Author: Pete

My name is Pete

And now we have four!

Some quick news… this morning we got some messages that the Peregrines may have laid their fourth egg, but every time I looked at the webcam one of the adults was sitting tight and not revealing the eggs beneath them. During lunchtime several Peregrine watchers on Twitter sent us screenshots during a brief time the eggs were unoccupied, revealing the rumours were true! (Thanks to Victoria Lund for the image below.)

4thegg

This is exactly a year to the day since the final egg was laid in 2014, and presuming this to be the last egg of this brood (five is possible but unlikely), this would leave us with the same estimated hatching date of 24th-27th April. Last year we were almost correct – cracks were starting to show on the 27th and the first chick arrived on the 28th.

Keep posted on various outlets for updates – this blog, of course, for David’s detailed analysis, and also the Peregrines Twitter feed and SBSG Facebook page. Here’s hoping for another successful year!

Peregrine talk available to view online

17 May female

The Peregrine public talk, which took place earlier in the month and featured David Wood, Jim Lonsdale and Phil Riley, has been made available to watch on the University of Sheffield’s iTunes U educational video channel.

To watch the video, visit this page and click the link to watch in iTunes. You will need iTunes installed to to view it, or the iTunes U app for iPad or iPhone.

An empty nest…?!

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 15.38.21

I’ve just received a number of worried messages asking why there seems to be an empty nest on the webcam… don’t worry! The right hand corner of the nest box is a blind spot for the camera, with more than enough room for the chicks, who are currently nestled in there to shelter from the rather windy weather.

As you can see from the picture above they’re currently (at the time of writing) being tended there by the female. It’s a bit frustrating if you were hoping to watch the chicks in action, but thankfully nothing to worry about!

And we have a chick…

No doubt David will be on hand shortly with a more detailed post, but the big news this morning is we have our first chick! Judging from the comments to the blog, some of you early birds spotted it at around 5am this morning – hopefully we’ll be able to have a look through webcam footage for the exact time.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 09.17.42

So the excitement starts again – keep your eyes peeled on the webcam to watch the events unfold live, and follow the University’s Twitter feed and this blog for further announcements. Also, if you’re on Facebook we’ll also be posting regular updates the SBSG’s Facebook page.

EDIT – By the end of the afternoon I’m sure most of you have noticed… we now have three!

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 13.53.31

The first egg of the season!

peregrineegg

The first egg has been laid at the St George’s nest platform, a week ahead of last year’s date and earlier than I’d suggested as a prediction.  It may well be that the milder weather has triggered an earlier start to laying, and it would be interesting to plot dates from across sites to compare with last year.  We should see another 2-3 laid in the coming days, with one egg typically laid per day, so it’s definitely worth keeping a keen eye on the webcam.

The egg seems to have laid either overnight or very early this morning.  The first image to show it is below, from shortly after 05:30 this morning, when the female left the platform.

20 March 0530

The single egg has been left unincubated and apparently unattended for much of the day.  Some people have expressed concern in the comments to see the egg left unattended, but it is quite normal behaviour for incubation not to get fully under way until the clutch is (almost) complete and is no cause for alarm.  And they are far from unattended: views from the windows of my building nearby showed that at least one adult was on the perch or corner of the church whenever I looked, and on my way to a meeting the other side of St George’s this afternoon both adults were on station, though neither was visible on the webcam.  Both the male and female did spend time on the platform from time to time, with the female in particular present for extended periods, doing further rearrangement of individual stones.

20 March female with eggShe seems occasionally interested by the camera, and eyeballs it from time to time, though there have been no attacks on it, as there have been elsewhere!

20 March eyeballing

She also kept her eye on the egg and you can rest assured that it is being well looked after.

20 March egg watching

Tonight she has been incubating the egg, and perhaps will lay another before daybreak.  What will the morning hold?

20 March night

I’m sure everyone, like me, is looking forward to watching the events unfold on another breeding season!

Sheffield Peregrines on TV again

Sheffield’s Peregrines, along with other urban wildlife in the city including Kingfishers and Sand Martins, featured on the BBC’s ‘Urban Jungle’ this week. Presenter Mike Dilger was taken to the top of the University’s Arts Tower, by the Department of Estates’ Jim Lonsdale, to see the Peregrines in action.

The programme can be seen on BBC iPlayer here, until 8th August (please note this is only available for UK viewers).