Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Record Breakers

Young peregrine
This picture of one of our juvenile peregrines is the 1000th picture uploaded to our Flickr Group since we launched it a couple of months ago. Thanks to Andy Byron for supplying this fine shot and the other two below of the falcon, all taken last Sunday.

Thanks indeed to everyone who has contributed screenshots, compilations and photos of the fastest creature on the planet!

It might be timely to consider a number of the Team's achievements and offer a few words of thanks - and it really has been teamwork as always.

Thanks to Nick B. from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and his team of brilliant volunteers, all of whom have made such a difference on Cathedral Green and who have introduced so many people every year to the delights of Derby's now famous birds. It was Nick who got the ball rolling with this project, who continues to maintain contact with experts in feather identification (Ed D) and urban peregrines (Nick D) and who brings many years of expertise in communication, education and ornithology to the project.

To Tony G. and his team of vergers who give us access to the Cathedral at all hours, who was on hand whenever a rescue seemed imminent and who climbed the tower stairs at all hours to reboot our server.

To Nick E. for abseiling down to help maintain the nest platform that he built for us - the latest modifications really seem to have paid off.

To Martin R. and Ant M. who ringed (banded) our chicks for the fourth year in succession.

Landing gear down

To everyone - well, almost everyone - who left comments on the blog, or phoned and emailed in Watchpoint reports, made suggestions, gave donations, suggested improvements, asked questions, drew pictures, brought school children, bought the DVD, or made that all-important visit to the City of Derby to see the peregrines for themselves and to spread the word that our city really does have something very special going for it.

To the staff and management at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the Cathedral and the Museums Service, thanks for supporting the project in a whole host of ways. And to the band of extraordinary enthusiasts out there on Derby's Cathedral Green, of whom perhaps Colin Pass deserves special thanks for his support and falconry expertise. Colin, like Wayne R, was happy to answer many people's comments - as, of course were others, so reducing the need for the Project Team to try to answer all the many questions you've asked.
To Capita and now Serco for their past and future support in maintaining the City Council's IT links that keep the project going.
To the late Froona Veldhuis for her interest in and support of Derby peregrines. To Ashley Sims for letting us have the rights to (and hence the profits from) the DVD he so competently produced last year. And a big "thank you" to every single webcam viewer or blog reader who have made this Project so rewarding for us all.

The biggest thanks must surely go to our pair of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus). We never felt we should name them - these are wild birds, free to come and go, but they've entered many people's lives and shown us many intimate moments and the wonder and rawness of the natural world on all our PCs.

Air brakes on

Their four chicks hatched and made their maiden flights in such a short time. For many more weeks they will be seen on our webcams and in the skies around Derby before moving away towards the autumn. Our webcameras and blog will stay open and active throughout the autumn and winter of course, bringing you images of the parent birds that will remain around the tower throughout......and other peregrine news all year round.

So what else have we achieved so far this year? How about:
  • 420,000 visits to our webcam and blog

  • 10,800 readers to our blog last week alone (peak figure)

  • 61 blog updates by the Project Team

  • 3,270 feedback comments left

  • 1,000 screen shots and photos posted to Flickr since May.

  • 20 Official Watchpoints

  • Too many visitors to count (many coming to Derby specifically to watch peregrines)

  • £2,000 raised through donations and sales.

  • 1.17 million webhits since first going online in 2007

  • Three exhausted Team Members!

    Finally, what can you webcam watchers do now that the (online) season is drawing to a close? Plenty actually.......as the next posting to the blog will attempt to explain in a couple of days time! We certainly don't mean this to sound like "goodbye", but we recognise that visitor numbers are starting to fall sharply and we wanted to get our thanks in quick.
    Rest assured that we'll still be here right through the season, with news of our peregrines and other topical conservation events and ideas.

    Nick M (Derby Museum)

    Ps Nick B has added: the next post will also include a huge thanks to Nick M who wrote the above summary.......but left himself out of the accolades!


Anonymous said...

I would like to extend my thanks to all the team for the fantastic work they do on behalf of our Derby Peregrines. You are quite remarkable in your devotion to the project and I do hope that you can look upon this year as a job more than well done and be very proud. What a remarkable opportunity you have given all of us to witness first hand the wonder of mother nature from the first egg being laid on 23rd March to the beautiful bird in Andy's photo. Thank you, one and all. Jane (Belper)

Julie said...

That is all somewhat impressive to put it mildly!! I would just like to add my thanks and appreciation to all the others received. This is the first year I have watched a new generation of peregrines from conception (almost) to the inaugural flight and beyond. I was going to say that many hours have been wasted - but it could never be classed as wasted time as so many lessons can be learned about our roles and time on this planet. I am not sure I am making much sense here but suffice to say it has been awe inspiring and a privilege to be part of this extended family, I will keep watch over the coming months and look forward to seeing it all again in 2010! Many many thanks to all involved and fellow bloggers...

Ann ( Canada ) said...

It has been indeed a truly inspirational season. A great big thank you to everyone concerned. I know it takes up a lot of you personal time as well. You all seem to go aabove and beyond the call of duty. I do believe nature inspires that in those who are willing to be a part of its glories. I am feeling a little weepy right now. We have all been like a little family and I hope we can keep in touch. Looking forward to my trip to Derby in September and hope I will be able to catch a good look at the birds before they are gone. This experience has been well worth the time put into it by everyone. Much better than being glued to the square box watching re runs after re runs. Fantastic job team and let us hope for a great season next year. We are all blessed I am sure for this time together and to know something has been achieved to protect this beautiful, graceful and magnificent species.

Anonymous said...

Big thanks to you too Nick M!!!! I realise that modesty forbids you from thanking yourself - but we all want to include you in the Roll of Honour too. I think Derby should give you a whopping great pay rise and the Freedom of the City. One of these days I may even manage to meet you on one of my "State Visits" (I hope so!)
Speaking of which .... is it just my imagination, or is there a possibility of a Watchpoint this coming Friday?

Terry, Herts UK said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said?

This is my 3rd year watching the Derby Peregrines. It's been a huge privilege and opened my eyes in so many ways.

Huge thanks to the team. Also to my fellow bloggers and those who moderate us !

I'm a little jealous of those who have managed to get to Derby & see these magnificent creatures at first hand but also hugely grateful for their many detailed reports.

Best wishes to all - I hope to make the journey up to Derby in the near future.


Jackie said...

There is really nothing I can add to the above comments except to say that I have so enjoyed visiting the site every morning, evening, and lots of times in between. It is my third year watching too but I came into Derby last Tuesday for the first time to see if I could see anything. The chicks had all gone to sleep grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :o) When I got home there they were flapping their wings and teetering on the edge of the platform!
Thank you so much to all of you for bringing us so much enjoyment and education :o)

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all from me too! But what is that Peregrine eating? Looks massive!

Julie said...

Looks like a chicken to me :-)

Jayne said...

Thank you all for giving us the privilege of following these magnificent birds from Egg to Majestic Bird in Flight, this web cam beats TV any day (with the exception of Springwatch which we recorded and watched whilst the computer was still running - LOL
You all deserve a huge pat on the back and must be overjoyed at the outcome.
Again my very sincere thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just been looking on the BBC Derby news and it says that Bath Street Mill is damaged by fire. I believe it is part of the Derbyshire World Heritage site which is not good news.
On a happier note, just wanted to say thanks to all the team for the hard work put in on this project. Looking forward to moving back to Derby soon and being able to pop down and give a hand if possible?

Mary T, Caerphilly, S Wales

Anonymous said...

Three cheers to everyone on the team, what a roller coaster ride it has been and here's to 2010! Lets hope that Mr & Mrs P perform again for us next year. I can't believe that those four little fluffy things are up there showing off already. Christine.

Anonymous said...

OMG dead peregrine, what a shame. Do we know whether it is one of ours or whether it is adult of child?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi anonymous: guess the news is on 'thisisderbyshire' website of the local paper and that's how you have got hold of this story already .....but full news from us will be put on the blog asap - please be patient for this sad story to come out in full.....
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nick – and the team. You can be sure that many many people appreciate what must be the huge time and effort put into the project to bring it to us.

Karen Anne said...

Thank you, thank you to everyone involved in this project

Anonymous said...

I would like to give my thanks to all the team for bringing this wonderful experience to my eyes. I had never seen a peregrine for real before and I knew nothing about them. Thanks to all the new friends I have made through this. I have learned so much about these magnificent birds.

I read the anon post about a dead peregrine but didn't know if it was for real. I now realise that it is! I feel very sad... and will wait to read the post on here before looking at the newspaper report. Now I hope it isn't going to be 008 tiddler who was very sleepy...

There has been lots of activity on the pudding cam this afternoon with a good feed of what looked like a gull!

Ruth Z said...

Yes, huge thanks to all of you involved in this project. You've really achieved fantastic results, not only for the Peregrine family but also for all the people you've touched - the schoolchildren, watchpoint observers, volunteers and webcam watchers like me.

Kishore said...

A huge thank you to all the members for bringing these fantastic birds into our lives/homes. This has been my first year and it won't be the last. At times I've put watching the birds before important tasks around the house - thats how much I've enjoyed watching these birds. Long may the project continue and bring more hours of enjoyment in the future.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Thanks for three years of compelling and educational web viewing. May there be many more to come.

And one day I will turn-up to a watchpoint (promise)......

mick b said...

if your going to delete my posts on the other blog, delete them all please as requested.

project team said...

your comments Mick B (as well as many from others) have now been deleted from the following blog entry, as you requested. You can of course delete them yourself, as you probably know.

Project team

Anonymous said...

If the team can look at the tape around 0622 hrs Thursday June 17, there are 2 falcons on the ledge - one of which comes right up & looks in the camera!

Anonymous said...

sorry - 0622 hrs June 18! Forgot it is already the 18th in the UK (still only the 17th on this side of the world).

Tom Stephenson said...

Nice to see the 3 survivors sitting about within camera range this morning. I'll keep an eye out throughout the rest of the year if the cameras are to be left running, but - along with everyone else - thanks for the highly absorbing and informative entertainment over the last 3 weeks. Maybe I can get some work done now!