Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Tower Cam

View of tower cam and the remains of a lapwingSome webcam viewers call it "Pudding Cam" on account of its resemblance to a christmas pudding when it was first installed as a black polystyrene mockup. But over the next week don't be surprised if around midday the Tower Camera camera image goes offline or contains views of my feet! I'll be trying to investigate the problem we've had recently  with our night-time views by masking off different parts of the infra-red illuminator. So these images may be changing too.

Before. Our nighttime camera gets its own infra red light flaring back badly -  rather like dricing in fog with headlights onUpdate: In fact our first attempt this lunchtime seems to have worked - I simply masked off some of the infra-red LEDs which might have been flaring back off the body of the camera mounting - just look at the improved picture. Why didn't we think to try this before, I ask myself?? This is a temporary fix, and we'll be doing more work over the next week of so, and maybe even see if we can get a new spherical camera to fit into the existing housing. Thanks to Steve from local firm, Acam Technology, who donated this especially small vari-focal lens camera to the project last year, and who made suggestions as to how we might resolve the problem. Any replacement camera would need a total height of less than 10cm in order to fit through the cathedral's ancient guttering - and is proving quite hard to find.
After. Two bits oif masking plastic tape make all the difference

Nick Moyes
Derby Museum and Art Gallery


Karen Anne said...

Peregrine on the nest box and one up close and personal and snoozing, it seems, at the pudding cam.

Screen capture at:

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 10.51am
Wow! the pudding cam is so clear,
like someone replaced the light bulb :-)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant !

Thanks for all your hard work.

Looking forward to this year's watching & another successful brood, I hope.

I've noticed the great increase in appearances by both birds on all the cams recently, so I assume the courtship has already begun, in some small ways.

Terry M, Herts, UK.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 3.01pm
falcon on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 8.50pm
both falcons on the pudding cam

Karen Anne said...

Wow! Thanks.

We've been wondering if the pudding cam generated any heat, hence the up close and personal behavior of the birds, but looking at its photo I am wondering if that area serves as a wind break?

Meanwhile, now there seems to be a cloud up in the pudding cam area, but not down by the nest box. A peregrine is by the pudding cam, unbothered and even preening from time to time. I took a couple of screen captures, by my ISP's upload feature seems to be down.

Anna Flintstone said...

What clear pictures from pud. cam. - I saw one of the falcons fly off yesterday it was such a thrill. Looking forward to this year's activities and wishing all goes well.

Anna Flintstone - a 3rd timer

bob said...

That's a great improvement! Using Google Earth, I've worked out which way your nest cams at facing, and where they are. But which face of the tower is the "pud" cam on? N, S, E or W? It's the first time I've seen that crane move!

Bob of Fife

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

All the camera equipment - as a well as the nest platform itself of course - are on the East face of the cathedral tower. This is the face which stands overlooking the nave roof and facing towards the River derwent and also towards Nottingham, which is 14 miles away eastwards.
The centre of Derby lies to the south and west of the tower and the university to the north west.
Hope that helps
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the info, Nick. ... I was brought up in Deby, went to Keggie Road and Ashgate schools. But Derby isn't as I knew it. There used to be a blacksmiths just below Derby Grammar School, and there were no spagetti junctions like you have now. Good to see the place from high up!
Cheers ..... Bob of Fife

Karen Anne said...

Here are the foggy photos from earlier today:

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Someone mention Google? What a great idea - thanks Bob. Now we've got a location map on the left side of the blog page. I've marked the tower face with the nest platform and pudding cam, the best place to stand if you're coming to Derby to see the peregrines, plus our three fantastic museums.
Sensible ideas for what other features you'd like to see highlight on the Derby map may also be considered. But you'd have to zoom out if you wanted to see them. And thanks to Nick B who quickly pointed out I'd left an "L" out of my reference to Cathedral Green being a new public open space. That could have got me sacked! . . . Cathedra Green - whatever next?

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 8.35pm
falcon on the pudding cam having a snack

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.25pm
falcon below the scrape one on scrape edge


It's just great to sit here year after year and watch these birds. As a raptor lover you don't get anything better.Richie