Friday, 29 June 2012

Catch 'em young (and old!)

One lovely thing about this project is the sheer range of people it engages. We've had children aged four or five and an elderly gentleman aged 96 at the watch points......and people from every walk of life and all parts of the globe.
Recently we had a visit from a local primary school who came to the Watch Point for an hour to see the birds.
Their teacher, Ian, attended the county eco-conference in March at which the project was present and since then he has pestered me to allow his class to come to Cathedral Green to see the birds for real (they have been watching the web cams at school of course). That is the kind of pestering I like!
Finally, we managed to agree a date. The weather was good and the birds were on show. In fact, during the hour, all four juvs were visible on the tower and both parents both showed up too!
The children certainly knew quite a lot about peregrines even at their young age - all thanks to Ian. We need to find more teachers like him and that is what the new Engagement Officer will be tasked to do when they start early next year, paid for by the lottery money we won.
Meanwhile, there is only one final Watch Points left - tomorrow, Saturday (30th) if you've not made it to Derby yet, now's your (very last) chance this season.
On the donations front, money is still coming in so a big big THANKS to everyone who has been so generous. We have had over £700 come in with the multiplier effect courtesy of our anonymous donor, that means an extra £2800 towards our work. Keep it coming! Can we make £1000?

Nick B (DWT)
Ps Lots of thanks to Hilary and her son Jim and to Tony G for helping out with the school and the WP.
Pps. The peregrine's menu isn't quite as extensive as the drawing sheet makes out but two categories out of the five are right for sure.


Nick B (DWT) said...

Two good mentions for the peregrines on BBC East Midlands TV coverage of the olympic torch procession through Derby.
Nick B (DWT)

Nick Brown (DWT) said...
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Nick B (DWT) said...

Tomorrow's proposed trip to see white letter hairstreak butterflies in Derby has been postponed because there don't appear to be any about yet...presumably delayed and/or reduced in numbers by the awful weather.
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

I watched the torch arrive in Derby on tv and they did mention the peregrines, today might have been a good WP. I also watched the live feed camera 3 and could here all the people, what a noisy bunch!

I love the childrens painting. A lovely treat for them to visit the peregrines. It's good that they are learning about the birds.

nick said...

We did think about it Phoebe but with laser beams being projected onto the cathedral and helicopters buzzing low overhead I doubt the birds would have remained on the tower...they probably nipped off to the police aerial for some relative peace and quiet!
Happily, it is good to see that there's at least one juv back on the tower this morning. Unhappily, it's raining again - though the rain is due to clear by don't let that stop anyone coming to the Watch Point.
The cathedral cafe is now open again, so there's a refuge available should we get a shower.
Nick (DWT)

Jane (Belper) said...

Nick, I was watching the cameras when the torch was coming through and one of the juvies was on the tower and never budged. It seemed totally unconcerned by the furore!
Have a good Watch Point today - don't think we will make it.
Be well, Jane

Caroline said...

A big well done to Ian (aka teacher rather than than superbrad) for your brilliant work with your class!

Re the Olympic torch passing through Derby - I read somewhere that the Worcester peregrines were featured on a Big Screen in the city when the torch went through there. Quite right too since the peregrine gets the gold medal for being the fastest on the planet!

Nick B (DWT) said...

Today's watch point was interrupted by a heavy shower or two but in between the sun shone and the birds performed. We saw all four juvs and the female but no sign of the male (doubtless he was watching the tennis or in the pub!).
Visitor numbers were down as a result of the weather but those who did come, including quite a few children, enjoyed good views of the birds.
Thanks again to Helen, Andy and Chris for running the last watch point....and to everyone who donated.
Nick (DWT)

Audrey (Edgware) said...

Peregrine on scrape - quite made my day!!

Craig said...

22.22 Fireworks going off, what's the celebration? One of the Peregrines on the tower, don't think they liked it.

Jo - Mickleover said...

I popped into Derby to see the torch on Friday and took my binocs to see the falcons too! Couldnt count them all but 3 at least were on jurys, and one on the Cathedral. Thay didnt seem too bothered by the noise/helicopter :)

Nick - chatting too a friend who worked on the cathedral quarter hotel 4 years ago, told me he saw a falcon repeatedly swooping down and attacking a rat at ground level, didnt kill the rat apparently - is that likely and how long ago was a rat added to the prey list?

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Jo: re. the rat - your story is very interesting! Check out the blog post for 5th June 2007 in the archives accessed down the left side of the blog front page.....and the You Tube video titled Derby Peregrine Falcon 8 - Rat on the menu! which can be found at:
Taking mammals is very rare but species recorded include bats, mice, rats, squirrels and even a hedgehog! One of the Belper falcons was seen to be carrying 'something with a bushy tail' earlier this year - almost certainly a squirrel.
Nick B (DWT)

Audrey (Edgware) said...

Two beauties on the cam.

Jo - Mickleover said...

WOW when did all three camera views go live?!! thank-you to all concerned - now all those jobs will just have to wait again!

Ian (superbrad) said...

Well Done Team.
Great to have all three Cameras on live feed multiview.
Brilliant !!!!!
HD next ????

Congratulations to all involved including Serco.

Regards Ian (superbrad)

Nick B (DWT) said...

Ian: Serco has done very well, aided and abetted by Nick M of course.
Now we juts need some better weather. Today has been a wet and gloomy!
Nick (DWT)