Saturday, 24 May 2008

Come and see the birds for real! (new video clip added)

Daily Watch Points, organised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, started in mid-May on a small part of Cathedral Green.
This photo shows happier times on the Green last year when we had lots of nice grass to spread ourselves on!
They will run everyday from between 11am and 1.30pm, weather permitting. Trust volunteers will have telescopes available for you to see the adult peregrines as they come in and out to feed the chicks. This is a free watch point, though donations towards this project will be gladly received!

By the afternoon viewing is not good since the nest is then in shadow and viewed against the sun.

You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the white heads of the four chicks sticking up of the platform from time to time, though from below you'd be lucky to see this sequence we captured last week. Talk about putting your foot in it.
Yes, that was a whole foot and claws being swallowed there.

An introductory leaflet is available both at the watch points (and in the cathedral at other times) for people unfamiliar with the Peregrine Project. We get many casual passers-by curious to know what is going on and then agog when they see the birds up close and personal through the telescopes!

Please be aware that the Green is under re-development (it should have been finished by March but is still far from complete) and that there are road barriers and fencing making crossing Full Street to get to the watch point an even more risky problem than usual. The Silk Mill Museum is still open and has a live video stream of the peregrines available at their front desk.

Please remember that you can buy the excellent new DVD about "The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral" from either of Derby Museums' shops or the Cathedral shop for £12.99. If you need one posting to you, then just ring the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188 in office hours.
If you haven't got one, you are missing out big time!
There is usually a live video stream available to watch and listen to just inside The Silk Mill museum, which is still open and accessible from the Green.

Note that the official watch point volunteers will have a signed identity card if you wish to see it.
If you have any comments about the watch points please send them to

Nick Brown (DWT)

Follow these links to read how to watch our new live a/v stream


Anonymous said...

Hello from Dayton -
I've been watching your cute chicks, the same rough age as ours - what a pleasure to see them all grow! Ours will be banded tomorrow morning so at that time we'll know if they are girls or boys and they'll be "named". We're a little overly sentimental with the naming, but it is a good way to get and keep young students interested in bird-watching and nature. My kids have enjoyed your lovely cathedral very much, too, not just your falcon family. :)
(Will you be banding your chicks soon?)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Good luck with the banding tomorrow, or "ringing" as we call it this side of the Atlantic. Yes, plans are currently being made to ring our chicks some time next week. More news on that to follow.

Penny said...

Just seen that 3 of the chicks have moved to the other half of the platform. However the one left behind doesn't seem to be moving. Can't access livestream, but shall be looking again - anxiously, in a few minutes. xxxx Penny 10.44am

Penny said...

Yey! It was just that little Tiddler having a snooze! I suppose he's just that bit further behind than his peregrine-ating siblings. Phew! This site never fails to have nailbiting storylines! xxx Penny

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

All four chicks are fine - I've just checked them.
Not sure about the live stream, though.
I think we have some new encoding software being used which unfortunately can't be downloaded and installed on my works PC because I'm not an administrator, and downloads aren't allowed. I'm only getting audio and no video. I do know that Capita are looking into ensuring reliability of the video stream, and am confident it will settle down.

Anonymous said...

The chicks are moving around all over the place now, very inquisitive!! Thank goodness the parents are keeping an eye on them.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I'm afraid there has been another server failure at our hosting company, Streamdays - related to the same fault that lost us our pictures last weekend.
I'm assured they're fully aware of this and are doing all they can to resolve it. To be honest - it's nice to know it's not something we've done. Thanks for your patience.

Karen Anne said...

I'm a little confused about what's going on with the chicks. Are there 2 on one side and 2 on the other? Or is it 3-1? Why isn't the chick or chicks on the other side moving...

Anonymous said...

i havnt seem mum or dad for a while. Anyone else noticed??

Anna, Ripley said...

The server seems to be having a nervous breakdown - one minute it is live, the next it reverts back to the frozen state yesterday. I was totally confused at first thinking Mum/Dad was playing games with the chicks - now you see me now you don't.

Still can't get live stream either.

Anna, Ripley

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for getting the webcam up and working again for the week-end.Lets all keep our fingers crossed that it stays with us!!!
Is it just me or is it whenever we start the watch points it starts to rain!!!This could be a money earner in times of drought!!!

Anonymous said...

hi i think the server has gone down again just been watching for 5 mins only to realise that its the frozen pic from yesterday jo

Froona said...

THANKS voor the zoom on the right nestbox!! Much better. They will keep on moving ;)).

How very beautiful they are, the feathers growing. Love to watch them growing into very healthy and strong juvi's.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

From today's Watchpoint

Very little early activity, with both adults perched on the South face of the tower up to about 10 o'clock, although at one point, the male disappeared for a few minutes before returning up Friar Gate with a portion of prey from a cache and feeding the chicks for a few minutes.

While the female was in and around the nest, one or two chicks peered over the edge from time to time but with no food around she went hunting shortly after 11 o'clock and the chicks weren't seen again before we left at 2 o'clock.

The female was seen hunting around the area to the east with at least 5 attempts, all but one in level flight - none succesful but one near miss saw her overtake a pigeon crossing Cathedral Green, catching it in front of the Silk Mill pub but losing it in the yard behind. Nice to see the chicks being fed when I got home (obviously packed up too early).

Come down and have a look - you can't see this excitement from the webcams!

Anonymous said...

i to am not getting live feed only audio

Penny said...

Will the ringers weigh the chicks? Does anyone know how big the chicks might be at this stage? What's the likely length at the moment? I know adult females are larger. At what stage does this start to become apparent? Thank you xxx Penny

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whats being fed???

Karen Anne said...

Penny, In the US bandings I've read about, they take the opportunity to measure/weigh the chicks and check their health.

One of the peregrine webcams, I think it was maybe Dayton, had a ruler attached to the nest box :-) so viewers could see the size. Another one had a "please donate and an address" sign in it.

Hint: this web stuff, etc. is expensive to provide, I am sure the guys will be happy to say how to help.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

About the ringing: we plan to carry this out next week but since the forecast is bad we can't be sure when we will do it. The chicks are just about the right age to ring them (20 days old is ideal). They will be weighed and measured and we will be able to tell their sexes as a result.
They will get a numbered metal ring on one leg and a numbered and coloured ring on the other. This latter will enable anyone seeing the bird close up in later years to tell exactly which bird it is. So if one of these youngsters starts to breed in say 2010 in another city, we will know exactly where it came from.
Incidentally, the guy who abseils down and puts the chicks in a bag to be lowered to the nave roof and the guy on the roof who will do the ringing are both very experienced at ringing all sorts of birds of prey and over many years, so rest assured that our chicks will be in good, safe hands.
We will report back after ringing and let you know which sexes the chicks are.
Incidentally, the females are bigger, heavier and have thicker and bigger legs and feet than the males.....
Nick B (DWT)

Nick Brown(DWT) said...

Just to add that when the ringing is carried out, the prey remains obstructing the camera view will be removed.
Regarding prey, it is usually very hard to be sure what species the prey is and often it has been plucked before it is brought to the nest. The on-going study of feathers, legs and heads has enabled us to build up a good idea of the species that are being taken and at which time of year. We hope to gather prey remains when the ringing takes place both from the platform and the nave roof below since few remains drop to the ground while the young are there.
I did find a swift feather the other day and of course the jay and little owl stories have recently featured on the blog.
Nick Brown (DWT)

Jan, Scotland said...

I think I am seeing things, I have just gone back to view the right hand side after reading the blog, only to discover the hanging prey has disappeared. Did it just blow off in the wind after all this time. It certainly gives a better picture of the chicks though, for which I am truly grateful lol.

Jan, Scotland said...

I really am seeing things, the corpse is back (never been away?) Something happening? Or did the wind just blow it to one side.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jan
You are right the corpse appears to have stopped obstructing the view for a time. It is very windy this morning so you may not be seeing things!! it may be just out of view for a time. I think mum is sheltering the chicks from the breeze. We are on duty at the watch point this morning so I will check if it has been blown off or if it has just moved.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone.
Thanks for this facinating insight into the life of the Derby Peregrines.
I am unable to receive the live stream only the sound ! does anyone know how I may resolve this.

Thank you.

Ash said...

These web cam views are great but it is nothing like seeing the real thing!
I have just spent an hour or so at the watch point and watching the birds fly, bringing in lunch, preparing the prey for eating is a thrilling sight. Even when just sitting on the gargoyles watching their domain they look majestic.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why, for the last week and a half, I can not receive live video? I only receive sound. Is there still a problem with the stream? Thanks so much.
Massachusetts, USA

Anonymous said...

Hi Massachusetts, USA from Ontario, Canada....
I too am only receiving sound on the live video. It was fine at the beginning of the week but am now having to rely on the regular webcam and since the chicks moved to the other end of the nest the dangling piece of prey blocks the view!!!

Penny said...

After breakfast at 9.15 lot of stretching wings with clearly developing primary feathers. Strolling between both sides of platform. Will you be able to let us know the evening before about the ringers, as I would really love to rush over on the Red Arrow bus and come and witness this! xxx Penny PS Also visit Pickford House Museum!