Monday, 7 November 2011

The Big Two Million

Derby's peregrine falcons now have a global reach.
But can we do more to reach new audiences closer to home?
This month saw the number of online visits or “hits” to the Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project’s webcameras top the 2 million mark. This is a real milestone for us, especially as it also marks the start of a new phase in our project.
Beginning next nesting season we want to bring live video streaming and sound to the public and to schools, and we want to increase the amount of outreach work we undertake, especially to minority audiences. We would also like to bring live 24 hour camera coverage to the cathedral itself in some way. To this end we are preparing a small grant application to the Heritage Lottery to get funds to take forward these and other plans.

We Seek Your Views
We would love to hear from you if you’ve enjoyed watching Derby City's peregrine falcons - and especially if you really get a lot out of them.

In previous years we received lots of lovely comments about the project. But now we seek answers to a few specific questions – and maybe your ideas for a title for our funding bid, too. (Your answers will help us formulate that bid.)

The sort of things we would like to know include:

1. Has watching our birds changed your life in any way?
2. Have you gone on to a greater involvement with wildlife as a result? (e.g. joined any organisations, gone to meetings, attended events you wouldn't have gone to otherwise?)
3. Have you taken any other actions for wildlife? (e.g. donated to projects, become a volunteer, or campaigned against something as a result of being involved with our peregrines, or reading the blog?
4. Have you got someone else as hooked as you are? e.g. at work? at home? or at school? If you have persuaded others to watch the peregrine webcams, what was their reaction?
5. If you suffer from an illness or disability, what difference has the project made to your life, health or happiness?
6. What improvements would you like to see, and what new audiences ought we to try to reach? Over 60s? Disabled? etc. and how can we achieve this?
7. Finally, because we’re keen to understand the economic benefits of Derby’s peregrines, do tell us if they’ve influenced you to make special trips to Derby, where you came from, and what else you visited whilst here.

We need responses fairly quickly - so do please email us your feedback at or simply give us any other thoughts on the value of the Peregrine Project, and any reasons why you think it should be enhanced with lottery money. It's possible your comments might be compiled into the evidence we submit to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Alternatively, sign in to post a comment here on this blog.

What's in a Name?
Our funding bid needs a title. Can you help us choose one from the shortlist below? It needs to sum up the mix of conservation, community engagement and the whole ethos of what we've achieved so far. We've selected six options. Email us your favourite to, or leave a comment on our blog.

A. Fantastic Falcons
B. Peregrines are Perfect
C. Peregrines for The People!
D. Peregrines in Partnership
E. Peregrines, People and Places
F. Wrapped up with Raptors

Many thanks (in advance)
Nick's M and B


Andy Savage said...

Well done, so glad that our famous local web stars are so popular. I really hope you get the grant for this. It will be great to see live streaming footage, ideally it should work on smartphones such as iphone.
As regards a name i like
E.  Peregrines, People and Places


Mo and Pete Cole said...

Fantastic.... we are on the case x

Ian said...

The Big Two Million

As an amateur photographer I have found the camaraderie down on cathedral green to be great.
Amateur photographers’ birders and general public of all ages have mixed together and exchanged E-mail addresses web sites and phone numbers and discussed other subjects.
Where and when in Derbyshire they have seen? Have been? Have done? .and now even better.
Want to see! Want to go! And want to do!
I personally have met scores of people some I will see again on my journey through life some other visitors from far and away I will never see again ,
Ex pats returning home for a visit, Americans tracing their heritage, visitors to the cathedral, Holliday makers.
And the many who visit Derby from near and far because they want to see the Peregrines they have seen on the Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project web site cameras.
They all have the same interest at heart The Resident Derby Cathedral Peregrine’s.

I personally wish to thank all the project members and helpers of the project for their dedicated work on the project.

And to extend those thank to you all on the behalf of the anonymous who we may never meet.
Well done all and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.

Respect Ian "superbrad"

as regards a name
there's nowt wrong with
Derby Cathedral Perigrine Project

But if you must change as Andy above
option E.Peregrines, People and Places

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Thank you Andy and Ian - and to Jan who emailed us directly this morning. Keep 'em coming please - up-to-date evidence like this is really, really valuable for us to have.

One clarification: we aren't suggesting changing the name of the blog or the project at this time.
But the HLF funding bid needs a title of its own - and this is what we are asking you to vote on.

Craig said...

Congrates on the 2mill mark.

I agree with Andy - E

Craig said...

My response is below - sorry Nick.

In response to your questions:

1. Yes, it's made me watch the birds for hours on end. Hours of my life I shall never get back - it's been fun though :)

2. Attended Watchpoint.

3. Donated to the Peregrine Project only.

4. Tried, but my friends aren't that interested.

5. I find watching the bird, esp. the chicks, has brought a little happiness.

6. Improvements, the usual - sound on webcams, or more in the way of video footage (Sorry Nick, I know what that means). Your best audiance is probably schools, watching and learning not only about birds but also to appreciate nature, it's ups and downs..

7. I only live in Nottingham, not far to travel. I have been in to Derby twice to see the birds during my time watching the cameras. Whilst there I visited the museum and Silk Mill (which I understand is now closed - a huge loss not only to Derby but for history).

What's in a name - E. Peregrines, People and Places - it's the only one which makes sence - it says exactly the right things it's about Peregrines, you're promoting places and you're for the people.

(a - Fantastic Falcons - Falcons can relate to several birds of pray)
(b - Peregrines are Perfect - yes they are, but not in this title)
(c - Peregrines for the People! - I would remind you that there is no human interference with these animals)
(d - Peregrines in Partnership - my second choice in name)
(f - Wrapped up in Raptors - Raptors is too broad a terms)

Regards to all, esp. Nick Moyes and Brown

Ren13 said...

I've learned quite a lot from this site.
Your documentation of night-hunting from your cams was a brilliant capture of things people thought did not happen. As far as I know, you are still the only site to document this behavior.
I've been inspired to read more about birds of prey and responsible Falconry, as well as following rehabilitation stories.
It has been nothing short of awe-inspiring to see how many of our raptors world-wide are reestablishing their territories as we, the humans, learn from cams and blogs to make more raptor-friendly places.
I wish I could visit Derby, and hope Peregrines will come back to southwest Virginia, USA. We still have hawks, and the eagles are exploring the area.
Almost forgot, I like D, Peregrines in Partnership.

Finally, a warning on setting up streaming.... some systems will leach off of your viewers' upload limits. Please be careful.

Mo Cole Belper said...

ooooo up close and personal this morning.... x

Nick B (DWT) said...

A quick thank you to everyone who has sent in their comments and ideas so far (we've had quite a few sent personally, ie not as comments on the blog but to enquiries@ ). It is also great to know you're all out there keeping in touch from time to time dring this off-season.
Nicks B & M

Anonymous said...

As a long-time reader, but first-time contributor to this blog, I am delighted to think that my experience of following the Derby Peregrine Project might be useful.

I am in my mid-eighties, and have always been interested in wildlife and garden birds, but until I stumbled across the Derby Peregrine Project in 2006, I knew hardly anything of birds of prey, and had never even heard the word raptors!

Once I found out about the story of the Peregrines and how they came to be able to nest on the Cathedral, I was hooked at once,watching their activities on the internet at every spare moment... and even those I could not spare.

During the first years I was able occasionally to visit the Watch Point on Cathedral Green, and saw a lot of interesting sights. I was once there when a young bird
fell and some team members had to do a search and rescue....

I was thrilled when a young relative from Australia who was visiting the UK, came to Derby especially to go to the Cathedral and see the Peregrines and visit the older parts of Derby. He still watches the webcams from his home in Australia.

When the DVD was produced, I sent him a copy and to friends unable to visit. Very much appreciated.

Because of my new interest in birds of prey, I have visited a few falconry displays whenever I could, which I would not have done before.

Now that I am somewhat disabled and unable to go out much, the project is even more important to me, and even when the birds are not at their most active, I follow the blog daily.... I almost feel that I know some of the regular contributors! I do so hope that a way will be found for the Project to continue and flourish.

Regarding the names suggested for the Heritage application, I very much like" Fantastic Falcons" but on the whole I agree with Craig that "Peregrines, People and Places" is the most suitable.
Please forgive the ramble!

Barbara C. Derby

Mo Cole Belper said...

@Barbara C ....What a fantastic blog welcome.....x

Hilary said...

I discovered Derby's Peregrines by accident 3 years ago on a trip to Derby Cathedral. I have always supported animal charities and requested bird books and nature books as presents for years. I drive a lot and keep a record of the birds I see around motorway service stations.
I have my fix of the Derby Cathedral Peregrines site daily wherever I am in the world My daughter in Australia follows it.
I can't wait to get my 18 month old grand daughter watching.My husband frequently texted me with "how are the babies"? during the nesting/fledging period. My Adult Education Class (I.T.)members found the Derby Peregrines SO much more interesting than spreadsheets!
Many of my family and friends now follow the site and I now also follow several other sites such as the Osprey migration site as a result of following the Derby site and learning so much.
I have joined the D.W.T. and contribute regularly to The Peregrine Project.I visit Derby regularly visiting the Cathedral, shopping, have lunch and taking in a few local beauty spots, weather permitting.
Thank you to the fabulous photographers. I love the pictures. Does "Superbrad" have a fan club yet?
Also a huge thank you to everyone from D.W.T,The Cathedral, the Museum, Derby c.c. and the volunteers who give so much of their time and expertise. Everything is greatly appreciated.
Sorry for the ramble!

Anonymous said...

Dear Derby Peregrine People--(and I count myself amongst your number). Although emotionally I am more drawn to Peregrines, People and Places--I watch from San Francisco--as a longtime volunteer grant writer for various school projects, Peregrines in Partnership is probably more likely to appeal to the "corporate" world that dishes out the money. The adage is true...we all want our name on the building. Best of luck with this project and congratulations on the milestone. I am attempting to respond to the questionaire, no luck yet--my computer skills are sadly lacking. Cheers from SF!

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hilary: thanks so much for your comments. (You accidentally sent them through twice so we've deleted one of them. Hope that's OK).
Big thanks also to Barbara C., Anonymous from San Francisco, Ren13 plus Jane W, Barbara M, Ann F, Stuart H from the London Peregrine Partnership, Lynda O and Joyce S who have commented 'privately' via enquiries@ and also people that Nick M or I have thanked already.....hope we've not missed anyone...
We'll be pulling all the replies together later and will try to put them in some format that will be appropriate to go with the HLF bid.
Again, many thanks for taking so much trouble - and for voting on the bid name.
It is very rewarding for us to see how deeply the project has affected you all.
Keep 'em coming!
Nick B & M

Anonymous said...

From San Francisco--Some responses to your interesting and thought provoking questions:

I happened upon the website several years ago whilst trolling around UK sites--being an ex-pat Brit by birth, I sometimes assuage my homesickness with a look-see at what is up at home. I was immediately and permanently hooked. Not only is the location of the nest box superb, but the manner in which the Nicks and their intrepid band curate the site is without parallel. I had previously "tuned into" sites in Indianapolis, Indiana and here in my current home, San Francisco, and while both are well managed, there is an extra dimension to the Derby site. Watching the birds and reading the commentary has become an ongoing natural history lesson. I am forever grateful for the time and energy devoted to these marvelous birds and to providing educational "seminars" for the viewers. I have become an avid birdwatcher in my own coast-side community and have organized visits to my school by local bird rehabilitation organizations--due in large part to the enhanced understanding I have gained from this site. When visiting my daughter in Michigan I was able to add to my bird-lore by buying a local bird-guide and tramping about in her woods--no peregrines in sight, but there was a bald eagle nest! Quite exciting. There is so much value in spending time with the Cathedral Peregrines--beauty, tranquillity, knowledge, the miraculous workings of the natural world, all free for the asking. You provide a priceless resource that cannot be overvalued. You have my gratitude and admiration. I am retiring from teaching this year and first on my "Bucket List" is a trip to Derby during fledging season.
There is so much more to say, but this is too long...
Cheers from SF

Nick B (DWT) said...

Many thanks to the latest anonymous responder from San Francisco - it seems we have a bit of a following down there!
Lovely sentiments, gratefully received at this end.
Maybe you SF folk could give us at least a first name so we can distinguish you from one another a little?
No pressure though.....

Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick--So sorry...I post as anonymous because I don't have an account with Google and don't understand the other options. My son, also Nick, will be home from grad school soon and he will help me create an account. My name is Carol and I live in Alameda, California, which is an island in the San Francisco Bay. We have a very rich bird population here, including some peregrine nest sites under one of the bridges that connect us to Oakland. Sadly, I have not been privileged to see these falcons, but I see brown pelicans, great blue herons, egrets and many others daily. Thanks again for the great work. The Derby site is superb! Cheers, Carol in SF

Ian said...

@ Hillary

"Thank you to the fabulous photographers. I love the pictures. Does "Superbrad" have a fan club yet?"

Firstly Thank you on behalf of ALL the photographers that contribute to the flickr site.

Myself Thanks for the flattering comment but the Pleasure is all Mine I am lucky to live within two and a quarter miles (3.62Km )as the Peregrine flys to the Cathedral.
I am now retired so I can visit the resident pair and photograph them whenever I wish "If they are about" and therefore have well into the thousands of photos of the pair of Peregrines and offspring.
To share a few on the Blog,s Flickr site is a pleasure for me especially out of The breeding season when there is little activity on the towers Web cams.

Regards Ian "superbrad"


Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Carol in SF: no long as you put a name at the end of your comment, that's fine.
Sounds like you have plenty of wildlife around you but it's super that you watch our distant birds.
Nick B

Mo Cole Belper said...

Morning..... Both Mr and Mrs P in residence this morning one on the tower and one on the scrape... have a good day x

AnnieF. said...

They're both still in the same places as Mo described.

Mo Cole Belper said...

Saturday 10.45pm... One on the tower up close and personal....''will they please turn the lights off on that hotel cos I want to sleep !!!!! x

AnnieF. said...

Two peregrines up on the tower!

Audrey (London) said...

Congratulations, this is a brilliant site. It makes my day, when out of 'season' I log on to see one the the beauties perched. Ling may this site continue to give so much pleasure to so many.

AnnieF. said...

One peregrine on the scrape ledge appears to have deposited prey, but I can't tell what it is. Another peregrine's on the tower.

AnnieF. said...

The prey is now being dealt with, but as the peregrine's standing on it, I still can't see what it is. All I can say is that it looked about the size of a pigeon, and had a wide, dark bar across the wing (it was lying on its side). On each side of the dark bar there was a narrow, pale stripe.

Mo Cole Belper said...

Saturday 7.30am.... Morning.. Mr/Mrs P ? having breakfast on the scrape ledge.... Like the new camera position....x

Nick B (DWT) said...

Just found a great video clip of a peregrine attacking a flock of starlings in Sussex. Not much of the peregrine but the way the starlings bunch up and gyrate in the sky is magical.

Nick B (DWT)

AnnieF. said...

Two on the tower (sounds like an Enid Blyton title!).

Steph (Canada) said...

2 Million!! Congratulations to everyone on a great job!
I heard about the falcons on Radio Derby when I was visiting family in Burton a few years ago and have watched ever since. Because of the time difference I am 'forced' to watch during the day at work - in fact my access was blocked at one point but I managed to get one of the IT guys to get around it and he was very interested in watching too!! I have watched other sites in Toronto and Winnipeg but the Derby site is the best by far and we have the best bloggers in the world!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful clear pictures on the cameras this morning. Peregrine on the left hand camera - what a treat! Lovely day in Derby and so nice to still see the birds in winter. Looking forward to so much next spring and hopefully it will be even better if the bid for funding is successful.
My choice would be for Peregrines, People and Places.
All the very best with the HLF bid - a very worthy project.

Mary T (Belper)

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Steph and Mary.
Work on the bid is progressing and we have had lots of support letters from useful organisations to back it up as well as all the lovely comments you've all sent in.
The interactivity of the blog has been and continues to be one of the features of this site that we value highly and one which clearly makes it different from most others. keep up the good work!
Nick B (DWT)
Ps Peregrines. People and Places does seem to be coming out top in the poll - but more on that later.

dnorsolya said...

First of all thanks for the team and congratulations to you!
This morning at 7.13 I can see something or somebody through the upper camera that resembles a sreech owl. Though I'm not much of an expert, I have watched the peregrines for quite a long time now to tell one from an owl.

Orsi from Hungary

dnorsolya said...

I think I didn't get the right English name I meant. It seemed to be a barn owl. But I would love to know, the lights are quite bad.


Joyce S Derby said...

Both birds on the east face lettering at Jury's Inn, Friday 25th November 11:45am

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Orsi: great to know you are watching our Derby birds from Hungary - a country which I've visited a couple of times for bird watching - you have some wonderful birds and wild places too! Those winter flocks of cranes flying to roost are magic for sure! I saw 10,000 one evening!
As to the owl you saw - we don't have any owls in Derby city apart from tawny owls which are brown rather than pale/white so I'm not sure what you saw.
Nick M is probably not able to get up the cathedral tower and take a video clip in time before it gets rubbed out - so the bird's identity may remain a mystery - we'll see.
Thanks for letting us know anyway. Maybe someone else saw something early this morning?
Best wishes and keep watching!

Nick B (DWT)

Hilary, B'ham said...

Wow! two Peregrines on camera surveying their domaine. We DO have the best Peregrine web site. The shopping will wait.