Monday, 11 February 2008

Exciting News

The BBC and Delta Echo Media both film our peregrines on Monday morning with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Nick Brown.As we begin to approach the 2008 breeding season, we have some great news items to announce.

Firstly, work started today on the filming of a DVD on "The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral". We were approached by a commercial company, Delta Echo Media, to help them produce a documentary on Derby Cathedral's peregrine falcons. This fitted in perfectly with our aim to promote awareness of these incredible urban predators, as well as raising funds for the partners to put towards our conservation efforts. The DVD should be available for purchase by April and, for the moment, forgive us if we hold back on the news of the major BBC TV presenter we hope is agreeable to contributing to our film.

Also today we had BBC TV's East Midlands Today coming to Derby to film. (So we ended up filming the filmers!) BBC TV had picked up on the national news story that peregrine falcons around the world are now beginning to use the lights of our big cities to help them see their prey when they hunt at night. Follow this link to read more on this story. Here's a clip we captured in summer 2007 of what we thought at the time was a Snipe, but opinion is now mixed, and it could conceivably be a Green Sandpiper. Notice the light underbelly in the infra-red illumination, which would make it stand out at night against a dark sky, making it easy prey for a fast-flying falcon. It was brought to the platform at 1am, but of course it could have been brought from a cache elsewhere on the tower. What we really need is a thermal-imaging camera!

Ed Drewitt from Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is one of the pair who published the article on peregrines hunting at night in "British Birds". We're looking forward to welcoming Ed to Derby later in the week when he comes to have a closer look at our webcam set-up.

"Pudding-cam" has now been ordered for the top of the tower from Acam Technology, and we hope to be able to quickly run a cable up the 400 year-old spiral stone staircase to do a short test before making a proper install in the next month or so. We're all looking forward to seeing how well we can view the peregrines on top of the Cathedral's gargoyles, and perhaps capture more intimate footage from a really close vantage point.

And finally, the weather stayed fine to allow us to abseil down the side of the Cathedral today to re-adjust our cameras and check and clean the platform. We forgot to take the camera feed offline whilst we did this, so our apologies for any weird pictures or close-ups of dangling legs you may have seen around noon (GMT). We were pleased to have had Nick Evans helping us again, as he's the man who built the peregrine ledge for us, and he report that it's still in perfect condition. (Our thanks to Mary, a Museum volunteer, who also helped us out on the day)

Tony, Nick & Nick
Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project


Karen Anne said...

Hope you will post the dvd purchase info here. Are UK and US formats compatible?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Don't worry, Karen, we will certainly keep you informed. But you raise a good point about formats - I honestly don't know, so we'll find out for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the news re the DVD, I shall look forward to it. This site is rather addictive, many thanks to all concerned. Looking forward to the 'action' beginning in earnest.

Anonymous said...

Wow! that certainly is exciting news - or should that be egg-sighting? I'll be in the DVD queue too please and would appreciate details when available.
Sue H, Wendover Bucks
(PS our Aylesbury project MIGHT finally get the tray in place this Thursday, 14th Feb - an auspicious date I hope for peregrine romance)

Anonymous said...

Where are the Peregrines ??? Have they showen up yet ???-13-2-2008.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they were both present yesterday when Ed Drewitt was in town. Actually, when he looked out of a window half way up the tower, the female flew almost directly at him before swooping up to join the male who was already on the platform.
So, with their nest cleaned and ready, we can hope for another successful breeding season ahead.
Nick B

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Karen Anne asked about DVD formats, and whether or not "The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral" will be compatible with non-UK formats. I've been reliable informed by the guys at Delta Echo Media that the DVD will most definitely be produced in all the formats necesary for world-wide viewing.
Nick M.

Anonymous said...

Pax 11.55pm
falcon on left side of the nest, so nice to see :)