there are young, it descends into a filthy mess with remains of food brought to the young plus their excrement. It always seemed to me that the adult birds kept the mess away while they could. I think Derby got messy early on because the new male had a lot of catch up to do pair bonding. The pair have now presumably got into more typical breeding behaviour with food being cached somewhere nearby.

Harold said...

I was lucky enough to switch on at 10-30 this morning,the female was on the eggs when the male arrived. After a few cheeps (I like to imagine what they are saying) she took off and left him to it. I thought he looked a bit puzzled for a few minutes but then climbed awkwardly on the eggs and did about a half hours stint. The next time I looked he had gone too.Does anybody else make up imaginary conversations?.

Wendy Bartter said...

Great & glorious news ... THIRD EGG ...
https://youtu.be/NGjgZcVZjy0

Helen said...

Great news! I was watching at the time and I thought it had been laid at 10.35pm although I couldn't be certain so didn't like to comment in case I was wrong. I am fairly sure that you could hear it hit the gravel.

Vicky said...

Harold, not only do people make up imaginary conversations between the birds we talk to the birds too. Can't help it! So glad to hear the 3rd egg has bee laid. Now for number 4 and we can relax and wait for the hatching. Of course close to hatching time we are all a mess of excitement.

Vicky said...

Right now she is sleeping with all 3 eggs in front of her.

Vicky said...

The scrape looks smaller this year. Or is it just the different angle of the webcams?

kate said...

Well done Mrs P and Helen you are correct as in Wendys Vid, you can see her pushing 10secs earlier then she does her few turns and then the click as it drops at 22.35.

Vicky am sure its the angle of the Cam.

Jill F said...

Thanks for that Helen, I think I was mistaken as to which bird flew away. I enjoy this so much, its such a privilege to be able to see this behaviour. I watch as many hours as I can, better than the telly!I shall be beside myself when the eggs start hatching!

Anonymous said...

Fourth egg appeared at 08:20 after much agitation.

Lesley Gerrard said...

Well done Mrs P!

Hope the new Mr P performs his fatherly duties as well as the old Mr P did.