Friday, 30 March 2018

Egg time - and a new problem

Last year, with a new male to contend with, our aging female laid her first egg on 5th April.
With the new pair going on to work successfully together last summer to raise their chicks, we might expect an egg a day or two earlier this year perhaps.....even just possibly on Easter Sunday (1st)?

If you check out the table of dates on our FAQ page, you'll see that since 2006, the earliest date for the first egg was 23rd March - way back in 2009.

In the five years prior to 2017 (ie with her old mate) our female first laid one on either 28th or 29th March - apart from that very cold and snowy spring of 2013 when she wisely delayed matters until 4th April.

So, it's really anyone's guess as to which day she'll start her clutch this time around. Do use the comments facility to guess - but there's no prize for the nearest! My personal hunch is that, given the several periods of cold weather we've had recently, she'll lay only a day or so earlier than last year but, as usual, we'll just have to wait in anticipation!

The first egg is usually laid at will any insomniac be watching when it happens? Time will tell....

A new problem
Last year both we and the birds had to contend with major work on the Cathedral roof. We were surprised how little it affected the birds, although we did have to reposition our aerial in order to get our webcam signals through all that scaffolding - but we sorted it.

This year we have a new, bigger problem.

As some of you will know, getting internet connectivity from the Cathedral tower to the world beyond so you can see the web cams is a complex business, carried out for us by Connect Derby and Derby City Council on whose systems and helpful IT staff we rely. We also rely on gear placed inside the historic Silk Mill Museum which beams the radio signal it receives from the tower over to the council house, and thence to the wider world.
The Silk Mill with the 2017 Weeping Poppies
Installation commemorating those who died in WW1

We learned only this week that the Silk Mill Museum is imminently about to undergo major refurbishment as part of a redevelopment scheme. This requires the removal of all electrical and internet equipment from the building, including the gear on which we rely, meaning we could lose webcam connectivity completely.

Finding a solution isn't easy or quick so we are hoping for a stay of execution which would allow us to keep the equipment running, ideally until any chicks fledge in late June, or until we can sort out a new location for our wireless connections.

We are doing everything possible to find solutions, with great help and support from everyone involved, including Alex Rock at the watch this space  and keep your fingers firmly crossed!

The Project Team


Helen said...

We have our fist egg this morning! Brilliant!

kate said...

Well done Thanks Helen and our lovely pair think I have a scap, both were really talking to each other before he flew off, night cam not that clear, but hey ! whatever good news for Easter.

Heather said...

Clear view of rather bedraggled sleepy Mrs P after awfully wet night sitting in a semi crouching position showing wet egg in front of her. Congrats Helen for spotting our first egg just in time for Easter - so another season begins. Also thanks for all the updates over the past few months much appreciated.

Each year our Project Team seem to have to contend with some sort of problem or other but this latest development does seem particularly challenging, let's hope the Silk Mill will be able to keep us connected or hopefully another site can be found - not only fingers double crossed but toes as well!

kate said...

As you say Helen "Everything crossed"

Have put Egg pics on Flickr, as you say very very wet Bless,am always pleased our Birds produce a little later than others, hope this weekend sees the last of the Winter, and we can all enjoy the start of Spring

Anne said...

Regarding the communications problem at the Silk Mill, couldn't St Mary's help out? It's near the Cathedral and has a tall tower. Fingers crossed.