This photo shows the precise moment, captured and posted almost immediately by "Twwitcher" onto our Flickr photopool.
It seems it (she?) flew around 14:35 local time, though ironically we first heard the news via a phone call from Ruth in France to report her departure. So thanks to everyone who got in touch. As I write this (15:20) I've just recieved a text message from Nick B. to report that he has spotted the chick on the cathedral's nave roof, and that she seems OK. Whether or not she will be able to fly on from there remains to be seen.
Oops - a further call from Nick B. at 15:32 and she has flown on to one of the tall chimneys of the Silk Mill museum (the small one just left of centre on the photo), after not quite managing to make it to the tall, nearby Jury's Inn Hotel. But it does look like our second bird is a strong flyer and should be OK, too.
We gather that a photographer (Andy B) from Nottingham managed to capture the exact moment of take off, after waiting there most of the day with camera poised. He's agreed to send us some images and we'll try and bring this moment to you too. We'll retrieve a video clip of the fledging moment sometime tomorrow lunchtime if we can, and hope to post it just after lunch or later in the evening.
So what happens now?
It's still possible that one or both birds will come back to the nest ledge, and maybe confuse a few webcam watchers into thinking that they haven't left yet. But there's a much stronger chance that you'll see them at some point in the days ahead via the tower cam. This is a high vantage point on Derby Cathedral which the juveniles have used a lot in the past. So we'll switch the cams over in the next day or so to give better view looking across towards Jury's Inn Hotel. I'll also swap back the video recorders which have been running on both next cameras since yesterday so that the ledge is covered. (Apologies to those of you who wanting more video clips this season. It has been a very busy time for me both at home and at work recently, and it simply wasn't possible to find the free time to retrieve all the clips from inside Derby Cathedral Tower that you might have wished to have seen.)
(The photo shows the first fledger and the falcon both near the top of one of the pinnacles today. During the morning this bird successfully received food from the falcon in mid-air and took it first to the nave roof and then to the top of the Silk Mill, finally flying back to the tower top.)
Cathedral Green Antics
Despite the wonders of technology, nothing beats seeing peregrine falcons in real life. So this is where many of you reading this blog will now be earnestly wish you were living in or visiting Derby, because for the next few weeks there should be some amazing aerial antics to be seen from Derby's Cathedral Green. As the young peregrines gain in confidence their parents will be aiding the process of learning to hunt and fly, and all this can be watched from the ground. The Wildlife Trust-run Watchpoints will continue for some time yet, so if you haven't made it down to see them in the flesh (so-to-speak), do make a point of visiting in the days ahead. (Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays c.10.30am-1.00pm.).