Sunday, 22 November 2009

The more the merrier.....update

This morning both adults and one of the juveniles were all together on the Jurys Inn sign in Derby that faces east towards Nottingham - sitting out of the prevailing wind......
Apologies for the picture quality!

The juvenile is bottom left, the tiercel (male) top left, and the falcon (female) bottom right.

Nick B (DWT)

Ps It occurs to me subsequently that they won't perch there after dark when the JI signs are so brightly perhaps it's not surprising they are back on the tower in the evening as reported by several commentators...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

From Sokół wędrowny to Hebog Tramor

Peregrine falcon eye - from an image of a juvenile by John Salloway

Wherever you live on this earth - whatever language you speak - welcome to our peregrine falcon blog.
If English is not your main language, you can now translate any page of this diary. Just look for the Google Translation tool on the top left-hand side of this page.*

During the busiest part of the 2009 peregrine breeding season we know that nearly 10,000 readers a week came to learn more about events on the peregrine nest platform on Derby Cathedral's stone tower. Even now this blog still receives almost 1,000 visits each week, whilst the webcams themselves get around 500 visits a day.
The map below shows the typical spread of blog readers around our planet. It's good to see some of you appearing nearly every week on these maps. The more distant you are from Derby, the more your little red dot stands out. It may be invidious to name names, but "Jennie in Hong Kong" and "Ann (Canada)" are just two of a number of regular readers and commenters who have managed to make the long journey to the City of Derby to see our birds in person.
It's hard for us to really understand how effective our family of peregrine falcons actually is at bringing people to Derby, though we know many of you have made the trip, often combining it with a chance to go shopping. So if your visit or stay in Derby is prompted by our birds, do please make a point of telling your hotel/taxi driver/shop assistant/tourism officer or restaurant exactly why you've come. Or tell us about your visit by emailing
Sometimes those little red spots on the map are easier to notice than real visitors in the street! Follow this link for more on Derby tourist infomation.

We've long been intrigued by regular visits from someone near Honolulu in Hawaii, and possibly from Cook Island or some other seemingly remote spot in the South Pacific. You guys appear nearly every week, so welcome, whoever you are.
Of course, Peregrine Falcon is Falco peregrinus in any language, because scientists use one internationally agreed name. But if you've ever wondered what other common names are given to peregrines around the planet, here are just a few we've found.
  • Sokół wędrowny
  • Wanderfalke
  • Vandrefalk
  • Faucon pèlerin
  • Halcón peregrino
  • Falco pellegrino
  • Slechtvalk
  • Bayağı doğan
  • Halcón peregrino
  • Πετρίτης
  • Sokol stěhovavý
  • Сокол скитник
  • Hebog Tramor

I wonder how long it will take someone to list which language is which!

*Update: Google's Translatoin Tool does seem to work with old browsers like Internet Explorer 6.0, but not with early versions of Firefox (eg version 2.0). You may need to upgrade your browser to use this tool.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Jury's In.....

(Updated 10 Nov) Yesterday morning was fine and bright in Derby - if cold. Winter has arrived as you can see from the lack of leaves on the trees. Gulls were flying from their overnight roosts to feed along the river and perhaps in fields beyond the city's boundaries. A grey wagtail flew by and I heard the calls of a mistle thrush too.

Both adults were on the cathedral tower. The male was on the platform. While I was looking for prey remains he made the 'ee-chup' call above my head. I looked up and saw him glide from the platform, circle round and then fly over to the new hotel where he proceeded to sit on the Y of Jurys....just as Joyce S of Derby had also reported. I've also seen the female again on St Mary's, the roman catholic church, so it seems our Church of England birds are sampling both catholicism and now mammon....

There was not much in the way of prey remains - just a few snipe, lapwing and various thrush feathers.

The project team had a useful meeting with the hotel manager last week, discussing various ways in which the hotel might help the project next year. The birds themselves clearly haven't waited for a meeting- they've taken advantage of its presence already!
Nick B (DWT)

Postscript: The video below was taken in May 2009 as Jurys Inn, Derby, was nearing completion. It compresses 90 minutes down into 75 seconds, and shows our adult falcon looking out over the hustle and bustle of city life below. (Warning: Don't play the audio too loud!!)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Praise from London; Film from Italy

The newly formed London Peregrine Partnership has an excellent website, well worth a browse. In particular, go to their 'Peregrines on the web' page where they say (completely unprompted):

"The Derby Cathedral site is by far the best in the UK, with regular updates, good notes and some excellent pictures."

Obviously we knew this anyway but it great when someone else 'in the business', so to speak, thinks so too!
Well done that man at the museum - you all know who he is! What a star!

Herewith also the photo of the church in Exeter where peregrines have nested for many years and which was the stimulus for setting up our cameras back in 2006/7. You can't see the nest site with the cameras trained on it because it's round the other side of the base of the spire - and anyway, the annoying peregrines have decided to nest inside a window completely out of view both from cameras or the ground!

Update: Our own web cams are down at the moment, as you probably know. We now know where the fault lies, and are waiting for an engineer to arrange to visit the Cathedral to repair the wireless link connecting us to The Silk Mill museum. Please bear with us.
Meanwhile here is a lovely YouTube video made by Paulo Taranto of the life of urban peregrines in Bologna, Italy. (Watch for the zoom shot with the policeman)

Nick B (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)