Saturday, 23 February 2013

Clean up and a new camera

NOTICE: Monday 4th March. Maintenance work is being done on our cameras today - this may affect some webcam streams. (A second attempt to replace tower-cam)

Last Tuesday (19th), the cathedral tower was thrice 'nicked'.
Nick E hangs on (face mask to protect from dust and spores)
Nicks Moyes, Evans and Brown were busy all day at various places up and down the tower. Nick M and Nick E abseiled down to the nest platform to give it its annual inspection and clean up; to remount and clean the two existing cameras, clean the gravel and also to fit a completely new camera.

It was a long day, so long indeed that the cathedral had been locked up by the time Moyes and Brown came down the tower sometime after 6pm (Nick E having wisely gone home a bit sooner). Trapped in the dark between the heavy wooden West door and the glass doors just inside the cathedral was an interesting experience (it was our own fault for staying up there so late!).  Fortunately we managed to push open the exterior door but couldn't relock it from the outside so we had to stay put until (by good fortune) the bell ringers arrived for their evening practice!

Nick M busy at the platform

View East. The police aerial is just left of the flats
We hope you agree that the pictures from the two nest cameras are much clearer now. The lenses were cleaned inside and out. All the prey remains were removed and the gravel re-spread and treated with an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal spray. Next year we'll have to put in some new gravel as well as thoroughly check the platform - so far it's doing well!

Nick B's role was to climb a ladder into the bell chamber and 'accept' the long cable for the new camera which Nick M fed through a small hole in the louvres above the nest platform. He then had to feed the cable carefully through a series of holes in various floors to get it down to the ringing chamber where the IT gear is kept (video servers, routers, video recorders, TV monitor  - you name it, it's there!).

Then Nick M fixed the new camera to the side wall of the platform. Its wide angled, zoom lens will give a new angle on the nest with a view out over Derby looking North East. As yet Nick M hasn't decided how best to show this new view. Streaming the view out to everyone is quite expensive though grant money should cover at least the key breeding months. However, he still needs to sort out how to show images from four cameras when he only has space for this space!
First ever image of the female using this new Axis camera
When we arrived the male was on the nest but soon flew off eastwards. The female was watching us most of the day from the top of the police aerial mast in Chester Green though she later moved onto Jurys Inn's lettering (I still think the illuminated letters provide them with warm talons!).
View NW towards the university (big block on the horizon)

Finally, after a lot of intercom to and fro ("move the camera a bit left and up, no sorry I meant down") the positions were finally fixed and the abseilers lowered themselves down to the nave roof.
A successful day for sure. Next job will be for Nick M to put the new 'pud cam' back - that's the one that looks horizontally across the ledge above the nest towards Jurys Inn. It too should give a nice crisp image!
Further updates on the cameras will follow....

Since the disturbance we caused the birds have been back performing their normal display behaviour on the platform....see comments to the previous blog post - so they soon got over our presence. If you should see interesting courtship (or mating especially)

Nick E on his way down as seen from a window in the tower
do please note the time and let us know, either with a comment on the blog or by emailing .
The peregrines in Bristol have been mating for over two weeks already...but remember that last year they laid their first egg on 10th March - perhaps the earliest if any UK urban pair.

Nick B (on behalf of Nick M and E)


from christine said...

Hi webcam one seems 2 Have frozen up since early hours of sunday morning! From Christine

Green Class said...

we looked at the new picters from
the camer. We think the new camer is grate because you can see
realy well and it is cleaer. we enjyoed watching one of the peregrins makeing the skrape. we enjyoed looking at the picter of the peregrins because you can see their big eyes better and the ring around its eye. they hafe a hook on their beek.

Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Hello Green Class.

Thank you for telling us that you liked the new, clean cameras. We are glad you saw the peregrine scraping on the nest. She should be wanting to lay some eggs there in about four weeks time. How exciting is that?

We hope you will keep watching and tell us what else you see. Can you tell everyone why they have such a hooked beak? What do you think they use it for?

Green Class said...

we think peregrine folcons have cervd becs For plukin there prey and riping there meet. thay feed there chics tiny littal pesers of meet. peregrins dont chatch there pray whith there beek they use there big feet.

christine said...

Hi just wondered wen the cameras near gargolyes are going be on? Thanx from christine

Anonymous said...

Hello Green Class
I think you're all grate too :) - and very lucky to have a teacher who lets you learn about the lovely peregrines and wildlife. I think it's the most important thing you will ever learn about at school because one day when you're all grown up, it'll be your turn to look after these special things!
And to the intrepid abseilers, that was pretty exciting too (I just happened to look at the wbcams while the job was in hand) I kind of had to watch from behind the sofa. Honestly, the things some people are prepared to do for Nature - thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

Live feed cam 3 is frozen

Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Hi Christine and all.

I hope to be able to install the replacement towercam within the next week. I did fit the replacement in position a week ago, but encountered focussing problems, and then have had to replace the entire camera again.

Meanwhile a completely new camera has been installed, and we will inform people when it is set up.

So, for those of you wondering what we are doing right now - the answer is "lots!"

Mo Cole said...

Morning.... Mrs P (i think) is on the left had scrape yipeee it's that time of year again.... Mo Cole x

d j carder said...

what a surprise when I saw the Ledge view again, well done to everybody involved.

from christne said...

Nice 2 see the towercam back! Well-done 2 all concerned! Am looking forward 2 the months ahead! From Christine

Jane (Belper) said...

Thank you to all the team for the new tower cam. The picture tonight is so clear, it's fantastic.
Can't wait for the action to begin!

slumpy said...

Re the fourth camera. Surely it could go in the top left window of the webcam page. We already know where we are

Julie said...

I must join the other voices in saying how excited I am at the prospect of another season starting soon - looking forward to hours watching this screen!! Many thanks to all the team for the ongoing work. Here's to a new generation of peregrines.

Jim said...

Hmm, good job! This is really something!