Thursday, 15 August 2013

What next?

Great as it is that some of our peregrine family continue to appear on the web cams from time to time (and thanks to everyone who has been posting comments to let us all know what they have been seeing) for many of us it is time to turn our bird watching attentions elsewhere.
If you have discovered 'bird watching' via this site, then now is a good time to go and 'buy some bins' and get out and about to see birds 'for real'. It is a great hobby and will give you hours of pleasure. In addition you can also make a contribution to conservation by taking part in local and national surveys once your identification skills increase.
And there's much more to this nature business than just birds. If you are lucky enough to have a garden and to have planted some nectar-rich plants like buddleia, sedums and michaelmas daisies, then you will have noted a huge number of peacock butterflies in the last few weeks
Peacock by Shirley Freeman
along with many other species, all benefiting from the prolonged hot weather in July.
Even if you live deep in a city there's still much wildlife to be seen. Waste patches, allotments and even some parks these days may well hold interesting plants and insects.
If for any reason you really can't get outside, then you can watch birds migrate south as summer turns to autumn. Our peregrines don't migrate but other raptors do. Among them are the ospreys, a species which is now beginning to set off for West Africa. With the advent of satellite tags, it is possible to follow every flap the tagged birds make from your computer. Many start in Scotland, fly south (sometimes right over Derbyshire) and then down across France, Spain and Morocco before crossing the Sahara Desert. Roy Dennis has pioneered this work and his tagged birds can be followed via his website.
Ospreys at Rutland Water by John Wright

Osprey with fish copyright of  Pauline M Greenhalgh
Google 'Highland Foundation for Wildlife' to see what he's been up to and to follow the remarkable flights that some of these ospreys make. One bird flew non-stop from Scotland to Spain a couple of years ago, flying through the star-lit night and landing exhausted on the Spanish coast some two days after setting off.
Update 17th August: I see that Beatrice, one of Roy's female ospreys is already down in SW France, leaving her nest and single youngster on 9th August. She tends to winter in SW Spain so hasn't as far to go as most other birds that go to Gambia/Senegal:

Another falcon, closely related to the peregrine, is the hobby. This small raptor arrives back in the UK from Africa in late April and early May and its breeding season is much later than the peregrine's. So late in fact that the chicks are just fledging about now. By the end of September, most will have set off for southern Africa where they spend the winter catching termites! A few hobbies have been tagged but none that I'm aware of this year.
Other birds about to depart soon include swallows and martins, with our swifts and cuckoos already gone. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has been tracking cuckoos and you can see the journeys their tagged birds have been making by going to

Then as winter approaches there are other interesting web cams to  watch - with one focussing on eagles in Estonia already mentioned in a recent comment from sue peregrine to the last post. More on these web cams in a future post.
For now though - do get out and see what wildlife you can find for yourself!

Nick B (DWT)
Ps. And if you simply can't bare to be parted from peregrines, remember that this species also nests 'down under' and a few nests there also have web cameras - this one is in Brisbane and eggs should be laid quite soon:  


Anonymous said...

Hello all
Yes, as Nick says, don't forget that the BBC have made this "The Summer of Wildlife", so get out there and see what you can find. Maybe tonight's TV "The Burrowers" will inspire you to see if you can find a badgers sett anywhere near to you. Then, as autumn approaches, the bird migration time is thrilling. We urban birders lucky enough to have them in our towns and cities long to see starling murmerations and will it be another waxwing winter? My particular favourite is the "winter swans" (Whoopers and Bewicks) although you DO have to go to special places to see them, sadly we don't have them flying around over Aylesbury!!! We all need to keep an eye out for peregrines though, especially any ringed ones - and you definitely will need some optics for that. But I'm sure we'll all be looking at the Derby webcams from time to time, and the competition will hot up around February for which of us claims to see the start of the 2014 breeding season!
Good birding all

Anonymous said...

PS I sponsored "Lloyd", one of the tagged Cuckoos but he sadly perished on the way back to the UK in the spring :( I'll just have to find myself another one at the BTO stand at this weekend's BirdFair. Wouldn't it be great everyone if the Derby Peregrine Project had a stand at next year's BirdFair? If you agree, post a comment!

Helen said...

An adult peregrine sitting on the platform at the moment. Looks like the female?!

Anonymous said...

Just noticed that Roy Dennis (as mentioned in the starter blog) is one of the speakers at BirdFair on the day I'm going (Sunday). He is billed as talking about the ospreys.

Lorraine said...

Well, lots of web cam tips and other interesting leads to check out, posted from Nick and Sue Peregrino - and thank you.

This should keep me out of mischief and bridge the gap till next year's Derby-Doo-Dah - though in between, I'll often spend interesting moments in the company of the parent bird's, on the Derby cams.

Watching the falcon earlier, with the wind blowing her feathers, showed me just how well insulated her body is. Almost downy feathers, undernieth her top plumes, seem thick and luxurious - must feel similar to being wrapped in a cosy quilt- and no wonder she's capable of enduring such extreme weather.

Nature eh! - ain't it bloomin' marvelous !!

PS: I hope Sue Peregrino has a lovely day tomorrow at Sunday's BirdFair - and doesn't splash out tooo much on the bling!...and BTW -I think it would be GREAT to have the Derby Peregrines represented at such an excellent event.

from christine said...

Juvenile on tower ledge! Looking for nightfliers I suspect! From christine

Lorraine said...

Juvie just brought it's own prey back to tower ledge 3pmn

Lorraine said...

You can see the advancement in the way it's prepping the catch - taking time now to pluck away the larger feathers before eating. A lot more rough and ready compared to the parents procedure, but I reckon this juvie has learnt all the skills now and will be okay once it leaves the area.

Anonymous said...

Just back from a wonderful Sunday visit to BirdFair. The only thing wrong with it is one day is not enough, I would love to go to the whole 3 days next year. Those bins/'scopes definitely do have my name on them, but I've not bought in haste, maybe Father Christmas will look kindly on me ...... I saw at least one Derby Peregrine Volunteer there and two speakers often mentioned on this blog - Ed Drewitt and Roy Dennis. Ed gave 2 talks, one about St Lucia and the other about the Somerset Levels. Roy Dennis was great. Naturally, his talk was about the ospreys. He spoke in a packed Main events marquee and was so modest. he seemed touched and slightly surprised at the warmth and interest of the audience. It was such a priviledge to hear him. And it means there's yet more stuff to follow on the Internet (how on earth am I going to fit it all in????) The tracking info is at and I rather suspect Rutland Water has webcams on their ospreys.
I remain convinced that there'd be an audience to hear about urban peregrine falcon successes and who better to talk about it than the original and best project (by which I mean Derby, of course)

Anonymous said...

What was happening at around 13:00-13:10 today (Sun 18 August)?

I was in Derby near the Cathedral, and there were several minutes of calling from some bird(s). Unfortunately I don't know the sound of a peregrine well enough to recognise it, but it sounded like it was coming from the cathedral roof/tower area. I couldn't see what was going on from the ground though.

Anonymous said...

Hi poster immediately before me
Did the sound make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up??? If so, it was very likely our peregrines - maybe a youngster demanding food from the adult? You can always ask the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Enquiries Officer (contact details on their website, I believe) Also, try the RSPB website. There's an audio there of the call

I recently heard this type of call in London, at St Paul's cathedral and it was AMAZING! Even more amazing was the hundreds of people that hurried by, never seeming to notice.

Lorraine said...

Hi anonymous.

I was actually watching the cams when the incident you mentioned was taking place and could hear the urgent calls from one of the birds but had no actual view of what was taking place.

All I could see was the tiercel sat on the small ledge under the gargoyles. The sound cam was picking up a great deal of excitable vocals from one of the birds, but by watching the tiercel I could see it wasn't coming from him.

Then the noise stopped as one of the juvies suddenly landed next to the water spout on the tower ( above the tiercel ) with a fresh kill.

I figured he/she had caught and brought it back all on it's own. I then entered my post remarking on how I'd watched and noticed the advancement in the juvies processing skills.

I think what had actually happened, was this particular juvie must have received the food in a pass from the falcon, who was out of sight of the cams ( not in fact it's own catch as assumed ) - the noise being it's excited vocal demands when begging for the catch before it was given up to it. It then must have brought it up to the tower ledge to process and eat. That's when it all went quiet - so I think this was the case.

What a din it made! - the adult must have let it beg for quite a while before giving the catch over to it.

Please let us know if you see any juvies wont you Anonymous? I know there are two still around for sure, but have no idea if all four are accounted for. We only have the cams and these only ever show two juvies at any one time, so we have no idea if all four are still okay.

BFN Lorraine

Lorraine said...

Falcon sat on scrape lip having a preen just now. Remains of Sundays incident still on view on top of the near cam gargoyle.

Wont be able to tune in again until tea time -


Anonymous said...

Lorraine makes a good point that you can of course hear the Derby peregrines while you watch them on the web. She also makes a good point that the whole picture only comes from web watchers plus "on the ground" reports. It would be fabulous if all 4 Derby juveniles were to survive to breeding age but (I'll try to be gentle breaking this to you Lorraine) it's a hard life for young peregrines. It is estimated that only 70% to 80% of fledged young make it successfully through their first year. The Norwich project where 4 fledged this year have already lost two
It's heartbreaking to hear of any peregrine death but remember that it would always be a bigger tragedy to lose an adult breeding bird. Lets cross our fingers and hope that Lorraine won't get any bad news about the juvs :) The Derby adult birds are a wise pair of parents and maybe they'll do a fantastic job.

Phoebe said...

Oh my word, a pigeon landed in the scrape and an adult peregrine was sat on the adjacent ledge. The pere just flew across at the pigeon but it managed to get away. That could have been an easy meal.

Louisette said...

Very lovely blog over falcons!Great job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Phoebe
I know it looks nailbiting, but I suspect that pigeons perched on the platform or around the cathedral are probably safe, although they stupidly don't know it. Peregrines mostly kill by a blow to the back of the prey's neck and for example on the platform, the peregrine would end up giving itself concussion.
Lorraine, as a PS to my gloom and doom comment, we only had one fledgling in Aylesbury, so a survival rate of 20% isn't a happy thought for us.

Lorraine said...

Hi Sue Peregrino

Your first hand experience and knowledge of these things, has made you wise - and lucky for me - compassionate of those who's initiation into the world of the raptor, is still veiled to a large degree. Thanks for broaching the subject of the juvies mortality so thoughtfully Sue, as it gave me a chance to reflect and become more accepting of any vague possibility being, more likely, a very real probability.

I aim to toughen up a bit though, ready for next year, as I view and read about other interesting projects in between.

So don't worry about me you lot - I'll take any sad news, should it come, on the chin!

There seems to have been plenty of visits from the adult birds today - Phoebe, wish I could have seen the pigeon incident - I'd have probably been heard yelling " move, move " all the way down our street !

Phoebe said...

Hi Sue and Lorraine, yes I was wondering what would happen with the pigeon, it's not beyond a peregrine to grab unsuspecting prey. I could see the tiercel eyeing it up and it probably just told the pigeon to 'get out of my space'. Saying that, had the tiercel been hungry I am in no doubt it would have grabbed it. The stoop to catch prey has quite a low success rate, only about 20%.

Anonymous said...

Upon reflection Phoebe, I have to agree with you that peregrines are opportunistic and can and will grab the unwary. I recall the story of the rat seen to be brought back to the platform and I'm pretty certain it wasn't a flying rat caught in a stoop!
Thank you for your kind words Lorraine, I'm not sure I'm especially wise. I'm impressed by your obvious passion and very quick learning though! I feel pretty confident that the Derby fledglings are going to be OK. There was a bad year once with a couple of "crashing into windows" accidents with a fatality and a bad injury. Scroll back in the blog and look for the adventures of "Cathy".

christine said...

Adult peregrine on nest ledge! I have only seen 2 juveniles aswell just lately! When I walked past cathedral 2day there was a bit of a commotion! With juvenile making all the noise! If ne one sees all four juveniles please let us know! Would be nice 2 know that they are all ok! From Christine

Lorraine said...

One midnight juvie
Eyes shining and bright,
Is gracing the tower
By full moon tonight.

lorraine turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoebe said...

Lovely poem Lorraine.

A daredevil pigeon in the scrape, not a peregrine in view.

Lorraine said...

I dont know if it's the same one but just tuned in to also see a pigeon in the scrape. It seems quite happy pecking around for bits of " food " in the gravel.

If it's the same pigeon as earlier spotted by Phoebe and the previous day, it means it's a regular visitor and it will only be a matter of time before it either twigs on to the danger or gets attacked by a returning peregrine.

Shooo pigeon shooo !!!

Lorraine said...

Pigeon eventually heard me and flew away intact !

Lorraine said...

Falcon returned to scrape now and can hear a Juvie close by.

I don't expect we'll have news yet confirming the Derby offspring that set up home in Yorkshire, though I feel sure her sighted leg ring will confirm she is indeed No.2007.

I think about her a lot and have written a poem about her already. Once the words come to mind I have to write them down fast or they will leave as quickly as they enter !

Would anyone like me to go ahead and post the poem later today, or do you think I should wait until the confirmation comes through ? It's my usual easy to read style and so it's no big deal, but it will maybe add a little interest to the blog in between inactivity on the cams.It could relate to any peregrine I guess.

I will leave it in my file meanwhile until I get a go ahead to copy it out to the blog ( cant figure how to just move it straight from my file to the blog! )

A juvie stayed on the tower all night last night BTW - bless!

Anonymous said...

Wow Lorraine, I'm impressed with your IT skills as I admire your new avatar! I struggled for ages to get mine - you'll have to forgive me for using a webcam grab of the Aylesbury bird with the very first egg ever laid on our platform!
The Yorkshire bird is definitely one that bears an orange band. The BTO keep all the records and from checking this, we know that it is an "urban peregrine" for absolute certain. People who have caught a glimpse say they think the black lettering is 002. I'm pretty sure that all of us who follow the Derby project are desperate for it to be, and it would be fantasic to know what's happened to one of the Derby birds because they usually just vanish. So I'd say yes, go ahead and publish, it would be lovely to share your poetry! I'm sure that whatever you write will echo all the hopes of the Derby followers.

Helen said...

A brief view of one of the juveniles on the nest platform a few minutes ago.

Lorraine said...

Hi Sue,

Nice of you to respond. It did take a lot of head scratching and pondering to navigate how to create a simple blog icon, and at one point I thought I'd released all my private stuff to the world via a Google+ profile set up which also kindly set me up with a Youtube account that I didn't want!

A couple of hours later, I managed to navigate myself out from both accounts and opted for the less complicated Blogger system, with it's straight forward profile set up which isn't so intrusive. You can add and change the profile pic easily and so I will probably lark around with this option from time to time and keep changing the profile image! Have some nice little bird pics I can use.

Fingers still crossed for 002 Sue but will tap in my poem about her after Corrie tonight.

Her dear old Mum is on the scrape right now!

steph said...

Sweet poem Lorraine! (like your new avatar too)

Lorraine said...


When instinct nudged by single chime
The hour announcing farewell climb,
Though Jury's Inn could still be seen -
Her final gaze...
Held Derby Green.

As night laid claim her weary day
And Moor came lit by Milky Way,
She earthed and mapped the brightest star -
Her marker...
Back to Derby far.

An answered chord within was stirred
When through the mist she almost heard,
A distant pitch that rose and fell -
Her calling...
Derby's Sacred Bell.

Now granted Dawn's release to surf
And better view the Yorkshire turf,
Recalled the thrill that wouldn't sour -
Her first leap...
From the Derby Tower.

With health proclaimed on feather's sheen
An Anklet also graced this Queen,
Exposed beneath the tail and wing -
Her birthright...
Derby's Golden Ring.

The tiercel noted first her grace
She noted first his speed in race,
Their brood would merge and carry fine -
Her shining core...
The Derby Line.

She'd proved by skill of wing and claw
Her right to share his lonely Tor,
And as they bonded in their bower -
The Derby Bell rang...
Midnight Hour.

Anonymous said...

"Midnight Hour" is a lovely poem Lorraine. I'm sure it'll thrill the Project Team (Nick B, Nick M, Tony and now Ian too) not just for its own intrinsic beauty but because it's a living embodiment of the "people" part of their "People and Peregrines" project ideals. I know what you mean about Google etc attemtping to take your life over. As someone myself who is only prepared to share the bare minimum on the internet, it's a challenge to ensure privacy, but my personal recommendation is to only share the bare minimum on the internet - if you click on mine, you won't find much out!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen this? its about a Bristol Peregrine.

Wonder where our 4 have all flown too.. :-(

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lorraine said...

The adults have been spending a lot of time on the tower today, I've seen the tiercel under the scrape every time I've tuned in. Juvie with me on the tower again into the early hours last night.

Anonymous, late evening is the best time to catch the juvies ( from the cams reckoning, there are two known to be still in town and visiting the tower ledges ) I'm going to try search for more news about that incident you mentioned in Bristol. Absolutely appalling if true.

Sue, thanks again for tips. I've been checking out the Aylesbury project and read all about the first egg etc., Your blog pic is very special indeed ! I've changed mine to my own special moment when me and a juvie watched the dawn come up together - It's eyes are shining like two little diamonds, looking straight at "me" through the cam!

I love the Aylesbury nest box BTW - but then I would wouldn't I !


Lorraine said...

PS: Of course, I meant to say adult on the blog pic not juvie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lorraine
Just as a PS to the avatar discussion, I was only inspired to create mine out of jealousy for one that used to appear on this blog. I think it was project member Nick Brown's. I've wasted quite a bit of time searching back for it on the old posts, to no avail. I got back as far as 17th June 2012 (post headed "It's time to help ....") and there is the picture - Nick holding one of the past "fallers". I'm so jealous!!!! If I'd ever had a picture of me like that, I tell you, I'd be using it forever, I can't think why Nick doesn't.
I can't bear to read up about the Bristol story, I can't fathom the wickedness of some people. I read in the "i" newspaper today about a burned and mutilated swan's remains found by the river Thames at Windsor. They think somebody has BBQ'd it. Unbelievable, especially given that it likely tasted foul and it only costs a couple of quid to buy a decent chicken at a supermarket.

Lorraine said...

Sue - that pic of Nick B holding a peregrine is wonderful. It brings home the actual size of these beautiful birds. They have amazing presence don't they? Nick B's purple shirt is pretty cool too !

The Bristol shooting defies any understanding of the evil actions of those responsible. Thank God they didn't succeed in their hideous action and the bird in question has a good chance of full recovery. As for the swan - I just can't comment - to awful for words to politely express I'm afraid.

All quiet on the cams at present so will tune in again around midnight to see if there's any sleep overs.

Lorraine said...

Nope, not a peep - guess they're all out clubbing it on the top of Jury's.

I'm checking out and off-t-mi-bed

Phoebe said...

A beautiful juvie on the top in front of the cam, looks in very fine fettle! An adult on the corbel below the scrape.

steph said...

Lorraine - Midnight Hour - such a delightful poem, made me feel quite emotional and brought a tear to my eye (have always loved poetry and find well written verse very moving and yours certainly is). Thank you!

Phoebe said...

Lorraine, I've only just read your poem 'Midnight Hour' I had goose bumps reading it, it is wonderful, thank you for sharing!

Lorraine said...

Thanks good buddies! I wrote it for all of us. We all got lumps in our throats whilst following the 2013 Derby cams - mine just come out as poems!

Always was a bit of an "artful" dodger - the 1956 blog pic says it all. I think Mum must have put a pudding bowl on my head before cutting my hair!


Helen said...

A juvenile with prey visible on the tower camera this morning. Possibly the same bird that was around last night.

Lorraine said...

Please bear with me a moment, as this post is part 1 of a quick experiment.

Give me a moment to set it up and my next post will explain.....

Lorraine said...

Ah Ahh ! It worked.

I've figured a nifty way of getting a screen shot incorporated into this post.

For instance, I wanted to post that a juvie spent the night on the tower last night and was later joined by what appeared to be a parent bird. They both remained settled there when I tuned out just after 2.30am this morning.

A straight forward event with nothing out of the ordinary I agree, but... If you click on the blog icon now, you will find a screen shot of the very two birds in question, listing the time and date etc.,

Now, should anything out of the ordinary occur ( and because I don't want to go the whole Yahoo/Flckr path ) I can now easily capture a screen shot of an event,to my file, then go into my blog and use it's profile pic facility to put an image there of any notable event I'm posting about.

For instance, that episode with the rat a while back ( though I wasn't savvy in how to set up a blog at that point I don't think )) could have been an image you may have been interested in seeing.

Meanwhile I will change my blog pic from time to time with some nice bird images, or other's that take my fancy ( you know what I'm like! ) I don't need all that stuff about what I like to read and what my favorite colour is etc., because I've no interest in creating a social blog, and I doubt I'd get into trouble just for using the blog for the above purpose. It may come in handy, you never know.

So, just to show how it works, if you now click on the blog pic on this post, instead of my grinning face or the like, you will see the two birds I posted info on plus the date and time etc.,

Good innit ! I feel like a big kid who's just got one over on Mr.Microsoft. I'm telling you, you cant teach us " oldies " nowt - common sense always prevails - I think!

Sue, can I get into trouble by doing this ?

Lorraine said...

Sorry, one more quick thing,

Once the pic is in place on the post, it will remain until changed. If you go back to an earlier post with a different blog pic for instance, you will find that this latest pic has taken it's place, though the original pic remains at the side of the post. The replaced pics will always be available in my file if they are needed or requested.

A visitor on the ledge just now I see.

steph said...

Hey, that's clever and when you clic on the icon, it even says "see full size" ain't technology great! Well done that girl!!

Helen said...

Three peregrines visible on the webcams right now - two on the tower, with a third on the platform.

christine said...

2 peregrines on tower ledge! Nice 2 see that they are still around! Juvenile and adult I think! From christine

Lorraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorraine said...

Usual two ( falcon and juvie ) snoozing away on the tower ledge at my last look in tonight. A screen grab isn't necessary and so I'll use the BP ( blog-pic) to show one of the remarkable peregrine related images I've come across meanwhile.

On this occasion I posted twice in error, ( early day's 'n all ) but the BP must be what all juvie's dream about!

Lorraine said...

Both adults in view on and under the nest box at present.

Nick B's recent post update has given the option for Derby residents to email any captured images they may snap on camera of the peregrine family whilst they are out and about in the city.( get your camera out anonymous ! ) This is great, as we may yet get some images showing just how many juvies are still in town.

We know of two, or possibly now only one, but any images confirming otherwise would be great, especially to those who, like myself, don't want to set up a yahoo/flickr account.

I'll change my blog pic later to show a fresh image every day. BTW, Clicking onto my BP image doesn't generate any monetary interchange whatsoever and is purely for sharing interesting images for those who wish to see them. There are some smashing images lined up, that I feel sure you would all like to view, so keep your eye on the BP for future giggles, Oooh's 'n Aghrrr's and lots of wows !

Hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend.


Lorraine said...

No birds in view on the cams at dusk.

The BP shows a peregrine's night view of it's City. I don't know which is more breathtaking, the peregrine or the City.

Dutch Eagle Fan said...

The Frodo webcam is off-line since 2008 because the falcons moved to a new location.
The only really live webcam in Australia is the one at CSU campus in Orange.

Three eggs, on 27-08, 30-08 and 02-09. On 06-09 one egg is rolled to the side of the scrape, the next day it was gone (probably disposed of/eaten by a parent.
The female is named Swift, the male's name is Beau.

Another nest is in Caloundra-Queensland, on the balcony in front of the kitchen window of Robyn Hills, a professional photographer. She has created a Facebook page with updates and pictures:
There is a webcam but getting the images on the internet seems to be a bit problematic.

Dutch Eagle Fan said...

Oops, I posted the wrong link for the Emily Falcon Facebook page .
(It was late, that is my excuse ;-) )
Here is the correct link: