Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Derby male takes over at Belper after resident male dies

It is widely known now that a pair of peregrines has been nesting on East Mill in Belper for several years, in fact since 2012.

Last week, the male of the pair was found close to the mill. It was injured either from colliding with a car or a bridge or both. On xray at a friendly vets practice, where no charges are made for treating wildlife, it transpired that this bird had been shot at some point. There were two lead pellets, a superficial one in the skin but another deeper one in the bird's flight muscle.
Sadly the bird died subsequently at the vet's.
Lead shot is poisonous but the extent to which the shot in the bird's body played a major role in its ultimate death is unknown.
Suffice to say, the bird had been illegally shot - presumably somewhere near Belper causing considerable outrage...and rightly so.
See this piece written shortly before the bird died (and this piece after).

On Sunday (8th), bird watchers with cameras at the mill spotted and photographed a new male which has already taken over. This bird bears an orange ring on its left leg with the number 035 on it.
Checking our records, it was reared (and ringed) at Derby Cathedral in it is still less than two years old.
035 photographed at Belper by Graham Bacon (c)

In that year, three chicks fledged at Derby: a definite male (weighing 545 grams at ringing) which died of canker within a few weeks and a definite female which weighed a much heavier 815 grams.
The third bird (035) weighed in at 665 grams and was considered likely to be a female....wrongly as it now turns out. Sexing young peregrines at that early stage is not an exact science; heavy males can weigh more than light females...…

035 has now been seen mating with the resident female at Belper so hopes of getting eggs are high.

With thanks to Ian Bradley for the latest news and for getting permission to use Graham's fine photo.

Nick B
The Project Team


Wendy Bartter said...

Great news, many thanks for posting this info, will be watching for news of eggs!

Heather said...

Fantastic shot by Graham Bacon of 035. Who would have thought that the little male would turn into such a magnificent bird and play such a vital role in hopefully preserving the future of Belper's peregrines.

jaffa said...

will the cameras be on this year and will there be watch points

Nick Brown said...

Jaffa hi: we hope the cams will be back on very soon....just a few final hitches to getting them up and running we gather....hopefully before end of the month if not sooner.
And yes, there will be watch Point events as usual....all being planned right now and volunteers signing up for each event.
Nick B

Kate said...

Thanks Nick B and Nick M cant wait for the cams to go live.

Bath just laid EGG
Wendy Bartter, captured video

Wendy Bartter said...

Thanks Kate, so excited that I haven't covered all bases!
Great news Nick that cams are coming back soon, have been sorely missed!

Anne said...

Sad news concerning the murdered Belper male, but marvellous news that one of Derby's former male birds will hopefully enable Belper to have peregrines.

Anonymous said...

That's good news for the Belper Mill peregrines. Hope they will be successful but very worrying regarding the male who was shot and a previous one a couple of years ago. Hope all will go well for them this season

Anonymous said...

Sorry did not add my name to my previous comment. It is Mary T who used to live in Belper but now moved away from the area. Hope all goes well for the Derby Peregrines this year. Miss coming down to see them
Best wishes
Mary Tong

Nick B said...

First egg of the year at Bath yesterday (14th):

No egg yet at Nottingham:

Derby usually 2-3 weeks later than Notts....

Nick B

Phoebe said...

Great news for Belper :) and a Derby bird too :)

Wendy Bartter said...

Second egg for Bath @ 21.51 tonight (56 hrs after first one)

Burtonwurli said...

First egg in Woking

Anonymous said...

First egg at Nottingham sitting there this morning

Wendy Bartter said...

Second egg for Woking & Merton plus first one at Winchester!

Anonymous said...

Test post from Nick M. It will be deleted shortly.