Monday, 27 March 2023

A new male this year

Helen has noticed that recent screenshots of the male show he has no ring on his left leg whereas last year's male did have.
Here's is a photo of the male taken in early 2022 just after the first egg was laid:

And here is a screenshot of the male taken when this year's first egg was laid (notice also how cleanly white his breast feathers are):

The ring, made of a tough metal alloy, is almost certainly one of the rings the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) send out to bird ringers in the UK. They do not fall off!
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of photographers, we were unable to read the number which would have told us where the nest at which he was ringed was located.

Ed Drewitt, the national expert on urban peregrines tells us:

"There's lots of turnover with peregrines at the moment - I think there is lots of competition and fighting going on for the best sites!"

The Project Team
This project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust with support from The Cathedral, the City Council and Cathedral Quarter.

Sunday, 26 March 2023

Full Clutch on 26th March

Jean spotted a fourth egg early this morning (Sunday 26th) so we now have a full clutch and incubation will begin in earnest.
Here's Jean's screengrab from this morning:

And Wendy's YT video taken during the day also shows the eggs:

The story about the new male will be posted tomorrow.

The Project Team
The project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust with excellent help and support from The Cathedral staff, Derby City Council's IT team and Cathedral Quarter.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Egg number two arrives on Monday 20th March

Apologies: we have had technical problems affecting our webcams. We hope this is now resolved, but further interruption could still occur.

The second egg appeared during the day (20th), and a third egg was laid around 23rd - but our cameras were unable to record when this happened.  A fourth egg is highly likely.

The eggs featured on ITV Central News the same day as shown in this clip captured by the ever watchful Wendy:

This screengrab is by Helen Naylor:

Wendy Bartter also took this video which shows two eggs about a minute in: 

The interval between eggs is normally about 56 hours give or take so we can hope for the next one late on Wednesday and the final egg on Friday night/Saturday morning all being well.

The Project Team
The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust with support from its partners; Derby Cathedral, Derby City Council and Cathedral Quarter.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

A Saturday Egg!

 Justin Walker spotted our first egg at 7.30 am today, 18th March and took this screengrab:

7.30 am screengrab shows first egg. Justin Walker

And this screengrab was taken by Helen a few hours later:

The falcon will leave her egg on its own and that is quite normal.
Incubation will not start until the third or fourth egg is laid.

The Project Team 
The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust with support from its partners; Derby Cathedral, Derby City Council and Cathedral Quarter.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Things are hotting up......

Dave Farmer paid a visit to the Cathedral yesterday lunchtime and took these photos, the first time he has managed to capture this particular aspect of the breeding season!

He was very pleased with the resulting images as are we!
Just waiting now until that snow melts....

Yesterday she was seen on the platform kicking gravel (and snow) from the area where we hope eggs will be laid....look at the web cam and you can see gravel on top of the snow.

And before the 9 o'clock watershed too!
Photo: Dave Farmer (

Photo: Dave Farmer (

The Project Team

Friday, 10 March 2023

Snow patrol

Last year the falcon laid her first egg on 9th March.
This year the platform is covered in snow so if she's ready to lay she'll have to hold on!

Wendy Bartter captured this video clip this morning (Friday 10th):

The falcon walks over the area where eggs are usually laid but doesn't linger. Later in the clip she is seen from the other camera looking out at a sunny if still snowy Derby.

Some years ago, the Nottingham University pair already had eggs when it snowed very hard in March.
Despite the snow almost completely covering her, the falcon sat on her eggs throughout!
How remarkable is that?

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Summary of the 2022 season

The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project, managed by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, has now been running for 17 years! 

Here's a look back at last summer's events at the Cathedral, written by two members of the project team: Nick Moyes - who co-founded the project (with Nick Brown) back in 2006 and Alice Smith, a trainee with the Wildlife Trust, who  joined us just for the 2022 breeding season.

Nick M, who does all the IT /web cam and abseiling side of things, wrote: 

At the cathedral, the female laid early – with the first egg appearing on 9th March 2022.
A month later three of the four eggs hatched and the chicks were ringed on 6th May.

          The juveniles grow to full size in six weeks! Photo D Farmer (

By mid-May, the chicks were big enough to be seen from the ground and the Watch Point events on Derby's Cathedral Green, organised by Alice, could start.

For the whole of 2022 we had a count of 233,456 Unique Visits to the webcams. 
This comprises 170,924 'First Time' visits and 62,532 'Returning Visits'.

Alice now takes up the story. She wrote: 

The 2022 peregrine year has been one to remember! 
Ten watchpoints attracted over 200 people who came to watch our chicks grow and get into a bit of bother with two needing to be rescued. 

On  27th May, we got a call saying the chick had landed on the road.
Luckily we got him to safety and placed him back on top of the cathedral. 

                                  Alice with the fallen chick (ringed XJ). 

The next day, a worried member of the public came to tell us a peregrine had landed in the river! 

With quick thinking, Nick Moyes and his daughter Kathryn again rescued a second youngster and put him back on top of the tower. 
A few hours later, he jumped off the cathedral roof again, only to get tangled in a tree. 
He then made his way over to a nearby pub roof and, after being monitored there for some hours, was fine thereafter.

To get more people involved with our peregrines for the 2023 season, I have been giving talks across the county. I’ve engaged with over 900 people, including visiting Ukrainian summer camps and running assemblies at schools. In addition, Trust AGM attendees learnt about the Cathedral peregrines and saw the magnificent mural created on a wall nearby. 

Mural close to the Museum of Making on Cathedral Green. Photo by James Boon

It has been a pleasure for me to work with peregrines and to teach others about this exciting species! 

Looking back at the visitors to our webca
ms, Nick M. reports that the webcameras installed on the peregrine's nest platform were viewed 233,456 times during the season. Once the birds left the nest platform we see a sudden drop-off in visitors, though our blog and the cameras do remain active all year round.

On a personal note, we were deeply saddened by the sudden death in early 2022 of our stalwart ringer, Dave Budworth, but we welcome his mentee, Chloe Pritchard, who is now fully licenced and supportive of our project. Chloe ringed all three of this year's brood - two males and one female.

Here's looking forward to the 18th season!
The Project Team