Friday, 8 December 2017

The hounds of winter....and an Update

UPDATE 10th December:
Wendy's video shows the snow we have had today (Sunday 10th):



And Kate also captured this screengrab of the snow:

Snowy scene Derby Cathedral 10 December 2017
by Kate (from Devon)

December 8th: a cold snap here in Derby, as elsewhere in the UK.
Snow on the ground...and the Snake Pass road over the moors in the north of the county shut as a result.
Wendy's latest video shows the snow on the ground as seen from the webcams:



No sign of our pair but they'll be warming their feet on the illuminated signs on Jurys Inn Hotel nearby no doubt!

Unlike our birds  that have produced young every year since 2006, a recent report has revealed that peregrines elsewhere in this county (eg up on the grouse moors) are faring very badly. In fact this year (2017) not a single pair bred....the first time this has occurred since the species recolonized the Peak District in the 1980s following their absence due to agricultural pesticides.
Evidence points strongly to illegal persecution as the root cause.

Read more about the story here: http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1055570/Bird-of-Prey-Initiative-2016-17-Report.pdf  and here:

https://markavery.info/2017/12/01/peak-district-hushup/

And do please read this inspirational blog post by a 13 year old lad called Dara McAnulty from Northern Ireland. He loves his raptors but is determined to do something about the widespread illegal persecution they suffer in his country:
https://markavery.info/2017/12/07/guest-blog-ramble-raptor-persecution-dara-mcanulty/ .

Inspired by him? Then do consider sending a donation towards his fund raising walk (the link is in his blog post).

The project team

Saturday, 18 November 2017

November action

Wendy Bartter has recently captured a number of video clips of the female falcon on the nest platform.
This first one shows her almost losing her balance on the edge:


And here's a second showing her 'blowin' in the wind'.....:



And this one shows some scraping/display behaviour which does sometimes occur at this time of the year:


There are more videos available...for the YT links please see Wendy's 'comment' to the previous post on this blog. As always a huge 'thank you' to Wendy for capturing these clips for us!

The Project Team

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Up the tower

Two trainees from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Peter Eley and Steph Woodhead, visited the project and the cathedral today (26th September). I took them up the top of the tower to admire the views and see the set up in general. Fortunately it was a lovely autumn afternoon!
I think they were impressed by what has been achieved.

Steph and Peter pose on the top of the world
(well, nearly.......)

There were no peregrines to be seen but we did find the remains of a common tern, a species we've found before once or twice over the many years the project has been running.
The roof work will be completely finished by Friday with just a few scaffold poles to be taken down and some clearing up to be carried out.
I had a brief chat to Bruce, the project manager and thanked him for his helpful cooperation throughout the whole period. He and his team have had close-up views of the birds through the summer and have been interested to watch and learn about them.
The new roof looks great and should last many years - though the peregrines are already doing their best to cover it in prey remains apparently.....

Nick B
Project Team member

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Getting back to normal

The renewal of the Cathedral nave roof is now complete and the workmen have been busy removing the plastic sheeting and now the scaffolding which supported it.
Wendy Bartter captured this video today (14th) of the men who (speeded up) appear to be scurrying about like ants:



Hopefully next year, everything will be a lot simpler and less fraught.
Occasional sightings of bird at the nest platform are still being made.....but not that often. Perhaps when the workers have gone we'll see a bit more of our adults.....

Old wild peregrine
People at watch points and on the blog often ask "how old do peregrines get in the wild?"
We usually reply that we are not sure but we know many are persecuted (especially on grouse moors) and will be lucky to survive long. Away from game shooting enterprises, wild peregrines should be able to live many years and proof of this has recently come from a tagged bird (though not a Derbyshire one) that was at least 21 years old!

The Project Team