Friday, 17 July 2015

Final Watch Point 18th July

With the juveniles still around the tower (and showing on the web cams), Ian Layton, our Engagement Officer has decided to hold a final (really final) Watch Point tomorrow Saturday 18th July.
Two of the juveniles together. Photo Roger Lawson

So if you've not been down to see the birds and meet Ian and his trusty band of brilliant volunteers, then tomorrow is your last chance.
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant, which began back in summer 2012, finishes next month. Ian has done a superb job both in organising Watch Points for the public over the last three years and in engaging new audiences. In the absence of a grant next year, it remains to be seen if we can get Ian back to help us once more. A future blog post will cover both what we have achieved with the help of our £49,000 HLF grant and how the future of the project looks.
Meanwhile, if you would like to donate (and it is so easy via Virgin Moneygiving) please do so.
Just click on the 'Donate' tab on the home page of the blog and hey presto!

Nick B (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)

Ps. And you anyone would like to join the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, please ask for a form at the Watch Point, phone the Trust office 01773 881188 (in office hours) or go to the Trust's website: and click on 'Join Us'. It's quick, simple and entirely painless!

The Trust has 14,000 members but is striving to achieve a total of 20,000 by 2020.
If you live in or near Derbyshire there are so many reasons why you should join us. And we also have many 'ex-pats' and others living beyond the county who support our work to Protect Wildlife, Restore Landscapes and Inspire People.
The Peregrine Project certainly seems to do the latter with over 350,000 hits this year to the blog and web cams and over 3,000,000 since the cameras began in 2007!

Watch Point report. Jane Tagg, one of our newest recruits to the ranks of our volunteers, reports that there was a steady flow of visitors.
Final Watch Point 2015 Joyce Sawford

All three of the juvenile peregrines were present during the morning though they flew off later, at which point, the adults were visible.
Hope that lion doesn't swish its tail! Photo Joyce Sawford
 So we were delighted that the whole family was still around to be seen and admired! 

A really BIG thank you is due to Ian and to his wonderful band of volunteers who have helped out in a fair old mixture of rain, wind and hot sun all summer. At least it didn't snow!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Post-fledging Update and Watch Point Summary

For those web cam watchers who live far away from Derby, here is a photo showing the layout of the cameras and nest platform.
The platform sits at the bottom left of the louvred 'window' which, incidentally is just wood and has no glass in it.
The two original 'nest cams' are sited on posts attached either side of the Nest Platform. A more recent camera with the wide-angle lens is fixed to the back of the platform, and looks out over the nest towards Cathedral Green below (where the Watch Points are held) and beyond to the River Derwent.
Tower Cam (sometimes known as 'pud cam' because it looks like a Christmas pudding) sits in the lead gutter to the left of the three carved 'Grotesques' which appear on the photo as dark blobs.
It is on these grotesques that the three fledglings often sit.

Here's the 'peregrine's eye-view' from the top of the tower looking over Cathedral Green and out towards the River Derwent:
View looking East taking in the winter showing
Cathedral Green and the River Derwent
If you were to peer over the top of the tower and look down, this is the view of the platform some 20-25 metres below:
Photo looking down on the platform taken on chick ringing day
And here's a photo from a previous year of the adult male bird sitting on one of the carved stone 'grotesques':

Photo by John Salloway
Wednesday Watch Point (July 8th).
Over 150 people came through the Watch Point. They saw all three juveniles plus both the adults, though not all together (only one adult at a time).
At one moment, the juv males saw a pigeon and set off from the top of the tower chasing it. He didn't achieve a meal but clearly he's well up on his learning curve.
Here's a photo from a previous year (2012) showing three juvenile birds in the air, one of them carrying prey passed to it by an adult and the other two screaming that they would rather like to have meal that for themselves!:
Photo by Ian Bradley
It is this sort of exciting behaviour that you will see (with luck) if you come to the Watch Point on this Saturday, 11th July.
Last year, a less than competent juvenile failed to catch a prey item dropped for it in mid-air by the female. The prey dropped perilously close to people sitting outside a local pub (The Dolphin) drinking beer and eating their lunch! Fortunately it just missed landing in someone's pint pot!

Nick B (DWT)

Ps. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the project recently.
If you've enjoyed the web cams and blog but haven't donated yet - please scroll down to the previous post to read about how to donate. It is VERY simple and easy and quick!

11th July Watch Point Report by Helen Naylor:
Another very successful watch point today, with plenty to show the steady stream of visitors that arrived throughout the morning. All three juvenile birds were seen on the tower, looking very fit and healthy and enjoying the sunshine. They made several flights over the watch point and around the cathedral. It was great to see them flying so confidently. The adult male was around for much of the time, even perching on the nearby roof of the Silk Mill Museum giving us superb close up views. The young birds were very vocal and could be heard calling to him on numerous occasions, hoping for some food! The juvenile wood pigeon that was still in its nest last week below the peregrine platform appears to have gone, so hopefully it managed to fledge successfully! Another big thank you for all the kind donations that we received today.