Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Solstice beckons

As the days grow ever shorter we huddle round our fires and wildlife tends to be furthest from our thoughts. However, here are some reminders about what is going on out there - and some suggestions about how you might help.
First, there's a petition to be signed...especially as Derbyshire has a particularly dismal record when it comes to raptor persecution. An e-petition submitted to the department of the environment has recently been accepted by the government and added to the official list of e-Petitions website. If 100,000 people sign the petition, the issue of 'Vicarious Liability' will be debated in the House of Commons.
The petition, as you will see, requires the owners of land, not just their employees (such as gamekeepers) to be liable to prosecution if birds of prey are illegally killed on their property or if employees are found in possession of the illegal chemicals that are used to poison them.
Please visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/23089 to sign up. It only takes a few seconds.
Many thanks.
Second, December is a good month to join your local wildlife trust or give membership as a gift. You can do this through the national website www.wildlifetrusts.org/ or, in the case of Derbyshire, via their recently re-vamped website at www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org. Incidentally, the website does have links to this project (under 'projects' and also to the
'wildlife diary' that a certain someone writes for the Trust each week and which mentions the peregrines at regular intervals.....)
Thirdly, you could make a donation to a wildlife charity of your choice perhaps, instead of asking for a present you don't really need. The peregrine project or a wildlife trust are obvious candidates....as is (for me) Birdlife Malta (www.birdlifemalta.org), a dedicated group trying to counter the appalling shooting of migrant birds (from swallows to eagles) passing over that island. There are many more very worthwhile wildlife charities out there of course so do plump for your favourite ones.
The bid for a grant to sustain this project is nearing completion and should be handed in to the Heritage Lottery Fund before the end of the month.
A big thank you to everyone who took the trouble to send in their comments and tributes to the project. These have helped us enormously to show the level of support for our work and to indicate just what an effect the birds have had on so many of you.
The artwork accompanying this post is by Noel Cusa (top) and Mike Warren. Noel worked in industry all his life with painting as an occasional hobby. When he retired he started to paint in earnest and you can see the level of his achievement. His mentor was the great Charles Tunnicliffe. Charles' book The Peregrine Sketchbook, contains many wonderful paintings of peregrines on the cliffs of Anglesey where he lived (available on Amazon for £9).
Mike Warren lives in Nottinghamshire and has been a wildlife artist for many years, starting out in graphic design. These field sketches are from a calendar he produced many years ago.
I think you'll agree that both artists in their different styles capture the character of the bird to perfection.
Finally, the peregrine 'bible', written by the late Derek Ratcliffe (The Peregrine, Poyser Books) is also available online, though for rather more money unless you can pick one up second hand.....

Nick B (DWT)
Ps, Finally finally, The DVD on The Peregrines of Derby is also still available via the DWT website...I almost forgot to mention that!


Helen said...

It's a very windy night in Derby but it doesn't seem to have stopped the peregrines from catching an evening meal! It was interesting to see one of the birds with a large item of prey a little while ago.

Anonymous said...

I have signed the petition. It would be great if for next year some Christmas cards could be made available from the artwork. I for one would certainly buy some and hopefully it will spread the word about the project and raise funds.

Best wishes to everyone for a lovely Christmas.

Mary T (Belper)

Craig said...

Best wishes for the festive season.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from a trip to London by car. The amount of red kites flying around were amazing. Never seen so many - they must be doing very well. This was on the
M40 towards High Wycombe.

Mary T (Belper)

Mo and Pete Cole said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all bloggers and all the best to Mr and Mrs P for next year.... x

Nick B (DWT) said...

Best wishes to you all (including Craig, Mary T, Mo and Pete) and many thanks to Deborah K and Caroline H for recent unsolicited donations...very much appreciated.
Let's hope for a good summer season ahead!
Nick B (DWT)

Julie said...

I still check the cameras and blog every day - good to see Mr and Mrs P together up on the tower tonight! I have signed the petition and just wanted to wish everyone associated with this site in any way, a very Happy Christmas.

Phoebe said...

Petition signed.

A Merry Christmas to everyone, Mr & Mrs P included!


Nick B (DWT) said...

Nick M has adjusted and cleaned the 'pud cam' that looks towards Jurys Inn and the view is now much clearer. One of the adults is visible there now (10.30pm), in hunting mode too.
Re-fixing the smaller nest camera, which is loose and hanging down, will require an abseil which, for various reasons, Nick is unable to do at the moment. Hopefully we will get it sorted out after the holiday sometime.
Nick B (DWT)

AnnieF. said...

The pudding cam's much better, many thanks! And there's a handsome peregrine up there now.

On the subject of puddings, may I wish everyone involved in this brilliant project and website a very happy and peaceful Christmas -and lots of pud!

AnnieF. said...

One on the scrape ledge, another on the tower.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Both adults present this evening (22.50 hrs) and clearly in hunting mode. Picture much better for sure!

Anonymous said...

A very Merry Christmas and Joyful New Year to all...especially, best of wishes for the upcoming season. May it be fruitful for our very special Mr. and Mrs. With gratitude for the gifts of the peregrines...Carol from San Francisco

Nick B (DWT) said...

Thanks Carol - and happy days ahead for you too.
After a sunny (and very mild) day yesterday, it's very wet today for all those last minute shoppers....

Nicks B & M and Tony G

Ren13 said...

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from SW Virginia, USA.

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

A very pleasant Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our webcam watchers and blog readers - wherever you are in the world.

Nick B (DWT) said...

I echo Nick M's salutations.
Thanks to everyone for all your support, encouragement, interest (and donations) during the last year. We wouldn't have survived without them....and it would have been very lonely!
Nick B (DWT)

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

May I also send my best wishes to all our watchers and bloggers. Sorry to be so late but I have just returned from the Cathedral!
May I also thank you for your kind comments regarding my 'retirement' from the Cathedral at the end of January. I am very happy to report that I have been asked by the Cathedral to continue my work with the Project as their representative.
I look forward to continuing as part of this fantastic team in the future.

Tony G

AnnieF. said...

@ Tony G. :

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Happy New Year to all blog readers.
As I watched the New Year's Eve fireworks in London I couldn't help wonder what the peregrines on the Houses of Parliament made of all the disturbance!

Nick B (DWT) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Happy New Year from me too.
Brian in Austin, Texas: thanks for your greetings and kind comments sent to an old 2009 post. You were obviously revisiting some of the archived video clips from that year but if you see this comment, best wishes!
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to everyone. What a lovely sight to log in and see a peregrine on the left hand camera, looking around at a very bright and sunny Derby.

All best wishes to Mr and Mrs P for another successful breeding season - can't wait.

Mary T (Belper)

AnnieF. said...

A happy and successful 2012 to all Project Members, viewers, bloggers, abseilers and "backroom" boys & girls, and especially to our amazing peregrine pair!

AnnieF. said...

They're both on the tower looking rather windswept.

Nick B (wildlife trust) said...

A wild and wet day in Derby today (3rd) as everyone goes back to work.
Guess the peregrines will have tucked themselves away somewhere!
Nick B (DWT)

Mo Cole Belper said...

Thursday 5th...6.20pm... Mr and Mrs P on the Tower looking very windswept and very interesting. Not many days that we don't see one or both on the tower in the evening. Happy New Year to everyone... x

Anonymous said...

Dearest Peregrinos
At last! A word again from me. I'm so behind with all the news, gosh, is it "goodbye" to Tony? I hope you all had a Happy Christmas and I wish you all you wish yourselves for 2012. Much water has gushed under the bridge here in Bucks and we have so much wonderful peregrine news of our own! I'll take some time out and catch up on all of the Derby reading and will contact you all again very soon - and even better, it would be great to come up and see you too!
Sue in Bucks xxx

Nick B (DWT) said...

Good to hear from you Sue...and yes, do come up and see us again - maybe when it's a bit more summery and the peregrinos are performing....can't be long now!
Nick B (DWT)