Well, what a day in the world of Nottingham’s famous peregrine family. For me the day got off to a terrible start, having stopped watching the cameras during the evening last night because I felt the outlook was bleak for all our chicks. Whilst very concerned, I didn’t actually want to watch their continued demise before my eyes. As a result, when the cameras were off this morning I feared the worst.
With the cameras down there had been a number of concerned posts on the blog, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. There had also been a transatlantic call from a concerned Peregrine Cam watcher in New York, desperate for some positive news.
Thankfully the cameras were just down whilst the team had a discussion about whether it would be possible or advisable to remove the dead chicks (by now it was clear that two had sadly died) and organise a message for the front page to warn people that there were dead chicks in the nest – a very sensible decision considering that a number of schools were likely to log onto the camera this morning.
Having at first been relieved that two chicks had made it through the night, our concern switched to the continued absence of the adult male. None of the people commenting via the blog or the Wildlife Trust’s Twitter/Facebook pages had seen the male and the camera team at NTU trawled through hours of footage with no sign of him.
When midday came and went, our delight that the female looked more content (if a little weary) and the chicks looked relatively strong considering the battering they received from the elements over the weekend, turned increasingly to gloom. The longer the day went on without sight of the male, the bleaker the outlook for the remaining chicks.
One of our Conservation Officers headed over to the Newton Building to see if there was any sign of the male in areas where the cameras can’t reach – but sadly there was still no sign and we really began to think that the male may have perished.
Then, following a frantic call from staff at the University and a flurry of posts to our Facebook page and blog it became clear that he was back! Apparently whoops of delight were heard in at least one City Centre office here in Nottingham and I think many thousands of Peregrine Cam followers gave a simultaneous sigh of relief.
If the weather remains unseasonably cold and wet then I suspect that the challenges are not yet over for our pair, but at least for today the prospects look a little brighter.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust