Wednesday, 3 February 2016

February warm up and a TV piece

Peregrines on TV Thursday 4 Feb.

There was a feature on BBC1's The One Show (programme begins at 7pm) on 4th February about peregrines hunting at night presented by Mike Dilger and featuring Ed Drewitt.

Before Christmas Ed requested us to send the BBC some videos of our Derby Cathedral birds night hunting (eg the one in which a live collared dove is brought back to the tower after dark in 2013) and this sequence is shown briefly.
The programme is available on iplayer here and the piece is about 23 minutes in.

As we begin the month of February, our minds turn once again to the coming breeding season.
With luck, this will be our pair's eleventh season together.
The nest platform was put up in 2006 and we were amazed that our female laid her first clutch of (three) eggs on the gravel within weeks of its installation.
Every year since she's laid four eggs making a total laid of 39 to date.
Of these eggs, two failed to hatch in 2007 and one in 2015, leaving a total of 36 that did hatch.
Of the 36, two chicks died in the nest in 2010 and one in 2014.
So the total that reached fledging age was 33, a remarkably high average per year of 3.3.
Derby Cathedral and tower as seen from The Assembly Rooms car park
What happened to our juveniles after they had fledged we know very little about:
In 2009, one female was found dead soon after fledging and another female injured herself and has been kept in captivity ever since. Her brother was found in 2013 in Nottingham with a very similar injury and he too is now being looked after in captivity.
A recently fledged juvenile in 2011. Photo: Jon Salloway

One of the two females that fledged in 2007 was seen nesting on a cliff in Yorkshire in 2014 but we have yet to be 100% confident about the exact number on her orange colour ring. Someone read it once as being 002 but we would have liked to get other sightings to confirm this. The difficulty is that she is difficult to approach and the nest is in a very hard place to see.
A juvenile on the ledge above the nest platform
Three youngsters 'ready to go'.......
Then, as you may have seen on this blog just before Christmas, 030, a female that fledged last summer, was seen at a nature reserve at the West end of Rutland Water.
As to dates that the first egg was laid each year from 2007 (the first year the cameras were in place), they became earlier but then rather later:
2006 no cameras present but probably last April,
2007 3/4,  
2008  28/3,  
2009  23/3,
2010  24/3,
2011  2/4,
2012 29/3,
2013 4/4,
2014  29/3 and
2015 29/3.

So, there's much to look forward to as the 2016 season starts to happen!

The Project Team

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Snow....but not much

Winter arrives at last!

As you can see from the screen grab below, we had about an inch of snow in Derby this morning (Jan 17th) though it is melting as the day progresses. It shows the male on the far side of the platform looking out towards the East.
Screen grab shows male and snow. Taken by Helen Sara
For more photos of the snowy platform and over 2000 other photos, visit the Derby Peregrines Flickr group here .

Some of you will remember the heavy snowfall that covered the platform in the spring of 2013, just before the female was due to lay her eggs.......
Female on platform 22nd March 2013

Nick B (DWT)

Friday, 15 January 2016

Posing Peregrine

While it is still a month or more before our peregrines start to get into breeding mode, things are quiet at the cathedral.
Both adults were seen on Jurys Inn recently - so it is good to know they are both still around.
There's been no recent news from Rutland Water about our bird 030 (see previous post).
So, instead, here's an intriguing photo of a peregrine posing on a bridge near Glasgow in Scotland, the photo taken in July by a traffic monitoring camera belonging to Traffic Scotland!
They were quite surprised to find this adult bird (which looks like a male to me) posing right in front of their lens.

"Am I in your way?"


Nick B (DWT)

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Invite to Join, great news from Rutland Water and a new Video Clip!

On 20th November, 180 days after it was ringed, one of the juveniles reared last summer was seen alive and well at the Egleton Nature Reserve at the west end of Rutland Water, the biggest reservoir in England. The bird had moved 61 kilometres in an East South Easterly direction from Derby.
The bird, a female, was ringed with colour ring 030 on its left leg. Steve Lister, a bird watcher visiting the reserve, saw the bird and another birder was able to read the number on the ring so a big thanks to them for taking the trouble to report the details to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) who are responsible for bird ringing in the UK.
This is an exciting report and shows that our juveniles do move away from Derby in the autumn. The photos are by John Wright (see his video clip of her below).
030 standing on a post at Egleton Nature Reserve at
Rutland Water, photo by John Wright
030 in flight - photo by John Wright
030 showing her orange ring, photo by John Wright
030 even had a go at a short eared owl, as you can see in John's photo. There is a flock of lapwings behind:
030 (left) short eared owl (right) with flock of
lapwings behind. Photo John Wright, taken
at distance....


Steve Lister has emailed us explaining more about 030:
He wrote:
"The colour-ringed juv female Peregrine has been virtually resident at Rutland Water since late September: I first noticed the colour ring on the 29th and, along with many others, have seen it regularly since. The bird has spent long periods sitting around on the islands on Lagoon 4 of the Egleton Nature Reserve. Nobody was able to read the ring until John Wright managed it with his top quality equipment in early November".  

Video clip of 030 at Rutland Water


John Wright has kindly sent us a video clip of our young female. It is on Dropbox and the link is:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j4mgyrr383zkxcp/AAAci0n99V8TmRBakW3A3eTMa?dl=0 .


It seems the quickest way to access the video is to right click over the photo and click on 'Open in a new window'.

Nick Brown, Project Team