Saturday, 10 June 2017

Watch Point flood - and some great photos & an Update

Weeping Window at Derby's  Cathedral Green
Update 12th June: one of our peregrines apparently saw off a red kite this morning close to the cathedral. We don't think a red kite has been seen over the city before so this is an interesting observation indeed.
Kites are getting more common in the county but they tend to pass through rather than hang around.....but we suspect that breeding may occur in a few years time....
Today's Watch Point (10th June) was duly flooded out - not with rain, but with people!

The Weeping Window of poppies at the Silk Mill museum certainly drew big crowds, despite a grey, moody start.
In total, nearly 800 folk came to look through our telescopes on Cathedral Green and to watch Derby's amazing peregrine falcons!

Marc Whitlock contributed this report which we have interspersed with some superb photos taken during the week by David Naylor (more on him and his photographic mission will follow.):

"The weather was kind to those gathered on the Green, amounting to no more than a light drizzle. The tiercel made a few appearances but the falcon was in evidence for much of the day.
The male flies off. Photo: copyright David Naylor 
Early in the day the adult pair left the tower and flew off…….the falcon returning shortly after to watch over the chicks from her perch high on the tower. She showed again how vigilant she is, returning on a couple of occasions to circle the tower, calling noisily to ward off an unseen (to us) intruder.
Chick wing and the falcon (female). Photo copyright David Naylor 

Later in the afternoon both adult birds were seen on Jury’s Inn. Taking flight from there, the tiercel was seen silhouetted against the sky with what appeared to be a prey item. He flew across before us and landed on the nest platform but no food appeared to have been dropped there - maybe it was dropped in flight.
The male in flight. Photo copyright David Naylor 
The chicks came to the front of the nest platform to the delight of those below and showed their growing confidence with long periods posing for the scopes. There was also a good deal of wing stretching and flapping.
There was an impressive turnout today with numbers massively boosted by those who came to see the poppies but who also enjoyed a spectacle of a different kind. Among almost 800 people who came specifically to view the birds were visitors from Uruguay, America and France.

A special mention should be made of the little boy aged about 6 or 7, clutching his toy peregrine in his hand. who had come with his mother to see the birds 'for real', but caught only glimpses of the chicks and so very much wanted to see one of the adults through the scopes. A joy to see such enthusiasm in one so young. Thanks to Helen, one of our volunteers, for seeking him out in the crowd after he had left because the falcon had returned, bringing him back to really make his day".

Thanks to all our trusty volunteers on duty today (Paul, Anne, David, Malcolm and Helen) and Marc from DWT. They stayed until 4 pm to accommodate all the visitors - a really dedicated effort!

The Project Team


Vicky said...

I think we can say our chicks are half juvenile now. They have changed so much it is unbelievable. I'm glad the watch points have brought many people to see the chicks and mom and dad.

Heather said...

Thanks to David Naylor for the photos of the new tiercel and good old MrsP. She still looks in excellent condition despite her age. The new tiercel has proved to be a good provider and the pair have bonded well together. Do the Team have any ideas from observing him how old he is likely to be? It's amazing how quickly the little bundles of fluff have grown and the family watched by so many at the Watchpoint. The Silk Mill poppy display has obviously helped to swell the numbers and hopefully will get more people interested in raptors in general.

How kind of Helen to spot the little six yr old boy and let him have a look at the birds, let's hope he maintains this interest for the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

One of the chicks seems to be feeding itself this evening (Sunday). Maybe the prey we saw coming in yesterday was just dropped in the nest for them to feed themselves.

Ash said...

Thank you so much, came over from Sutton Coldfield yesterday (Saturday) and had a lovely chat with one of the volunteers, it's so interesting to learn what they eat, how they catch food etc

Vicky said...

I have only been watching from Canada for 4 years and this year I noticed a few times one of the chicks feeding off some piece of prey was left. They have gotten so big and so dark now. Soon they will get up on the edge and our hearts will be doing flip flops for fear they will fall. Thanks to all for the pictures, comments and videos.

Janet said...

Been following for a few years now, but this is my first post. Was at the Cathedral Saturday and saw the falcon circling making what seemed alarmed crys, was it because of all the people there for the poppies? Just viewed the chicks, haven't looked for about a fortnight, amazing how much they have grown and matured, one clearly looks bigger than the other two, or is this the angle of the camera? They were stretching and trying their wings, looks like they really want to be off!

Darlin said...

I noticed tonight that one is larger than the others and was thinking it is the first born or it is a female and the other 2 are males. We will soon be more sure over the next few days. They are fun to watch altho they scare you with their antics. Im glad the new male turned out to be a great dad and partner.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Janet: welcome to the blog comments pages!
The cathedral conducts tower tours which involve small groups going up to the top but only staying briefly and never looking over the side where the nest is. Occasionally the female takes umbrage and circles a few times making alarm calls though as soon as the group has left the tower top she settles down again as if nothing has happened.
Peregrines never desert their chicks and we have worked in cooperation with the cathedral authorities since 2006 to ensure that the life of the cathedral can continue alongside the peregrines.
So there's nothing to worry about. In the wilds nesting peregrines have many more things to worry (and get alarmed) about - as the case of the poisoning of both adults at a Shropshire nest recently clearly showed (scroll down to a previous post to read about this).
Nick (DWT)

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Darlin (and Janet too): as you say, judging the relative sizes of the chicks via the web cams isn't easy.
However generally by this age, even if there was a late hatched chick, it has usually more or less caught up with its siblings by this stage.
As you say, female chicks are definitely bigger than males and this does usually become apparent as they progress towards fledging.
As you can tell - I'm keeping my tinder dry at this stage!

Janet said...

Just checked in for my morning view, and they're hiding behind the partition, camera shy! No sign of the parents guess they're nearby or off hunting. I note you say last years chicks fledged late June Nick, (Hi), when do you think these will try? Putting you on the spot there! It's still amazes me to be able to look at them like we do, and more interesting, I hope not too fraught times ahead I think!

Kate said...

Morning everyone.
Lovely Blog as always thank you Team.
The Wave sea of poppies are touring the UK will be coming to Devon end Aug ( where the metal frame work was made for the Wave display)

also our chicks looking well and little one having time to itself on the slate side ( pic on Flkr)

Janet memo click on the other Camera links underneath Web Cam and you can watch them then form both sides of the Scrape.

Josh said...

Wow the former chicks are massive now they have got bigger by the second they are nearly the size of the mum peregrine falcon. JOSHUA HARVEY đŸ™‚đŸ™‚

Helen said...

Hi Josh, the chicks do look a lot different now. On Saturday they were doing a lot of preening and you could see their juvenile feathers clearly through the telescopes. I think it might be nearly two more weeks though before they are ready to fledge.

Lisa said...

Just seen the update. A number of sightings have been seen of red kites in the Giltbrook area of Nottingham ( where IKEA is)in the last month or so would they be the same ones??? I saw a red kite last year sat on the fence where you come off the slip road off the motorway to the a610 towards Ikea, so they must be local. I know in Kettering it is full of them! Maybe with breeding they are moving up!

The chicks are beautiful, all sat out looking over at the world going by. Saw a shadow fly by, hope it was mum or dad! update: While writing this on my other open page mum or dads just come in and all the little calling is so cute! They all seem to be panting away.

Vicky said...

I can't get cam one just now but got cam 3. 2 are lying down the third is preening. Getting so they have little fluffy feathers left.

Vicky said...

One of the parents came in with food and the chicks just scrambled to the food. Big white bird. Not plucked yet.

Lisa said...

are the cameras down it says: The page you've tried to visit may have been moved, deleted or modified or you have typed the web address incorrectly. Tried all of them and got the same message!

Paul said...

Go to Derby City Council website, find the A to Z list, choose "P" and peregrine webcams are listed there. These links worked for me.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi All: the web cam links seem to be back to normal now....
Nick B (DWT)

Emerald class said...

The peregrines have gron fast they are losing there whight fethers. They are like there mum and dad now can you see it. We can see their juvenil fethers. Thay are brown and cream.

Sara said...

Well spotted Emerald Class. The young bird have grown very quickly. They have been doing lots of preening lately to get rid of the white downy feathers that are left. Over the next week you might see them doing lots of wing flapping. This helps them to grow stronger so that they are ready to take their first flight. It won't be long before you see them sitting on the edge of the platform.