Sunday, 28 May 2023

Fast and furious growth!

The chick is growing very fast on its 'Atkin's diet' of meat, meat and more meat!
Dave Farmer ( took this photo of it yesterday (27th May):

Chick with parent at 27 May. Photo Dave Farmer ( )

And this one of the formidable female flying towards him as she leaves the tower:

Female leaving the tower. Note her huge feet! Dave Farmer (

To read about the first Watch Point and see Wendy Bartter's recent videos (check out the comments for many more) scroll down to the previous post.

The next Watch Point is on 10th June. How big will the chick be by then?
It will have little or now white down feathers left for sure and could be on the point of fledging.......

The Project Team

Monday, 22 May 2023

Watch Point Saturday (27th May) and an update

Update: the first Watch Point took place today in brilliant sunshine and was very successful, with plenty of interest from web cam watching folk who had come specially and from casual passersby plus a visit from the Dean from the Cathedral.
There was plenty of action too with a feed taking place, buzzards, kites, a sparrowhawk and swifts flying over the tower and an unidentified egret passing nearby, all adding spice to the occasion.
Thanks to our brilliant volunteers and to Emma from DWT who did all the organising and brought all the gear (telescopes, leaflets, etc). Here are some photos taken during the watch point by Mike Goold, one of our volunteers:

View of nest platform with chick and adult by Mike Goold

Female flying over by Mike Goold 27th May

Male above the nest keeps guard Mike Goold

There's a second Watch Point event on Saturday 10th June (10am to 2pm)  so if you missed this one, do come along if you can. The chick will be well feathered by then and not far off fledging!

Our single chick is growing well as you can see in this video clip captured by Wendy Bartter on 22nd May:

And here's a clip from yesterday (26th) showing the feathers coming through even more!

And this Saturday (27th May 2023) you can come to Cathedral Green behind the Cathedral between 10am and 2pm and see the birds 'for real' through the Project's telescopes.
Bring your children or grandchildren (if you have any!) because there will be activities for all the family: mask making, a wildflower activity and more!

Parking is available in nearby multi-storey car parks and nearby on-street parking.
A second Watch Point will be held on June 10th.

The Project Team

The project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Friday, 12 May 2023

Our single chick is growing well and Updates

Update 18th May:
For various reasons a decision has been made not to try to ring the single chick this year. Our abseiler is not available at the appropriate time and given the complications of finding  a new peregrine-friendly abseiler and showing them the ropes (pun intended) just to ring a single chick, we won't be ringing it this year.
Regarding Watch Points, there will be two bigger ones this year on Saturday 27th May and on Saturday June 10th. More details will follow.
Again, various things have caused us to run fewer this year: the council is charging for the use of the Green, we don't have enough volunteers, a new rule insists that we have a first-aid trained member of DWT staff on hand at all times and we don't have a peregrine trainee as we did last year.
Obviously anyone is able to visit the cathedral with binoculars or telescope at any time and view the birds from The Green on Full Street.

Update 17th May: the chick briefly returned to view this morning and Wendy captured this video clip of it looking great!
As the nest gets hotter and brighter it is likely the chick will seek shade in the near corner.....

Update 16th May:
Wendy's video clip from this morning shows the chick looking bigger and lively!

Update 15 May:
Dave Farmer took this super photo from the back of the cathedral today.
The chick looks fine and is getting its first views of Derby, watched over by the female!

                         Peeping over the edge! Photo: Dave Farmer ( 

Update 15th May: as you may have gathered from some of the comments, our single chick has decided to hop across to the far side of the platform/scrape where we do not have a camera this year due to a variety of circumstances. The only way to rejig the camera would be to abseil down and that's not allowed by law at this stage of the breeding cycle.
Apologies for the lack of viewing. Hopefully he/she will return soon.
And just to add that the prey corpse (that of a lapwing) lying on the gravel is just that and not a dead peregrine....phew!
> > > > > 

As you might expect with only one chick this year, it is getting all the attention and food it needs and is growing well.
This video of a long feeding session was made by Wendy Bartter yesterday (11th):

The infertile eggs are getting pushed about and may break or just sit in the corners.
The front of the nest platform is tall enough for there to be no concerns about the chick falling out. This has never happened at these early stages. Only when the chicks are fully feathered and flapping their wings prior to fledging is it possible for one to be accidentally pushed off the platform.
To see many previous video clips made by Wendy, please scroll back to the comments to the previous post. You'll also find our discussion about why we think the eggs failed this year.
Scroll down the blog and you'll find that we have had almost 130,000 visits to the web cams. You'll also see a world map showing where folk are watching from. Double click it and it enlarges.....

The Project Team

Friday, 5 May 2023

Just the one chick

 It is now over a week since our first chick hatched so it is likely that the other three eggs are infertile and won't hatch. Normally they all hatch within 2-3 days of each other.
We think that we have a new female and we know for sure we have a new male (last year's had a leg ring but this year's doesn't).
The very inept way the parent birds treated the chick in its first few days adds further to our suspicion that these are first time breeders.
The female is thought to be in her third calendar year since she has quite a bit of brown feathering on her wings in particular. That means she was hatched in 2021. That's quite young for a female to breed.....

Anyway, it does seem now that the chick is getting good feeds and should survive....and one is better than none of course!
Thanks to everyone who has posted comments about what they have seen on the web cams. Wendy Bartter in particular deserves special mention for her many video clips, links to which are included in her comments to the last blog post and to this one too.

This clip by Wendy Bartter was made this afternoon (5th May). The chick is certainly growing well now!

 The Project Team

Thursday, 27 April 2023

We have a chipping egg today and now a first chick!

Update late afternoon 27th: Wendy has captured this video of the first chick!

And here's a screengrab of the chick being fed captured by Jean White:                                                                                           

Avid web cam watcher Wendy Bartter captured this super video clip yesterday morning (Thursday 27th April) which shows one of the four eggs with a hole in it and two very excited parents!

That egg hatched during the day and the others with luck, within the next 2-3 days!

And see this close up of the eggs, a screenshot taken by Laura Tooth:

The central red egg has a hole in it,,,,early 27th April

The project team

The project is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with Derby Cathedral, Derby City Council and Cathedral Quarter

Thursday, 13 April 2023

Soon it will be time for hatching!

It is now more than three weeks since the female settled down to the long month of incubation of her four we can expect hatching soon!
Today Wendy Bartter, who keeps a close eye on the wbe cams said in a comment;
The female is quite restless, keeps picking at bits of old feathers and gravel, turning & shuffling the eggs often ... all good signs that hatching could be imminent plus not wanting to let the male take over! 

So, when will they hatch?
The last (fourth) egg was spotted on 26th March so, as Wendy Bartter has pointed out in her recent comment, hatching should begin about 27th of April or thereabouts.
The female will become fidgety, repeatedly getting up off the eggs and then settling down on them again. She can hear the chicks inside cheeping....
Then a small hole or crack will appear in the first egg that will hatch and this can be spotted when the eggs are uncovered.

Once hatched, the chicks grow very quickly and within five or six weeks are the size of their parents!
This painting by crowartist ( shows what the chicks look like as they lose their white fluff and develop their feathers.
We will hope to ring them at about the twenty day stage, ie when big enough for the rings not to fall off their legs but young enough that they don't try to make a run for it when the abseiler appears at the nest but simply cower in the corner of the platform!

The Project Team

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

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.