Sunday, 18 March 2018

Snow eggs yet.....

With snow covering the platform today (18th) it's just as well our pair lay somewhat later than some others elsewhere.

Easterly winds blow snow onto the platform again
screenshot by Kate

It seems the pair in Bath now have their first egg (as do pairs in Woking (laid yesterday 17th) and Nottingham) and no doubt the females are struggling to keep their eggs snow and frost free!
The very earliest egg ever at Derby was laid on 23rd March some years ago and of course, last year, with a new male to contend with, our female didn't lay until 5th April.
This year we would expect a slightly earlier date despite this inclement weather.....we'll have to wait and see of course if we get one for Easter or not.
Here's a new video clip from Wendy taken on 18th in the snow:

The Project Team


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Mike Dilger visits our Project

This morning (6th March) Nick Moyes and I were joined at the top of the tower by Mike Dilger of The One Show fame, Simon Hare, from the BBC's East Midlands Inside Out programme, a cameraman and Alex Rock from Derby Cathedral.
Mike and Simon were there to film an interview with Nick Moyes about our project and how relatively safe urban peregrines are compared to their country cousins who suffer both from persecution and from the theft of chicks for the illegal but very lucrative trade selling them for falcon racing in Arabia.
The nine minute long piece is essentially about how peregrines nesting in rural quarries and on cliffs in the White Peak area of Derbyshire are being targeted by chick thieves and how steps need to be taken to catch them.
The Inside Out programme went out on Monday (12th) at 7.30pm on BBC 1. Now it is available to watch from anywhere in the UK on iplayer. HERE'S THE LINK: . The peregrine piece starts 20 minutes in.
Nick and I were there to do the annual nest clean up and camera maintenance tasks that we do every year. I say 'we' but of course it is Nick M, both a mountaineer and an all round technically highly capable fellow, who abseils down to the platform while I act as his unskilled assistant/gopher!
Nick was interviewed by Mike on the top of the tower and then filmed abseiling down to the platform.

Nick Moyes and Mike Dilger discuss our peregrines on top of the tower 
Nick prepares to abseil down to the nest platform to
clean it up and maintain the cameras

Mike was already very well informed about our project, for example, knowing all about our world first video clip which proved that peregrines hunt by night - in our case using the floodlighting to see their prey flying over the Cathedral.

Very sodden prey remains found up there today included two woodcock, two fieldfares, a blackbird and a teal.

Update on 7th: good to hear from regular web cam watcher Kate in Devon that both adults have been back to the platform this morning in the sunlight!

Male brings an offering to his mate the day after the nest cleanup. Screengrab by Kate in Devon
And a view looking south....
Now, where can I hide this........ Screengrab by Kate
And another screengrab from Kate showing the male (and his ring) with the back of the female in the foreground.
Dare I approach her? Screengrab by Kate

Nick Brown
Peregrine Project DWT team member

Ps. If you want to see a white tailed eagle web cam there's one in Latvia here: . What massive birds and beaks!
Crossbills and black woodpeckers (making their 'telephone calls') can sometimes be heard on the audio feed and I gather a party of waxwings came to look at the nest the other day (while the eagles were away that is!). No eggs yet......but this Hungarian web cam shows a tiny chick (being fed a fish at the moment I watched it!): . Birds further south breed earlier.....and here's a Dutch goshawk nest web cam: .

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Getting in the mood....early and late February 2018

Wendy has captured several new videos as you can see from her comments.
The second part of this latest one shows the female on the platform, unfazed by today's snow (27th February) :

Wendy Bartter captured the video below a couple of days ago (on 8th February) and it shows both the female doing a little nest scraping and later on, an e-chupping session between the pair with the male flying off perhaps as a result of the intimidating pose and feet dancing display the female puts on. So things are beginning to hot up!
The Project Team

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Happy New Year and a new video

Update 22nd January:
Mating has been reported at another urban peregrine site in the county - now that is really VERY early in the year indeed! At Derby most matings take place away from the platform and out of sight of the cameras but if anyone is passing through Derby it may be worth a look up at the cathedral tower....!

Update 21 January
A snowy day in Derby, captured with this screenshot by Kate (in wet Devon!):

Somewhat belatedly, the Project Team wish all viewers of the blog and web cams a very happy (and peregrine-filled) New Year!
Needless to say, the wonderful Wendy Bartter has continued to capture video clips of our birds for us  throughout the holiday period and as we begin a new breeding season.
Here's one from January 1st: