Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Donations and a DVD (updated with Video)

Update Again - Pipped egg and Video added (see end)

Hatching Day is fast approaching! So it seems timely to ask for donations to help to underpin this project. In past years, blog readers and webcam watchers have been generous in their support and we hope that your resources are not exhausted because the project does need continual funding each year. To find out how to make a donation see financial support .
Newcomers to the Derby Cathedral Project peregrine site this season may also be interested to learn that a 35 minute DVD, The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral, which tells the story of these birds was made in 2008. It has numerous video clips of the whole breeding season and features not only the project team but also Chris Packham, the well known BBC Springwatch TV presenter.

To buy a copy, either call at Derby Museum shop on The Strand in Derby, or The Silk Mill Museum on Cathedral Green, or get one from The Cathedral Centre opposite the Cathedral on Irongate.

By post you can get one from The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust by phoning 01773 881188 in office hours and using your credit/debit card. This method has been used successfully by many people perfectly safely, eg for making donations and for paying their subscriptions to the Trust (we have 12,000 members). The DWT office is open in office hours, Monday to Friday.

The price is just £6 (exclusive of P&P in the UK, extra for sending abroad - please ask). Now, thanks to the generosity of the producer, once the costs of copying the DVD have been covered, the project gets the whole of the money left as a donation. So you get an excellent DVD and make a small donation to the project at the same time...a win/win situation!

Nick B (DWT)

Update: At least one egg is now "pipped" with a small hole made by the chick from within the egg. The first photo wa captured at 11:30am on 28th April. (see also video clip at end of this post) The second on 29th April at 07:19am

Pipped egg

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Eggs-changing comments (Video)

Because so many of you watch our webcams from all over the world, it's rare we miss knowing about interesting moments up our peregrines' nest platform. It's the comments you leave that tell us and others just what's going on hour by hour. If you don't already do so, it well worth checking out the comments that others leave. They add so much more topicality to each post.

For example, on Thursday AnnieF. left this observation:

Well I've just spent at least 8 minutes watching the falcon doing her utmost to persuade the tiercel to give her the eggs. He was crouched over them, his head to one side and so low it was almost touching the gravel, and she at one point bent down too, so they were almost beak to beak! He was extremely stubborn, but eventually, at about 13.24hrs., he gave in. He didn't seem very happy, but she wasn't going to take no for an answer this time.

Egged on by a follow-up comment from KarenAnne in USA, I dutifully nipped out on Friday lunchtime and climbed Derby Cathedral's 82 steps to the half-way point where the bells are rung. This "Ringing Chamber" is where our equipment and video recorders are located. Reviewing what AnnieF had seen, it was clear that our  female falcon had actually spent a total of 14 minutes trying to chivvy the tiercel off the eggs! You'd have been bored by the whole sequence, as there was a lot of standing around with our female chirruping gently at him from time to time. But this is how it all ended.. . .

And we'd have missed stuff like this had you not told us.

Leaving Comments
To view comments scroll to the bottom of each post. The number of comments left already is shown in red. Click this to open a Comments Window. You can add a comment of your own in the box at the top right, or simply scroll down to read others' comments. Recent ones are at the end.

If you decide to write your post, remember that we discourage off-topic remarks and inappropriate language (lots of schools read this blog, you see).
Then, you'll be asked to re-type some letters to prove you aren't a piece of spamming software, and invited to select an identity for your post. Whilst we currently allow Anonymous comments, but this may well change. So do consider signing up to get an ID that Google's Blogger system  recognises.  There is normally a delay whilst comments await moderation. This task is shared between Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Derby Museum staff (both in work and at home). So between us we try and keep any delay to an absolute minimum.

To report events that you think others would love to know about, do please leave a date and time. We have about 4 days before our recordings get over-written by new footage. (Local time is shown at the top of each webcam picture)

We may keep your comments as evidence of the project's success and economic impact. Many of you have left some great comments already. So, if you've made a special trip to Derby, shopped or stayed in one of our nearby Hotels, or simply changed your attitude towards wildlife and become a convert to the cause of conservation, do feel free to tell us. Although our blog stats show us that by far the majority of blog readers are in Derby or the London area, it's great to know where individuals live if they're leaving us these kinds of comments. It's up to you, of course, but never give too much away on a public site, like an address or make comments that an employer or indeed other person might take exception to

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Easter Eggcitement

Four eggs and the falcon
Updated (Correct date for Wild Weave on Cathedral Green is Friday 16th April, not 16th May as originally stated. See end.)

The kids are off from school this week, and many parents' thoughts turn to how to keep the young ones occupied.
Well, Derbys Museums are offering two free family activities tomorrow and Saturday with a Peregrine theme which might well fit the bill!

Friday 9th April 2010, 10am to 4pm.
Saturday 10th April 2010, 10am to 4pm.

Venue: The Silk Mill.- Derby's Museum of Industry and History

Suitable for all the family, "Peregrine Watch" is free of charge, and there's no need to book. Just drop in. Kids can make their own winged warrior mask to take home. There's a "Peregrine Trail" around the varied items on display in The Silk Mill, plus a chance to meet one of Derby Museums' very old mounted specimens from early last century. We've always shied away from naming our wild birds, but just for a bit of fun with the children, we're running a little competition for the day to name our female specimen. We know very little about how she got into our museums' collections, but she must be well over 70 years old by now, despite looking a youngster. She's the second photo down in this information page.

Peregrine Falcon

I'm not sure what else my colleagues in Education and Outreach are planning, but The Silk Mill is a great place to visit on any day, so this'll undoubtedly add to the fun. There will be telescopes out on the Green for a chance to see Derby's peregrines around their nest site, providing the rain holds off.

The Silk Mill is right next to Cathedral Green and the River Derwent, as well as being close to the city's shopping centre.

If you don't fancy this activity, there are plenty of other Museum Events during the year, and a wide range of changing Temporary Exhibitions, too. My current favourite is "Into The Weave" and even if you miss it there'll be a chance to see the creator of this room-sized woven willow installation at work again in a big public event called Wild Weave by The Silk Mill on Cathedral Green on Friday April 16th from 11am to 3pm. It's free and everyone who wants to can help create a huge woven artwork out of ribbons which should be taking on a magical "web-like" form.

Thanks Marski2009 and Clare for their Flickr images used here.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Royal Visit to Derby

Watch Point 2010
Updated (Watchpoint Report now added)

There were smiles all round when the Queen came to present Maundy money inside Derby Cathedral earlier today. The Royal Standard fluttered in the chill morning air as crowds gathered to watch her arrival.

Outside, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ran a special Peregrine Watchpoint, which was still going on at the time of posting this! So a full account of today's events will be provided later.

Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral
Above: The Yeomen of the Guard. Below: The Royal Standard.

Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral

It's unlikely we'll be offered jobs as Royal Photographers as the picture below was the best we could manage of Her Royal Highness and Prince Philip arriving! Nice hat, though.

Royal Visit to Derby Cathedral

Andy and Chris, who helped at the Watch Point this morning have sent in this report:
"We had a bright, sunny day in Derby but with a bitingly cold wind.
As we had expected, with the Peregrines now incubating their eggs in
earnest, there wasn’t a lot to see but on our arrival on Cathedral Green
at about 9.45, Nick B. had already spotted one of the adults perched on
Jury’s Inn.
This bird disappeared later in the session to be seen flying low over
the Assembly Rooms before disappearing from view only to return around
the North side of the cathedral carrying a prey item a couple of minutes
later. We were then treated to this bird flying in a complete circle
around us looking as though it would land on the cathedral but
eventually making its way back to Jury’s Inn where the food was cached
out of our view. He (we were pretty sure it was the tiercel) remained in
view there for the next half an hour, landing on the nest platform for a
short while before disappearing from view for the rest of the session.
Other birds noted were a Buzzard which flew low over the Green being
mobbed by a pair of crows and a Sparrowhawk which was glimpsed over
rooftops to the North.
Today’s was the first (and only) Watchpoint with the Royal Standard flying above us
on the Cathedral tower and with a contingent of the Yeomen of the Guard
in attendance across the road as the Queen presented Maundy Money in the
Cathedral. All-in-all an unusual and very colourful day in Derby!"