So long.. but not farewell

 

It’s the end of FalconCam 2013 and I can’t help but feel a little down at heart that another nesting season is over.

Although it’s sad to bid farewell to Ernest, Gwendolen and Amelia, it’s a joy to think of them soaring the Notts skies and establishing themselves as adult birds of prey.

For all intents and purposes, 2013 has been a hugely successful year for FalconCam.

Not only have our resident pair of breeding adult falcons had three beautiful, healthy chicks which have all fledged the nest, we’ve also enjoyed a number of successes off-camera.

The popularity of the project has burgeoned, with more than 156,000 visitors to the FalconCam home page since this time last year and a peak of 63,000 visitors in May alone after the chicks hatched.

We have also successfully launched our donations button, which has led to almost £600 being generously given by you, the FalconCam viewers, with some people pledging monthly payments going forward. This money will be split between Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the university to further our work and research in this area.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of 2013 for our team has been the interaction with you. It was a real delight to receive dozens of drawings from the pupils of Lady Bay Primary School. It was also great to hear about Naomi Yeomans, Vanessa Sabin and their team of helpers from Capital One putting on a cake sale, raffle and tombola to raise £210.

It was a joy to receive so many nominations of chick names, and a privilege for us to name one of the birds Ernest as a tribute to a follower whose grandfather of that name – an avid viewer of our falcon family – sadly passed away.

There have also been times of adversity, such as when many people grew increasingly concerned for the birds’ wellbeing after they and the three eggs lay in deep snow as the cold winter continued into spring.

But these moments have been outweighed by times of joy, such as when the chicks hatched and video footage of the incredibly cute newly born chicks was broadcast on the websites of the national press and on regional television.

I’ll also never forget watching the chicks training for flight, flapping their wings frantically and exploring the ledge of our Newton building, much to the alarm of many viewers who were worried that they might fall off.

It’s only been three months since the eggs hatched, but so much has happened since then and in many ways it seems a lot longer.

In short, it’s been a pleasure. And from the team at Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, we’d like to say a huge thanks to you for following and we hope you’ll join us again next year to once again witness this true marvel of nature.

Chris Birkle
Nottingham Trent University

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140 Responses to So long.. but not farewell

  1. El D says:

    A huge Thank You to all the team for this year’s hard work. It was wonderful to observe.

    Like

  2. Thank you Chris and all your colleagues, for allowing us to share this each year.
    Can’t wait for next year!
    Pat

    Like

  3. Hetty says:

    So pleased it’s been such a successful year for the birds after the awful start with the snow – I’ll never forget the sight of Mrs P almost completely buried! Thank you so much for all you do to bring us this live feed. I sometimes have a look at other falcon webcams, but can honestly say I think yours is the best.

    Like

  4. chris veltman says:

    Yours is an excellent cam (the ledge camera is great when they’re fledging!) and after the initial fears with the snow, it has been a pleasure to watch the birds grow and fledge. Thank you for your hard work and I look forward to next year.

    Like

  5. julie says:

    Thank you for all the pleasure you have given showing the chicks from hatching to flight. I shall miss them but look forward to next year.

    Like

  6. Betty Forsyth says:

    Thank you all for such an excellent insight into the lives of these amazing birds. Thank you for your dedication to these worth while projects. I hope to see you all again next year.

    Like

  7. Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of this wonderful experience, I have enjoyed all the highs and lows and look forward to next year already.

    Like

  8. Alex Jones says:

    This has been a great project to follow. Time seemed to fly by from the moment of the eggs being laid to the young flying off as adults.

    Like

  9. Shirley Toenjes says:

    Thank you so much for the privilege of watching this family of falcons. I watch several other falcon and eagle nest cams. I always tell people about the Nottingham Trent camera so maybe you will have even more viewers next year. I’m looking forward to next year’s nesting season and the next group of falcon babies. Keep up the good work! It was a pleasure viewing.

    Like

  10. Claire says:

    Thank you, it’s been great viewing again & will keep watching just in case I spot them!! Looking forward to next year!

    Like

  11. Laine says:

    Absolutely wonderful to watch this family survive and grow. The sight of the youngsters strengthening their wings for flight was a treat to see along with their practice runs along the ledge. It’s been a privilege to watch. Thank you, until next year.

    Like

  12. Sonya says:

    Once again, thank you for providing us with the means of sharing the lives of these beautiful creatures. Such a privilege!

    Like

  13. Sonya says:

    Thanks also to those who have the unenviable job of cleaning up the ledge after the birds have flown. Quite a smelly task, I would imagine!

    Like

  14. David Sargent says:

    May I add my thanks for all the hard work you do. My brother is a senior lecturer at NTU, and ever since he told me some years ago about your webcam, I’ve been entranced and enthralled by the falcons. Keep up the good work – see you next year!

    Like

  15. barbara deane says:

    A final HUGE thank you from me for all the hard work that everyone has put in over the last few months! I would not have missed it for anything!

    I hope to be back next year!

    Barbara Deane

    Like

  16. Pam Birley says:

    I saw both adults in the box today. Mrs. seemed to be feeling broody and was scraping and tidying. Eventually Mr. joined her and they seemed to have a bit of a spat, squawking at each other. I put one or two more captures in my NTU falcons set. Scroll to the end to view the latest from this year.http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/sets/?&page=1 The camera is still on as I write and is still fascinating to watch.

    Thanks once again NTU.

    Like

  17. andy says:

    wow,thoroughly enjoyed the whole process from start to finish,every city should have a pair of peregrines and hopefully in the future every city will,thanks again

    Like

  18. S says:

    falcons on ledge, circling, talking at 8:54 Nott time

    Like

  19. MaryJoe Green says:

    This has been my first year following the FaalconCam and I have enjoyed watching the chicks and their parents. I’m thoroughly hooked on Peregrines! Thank you to to the entire NYU team for all your hard work and for sharing your knowledge so patiently with us. See you next year!

    Like

  20. geraldine says:

    thankyou for all your hard work–perhaps now i can catch up on some of the little jobs around the house that need doing !!!!!! so looking forward to next year already

    Like

  21. Judith Lee says:

    Thank you so much for bringing us tis live feed. it’s been wonderful to watch.Looking forward to next year. Judith Lee

    Like

  22. chocolateeclaire says:

    Following this cam has helped me develop more and more of a love for birds and given me interest in finding out more about them. I’m pleased to say that the cam and the NTU falcon site has also taught me quite a bit about falcons already.

    I’ve immensely enjoyed watching these magnificent birds. Although I feel a little saddened that they are no longer the adorable little fluffy things that they used to be, it is indeed great to know they have grown up healthy and are going off to live their happy falcon lives.

    Thank you so very much, NTU and everyone who helped with this project. Roll on, FalconCam 2014!

    Like

  23. dean says:

    Thank you so much for the privilege of watching this family of falcons.

    Like

  24. Cas says:

    I add my thanks too, for the pleasure of watching the peregrines for my second year. It’s 8pm now on 2 July and there is a bird on the ledge at the moment. If I remember rightly, the cameras continued to run for a long time after the birds had fledged last year if not right through the winter until they returned this year. There are random appearances by the birds all the time – just have to be lucky enough to check in at the right time.
    I’ll keep checking as long as the cameras roll.
    I’ll also add that as well as having the best quality webcam of those available, I think the blog is also the best and most user-friendly of all.
    Can’t wait to start it all over again next year.

    Like

    • chrisntu says:

      Thanks Cas. Our cams are left on throughout the year, 24/7.

      Chris

      Like

      • S says:

        I am also grateful that you leave the cams on.

        I don’t know why, but they’re a comfort. Strange, isn’t it?

        Thanks again to all staff at NTU and Wildlife Trusts!!!

        Like

  25. VICTORIA BELCHER says:

    THERE IS A FALCON IN THE NEST THINK ITS ONE OF THE BABYS IS IT OK

    Like

    • chrisntu says:

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for the question. Yes it’s fine for the birds to return to the nest every now and again. It happens quite regularly even thought they’re not nesting any more.

      Chris

      Like

  26. Claus says:

    Yesterday, July 3rd, the adult female came by and exhibited the same behaviour as she did before laying the first clutch: lying down in the nest-depression, stretching, scraping. It almost looked like she was preparing for clutch #2 ( which is highly unlikely, I know). Maybe just an instinctive reaction.

    Like

  27. pigeon rings says:

    Now that the young have fledged, you could return all the pigeon rings from the nest site to there owners or at least inform. This family of falcons have eaten lots of rung racing pigeons this year. There rings should be returned, they have a value & are the property of the registered keeper and nobody else. Look forward to watching again in 2014

    Like

    • chrisntu says:

      Hello,

      Thanks for your question. Our FAQs cover the procedure we follow with regards to pigeon rings.

      Like

    • mick mc says:

      yes for all who say lovely birds but look at what there killing yes its natural but what is the total cost of the killing cycle i asked about rings before but do you report them or just keep it for your own records the pigeons have a owner and are part of larger unions
      we feed these monsters not you cheers report the ringe its the least you could do

      Like

  28. I am glad the camera’s are left on even after the birds have flown, as I tend to leave it playing on my laptop through the day when hubby is at work, it keeps me company. I’ve had lots of fun watching the falcons this year and plan to watch again in 2014. Thanks for all you do in keeping the webcam running.

    Like

  29. Jan says:

    Just wanted to add my thanks to NTU & the Wildlife Trust for a fantastic experience. This has been my first year on Falcon watch & I shall definitely be back next year. Because I live fairly close to Nottingham centre, I have taken to looking skyward now and again & have been privileged to see a peregrine in flight on at least 3 occasions. Without the webcam experience, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed them! Once again, many thanks to all involved in the project.

    Like

  30. Tricky says:

    Good use of tall buildings, technology, security, thought, patience, time, effort.
    Keep it up.

    Like

  31. julie says:

    I have been watching one of the birds this afternoon sitting on the nest and then on to the ledge – still there a moment ago – I got quite excited seeing one of them again!!!!

    Like

    • I’ve been watching too……….did yoy manage to catch them yesterday when there were 4 on the ledge all at once for a brief moment, then 1 flew off quickly……. 🙂

      Like

  32. barbara deane says:

    No blogs for a whole week! So sad that everything has come to an end, but………..

    Hey, we have got next year to look forward to – only about 8 months to go!!!!!

    I was watching Mr and Mrs yesterday in the nest and on the ledge, but have seen nothing of the young ones for several days!

    See you all next year – all being well

    Like

  33. barbara deane says:

    What happened??? I left a reply yesterday and it has disappeared!

    Like

  34. SueAtt says:

    Just thought I would check in and see if anything was happening. No birds, but lots of people on the pavement below outside the concert hall – presume its NTU graduation day!

    Like

  35. Just as the poor falcon was nodding off something woke it up again, and it didn’t look impressed 🙂

    Like

  36. 11.45 am, tuesday 30th. Strange goings on.
    Both adults have appeared on the nest, the female yet again scrabbling about and the male was displaying to her! Not sure if this is some kind of bonding behaviour. I watched for several minutes before the male flew off.
    4 people had a bit of a wander round the roof on the traingular bit of the building below!

    Like

  37. One of the young ones is now sat on the window lodge, looks to be in fine fettle

    Like

    • chocolateeclaire says:

      Aw, yay! I’ve checked the cam now and then recently but haven’t been lucky enough to see any for ages. What do the young ones look like now? Are they difficult to distinguish from the adults these days?

      Like

      • chrisntu says:

        Hi,

        The chicks are now adults and have fledged the nest, so they will appear very similar to other adults peregrines.

        Thanks,

        Chris

        Like

  38. I do wish I was as flexible as a peregrine! I’m watching one preen itself and its twisted it head almost right round to get to its back! I’d be in A&E if I tried that 🙂

    Like

    • chocolateeclaire says:

      I know, LOL; they’re contortionists, aren’t they?! Owls are well known for being able to turn their heads round an unusually long way but falcons seem to have much the same capability. Owls’ eyes are very much at the front of their heads but falcons’ are a little further to each side, so they must be able to see anything behind them without straining their necks at all.

      Like

  39. barbara deane says:

    Am so glad that this blog is still alive if not quite kicking! Have not called in since my post of the 18th as it had gone so quiet in here!

    I have been checking the webcam everyday though – not much activity there either!

    Like

    • Oh you missed the courting couple Barbara on tuesday, wandering round the nest box were the adults and he appeared to be displaying to her, one of the young ones was also around yesterday for a while, had a bit of a kip on the ledge then went off skywards.
      I make a point of checking in daily myself…..just in case 🙂

      Like

  40. Pam Birley says:

    Good to see both Derby and NTU peregrines were featured on East Midlands TV – 1st August. Some nice shots of “our” birds and we actually got a view of “head office” in Nottingham with staff interviews !!! Plenty of camera flashes during the TV coverage so maybe we will see a few photos posted here ??

    Like

  41. Oops, my mistake, whatever it is further down the ledge is not a falcon…or the pigeon currently wandering about would not have gone right up to it a couple of times so far……not sure what it is now, maybe the remains of a big dinner!

    Like

  42. Chris at NTU……do the falcons find it easier to perch right on the edge of the ledge, as one is now, rather than on the ledge proper if youknow what I mean? I’ve noticed its something they all do, like sleeping right up against the wall with their beaks almost touching it

    Like

    • chrisntu says:

      I’m afraid I don’t have an immediate answer for that one Melonie. But if I can find anything out I will come back to you.

      Chris

      Like

  43. barbara deane says:

    1710……….One of the youngsters (I think) on the ledge. Only got half side view, but looked as if it has got less white on its chest.

    First time that I have seen any of them for several days

    Like

  44. chocolateeclaire says:

    0930, 06/08 and there’s a falcon on the ledge. It’s got its back to the camera and I’m not sure which one it is but it doesn’t look overly big and I’m wondering whether it’s Ernest. It’s still there now and has been since I checked in 15 mins ago. 🙂

    Like

  45. Claus says:

    The two adults present today, together in the next box.

    Like

    • chocolateeclaire says:

      I saw this too but I’m not sure whether they were both adults. They were both pecking at what must have been bits of previous meals that they found and, although they were both doing the pecking, one seemed to be feeding a few little bits to the other, so I wonder whether one was a young one. Lovely to see two peregrines back in the nest in any case.

      Saw one on the ledge about half an hour or more ago too but it flew off not long after I spotted it.

      Oh and thank you for answering my questions of the other day, Chris. 🙂

      Like

  46. Falcon on the ledge again at 1.49, been there a few minutes now……..poss male as its not very big

    Like

  47. barbara deane says:

    1545 youngster? on ledge.

    Seem to be making a habit of it over the last couple of days after being awol for so long!!!!!!!! I would love to see the whole family again!

    Like

  48. barbara deane says:

    1710 ……..still there, but I now think that it could be a parent, unless the youngsters are getting their adult plumage?

    Like

  49. Pam Birley says:

    For their first year at least, until their first moult, you can tell the young falcons because the bars on their chest feathers appear to go in an upward pattern, whereas the adult’s chest feathers appear to make a horizontal pattern. Nobody home right now 😦

    Like

    • barbara deane says:

      Thanks Pam!

      Unless one gets a good ‘full frontal’ view, I find it very difficult to tell which is which? I got the impression that the youngsters have got less white on their chests. but when they are further along the ledge and not facing the camera, I just cannot tell the difference!

      I still say that I would LOVE to see all 4 together just once more!

      Like

    • chocolateeclaire says:

      Ahh, I didn’t realise this was the case for as long as a year. Am I right in thinking they’re not as brightly coloured as the adults yet? The beak in particular was much brighter on the adults.

      Like

  50. 8.43
    There is a lovely litte pied wagtail currently chilling on the ledge……it often goes walkabout near the nest area

    Like

  51. Pam Birley says:

    I photographed a Pied Wagtail a the Peregrine nest this morning. Fortunately for the little bird the falcons were not home at the time. Go to the following url to see the photo. You can also view the whole set of captures from the cam but Flickr is not as easy as it used to be.
    Pied Wagtail at the Peregrine nest

    Like

  52. S says:

    falcon on the ledge today at 5:00pm Nott time. 🙂

    Like

  53. Beautiful close up of what I think is the female……..both adults were present a short while back but the male flew off

    Like

  54. barbara deane says:

    one of them obviously just had a meal!

    How long do the youngsters rely on the parents for providing their meals??

    Like

  55. barbara deane says:

    WOW! Great close up! Still none the wiser as to just who it is!?

    Like

  56. barbara deane says:

    I left 2 replies yesterday – where are they??????????

    1545 Two falcons on the ledge!! Not sure which, but I think they are the youngsters! n two for a long time!

    Like

  57. 8.34
    Falcon on the ledge…….been there since 8ish, not sure which it is but it looks fine

    Like

  58. Helen Blundell says:

    Hello Chris – a lovely piece!

    Like

  59. barbara deane says:

    Hi, been very quiet in here recently!

    On 10th Aug I posted a question regarding feeding of youngsters, still awaiting reply if anyone knows the answer!

    Thanks

    Like

  60. John says:

    Spotted one today hiding on a lower ledge. Had been a few days since I last saw on so good to still see them 🙂

    Like

  61. John says:

    Nice pic of one of the falcon have a proper rest on the ledge. Been resting there in the sun since 3pm 🙂

    http://eres.ntu.ac.uk/falconcam/images/ledgecam_29082013145650.jpg – 14:54
    http://eres.ntu.ac.uk/falconcam/images/ledgecam_29082013170515.jpg – 17:09

    Like

  62. Cas says:

    I checked things out yesterday (29 Aug) to see two of the birds happily tucking into a meal together. It was lovely to see them as I haven’t managed to look at the webcam for a couple of weeks.

    Like

  63. I’m not moving house again……no internet access for over almost 10 days was a nightmare! No falcons to watch………!!!!

    Like

  64. Pam Birley says:

    Great captures thanks John. Never anybody home when I look in just lately.

    Like

  65. Morning all…………just logged in and there is a falcon perched on the edge of the ledge like a little penguin…..no idea which one as its all hunched up so cant see if its ringed or otherwise…not seen one for a while so nice toknow they are still around 🙂

    Like

  66. Pam Birley says:

    Watched one this morning, just sitting preening in the misty morning sunlight. Never got a close look at it but nice to see.

    Like

  67. Pam Birley says:

    Good to see a Perry at the end of the ledge this morning !

    Like

  68. One of the falcons perched on the edge of the ledge having a look down at whats going on below

    Like

  69. Webcam position changed and showing a falcon at far end of the ledge…….looks quite happy and healthy

    Like

  70. Craig says:

    Brilliant close ups of one of the Falcons just now (2:15pm)

    Like

  71. Craig says:

    Has went in the nest now and seems to be quite vocal. Also eating some of the small stone chips in the nest.

    Like

  72. 12.30 pm. One of the falcons on the ledge just plucking his/her dinner …. looks as wet and miserable in Notts as it is today here in South Yorkshire

    Like

  73. barbara deane says:

    Remains of what looks like several peregrines lunches on the ledge!!!!!!!

    Like

  74. Another wet day in Nottingham and a falcon just appeared on the ledge, looks fit and healthy, hope it does’nt get to wet today

    Like

  75. Looks like its an early breakfast for one of the falcons this morning………at least its not raining yet!

    Like

  76. Oh, now got 2 falcons…1 on the ledge by the nest box and the other, who appears to be very vocal, in the nest box!

    Like

  77. Neal says:

    Is there someone on the team who could tell me what make of CCTV camera you are using?

    Like

  78. barbara deane says:

    WOW great close up!!!!!Thanks!

    Like

  79. well,one of the birds must have had a strenouous day as its been sat on the ledge for quite some time now……….its on close up right now but it must be camera shy as its perched with its head turned away……though it has gazed straight at the camera a few times, doubts its aware its actually being filmed though. Its sat watching the wrold pass by below 🙂

    Like

  80. Glynis says:

    Been on Google Maps and there flying over Burton St is one of our feathery friends.

    Like

  81. Single falcon sat on the ledge enjoying the early morning sunshine

    Like

  82. Pam Birley says:

    Perry as sunbathing this morning. Thanks John for the super clear images of recent activity. Thanks to NTU for continued live coverage.

    Like

  83. g2-cead2654541ac6f20da78f0d6a7c7d91 says:

    Well they were both in the nesting box this morning having a serious conversation, half way through it one of them decided it was time to go and flew away leaving the other one staring into space….bless them.

    Like

  84. g2-cead2654541ac6f20da78f0d6a7c7d91 says:

    They were both hanging around (and in) the nesting box this morning…they are so lovely.

    Like

  85. Pam Birley says:

    Perry at end of ledge cleaning its claws. Remains of prey by its feet. Nest bowl seem to have been deepened. Dull and dismal weather at the end of October.

    Like

  86. Peregerine on the nest box and pied wagtail on the ledge! Brave little thing or what!!!!

    Like

  87. Both adults on the nest now, yet more scraping out taking place…….I think maybe they plan on digging their way to Australia!

    Like

  88. both adults in the nest box again……..going to need some more grit before long as they keep on digging out the egg cup!

    Like

  89. Maurice says:

    The gutter appears to have a lot of water in again, is there any possibility of clearing the drains before the next nesting season, to ensure a safer environment for the chicks during any storms.

    Like

    • Neal says:

      Essential. I lost three falcon chicks due to a blocked drain and flooded roof during a few days torrential rain some years ago. Though they had returned annually for several years, the parents have not returned to nest and lay since.

      Like

  90. Nice to see the falcons this morning……one earlier on the ledge and now another…….which did appear to be very vocal on its arrival…..

    Like

  91. Looks like both adults are here at the moment. 1 in the nest box scraping it out again and the other on the ledge, both appear to be chatting with each other

    Like

  92. Cam showing a beautiful long distance shot…..complete with rainbow….:-)

    Like

  93. Its as wet and windy in Nottingham this morning as it is here in South Yorkshire. One bird on the ledge just sat watching the world go by 🙂

    Like

  94. Hello to the man in the white suit and harness clearing out the nest box…….I’m so glad its not me out there, not only will it be cold but its way too high up for my liking! I hope you are not going out on the ledge to clean up!!!!!!

    Like

  95. Pam Birley says:

    Hi Melonie and all. Seems I look in at the wrong times. I haven’t seen anything recently. I should get out of bed earlier. Thanks for all your messages Melonie. Good to know that you see the birds quite frequently early in the morning.

    Like

    • No problem Pam…..its what happens when you have a hubby up for work at 6am so you can’t go back to sleep…..more often than not I am up by half past so often pop in and see if there are any of the family around 🙂

      Like

  96. Morning all,…..got both adults around again, 1 in nest box and the other on ledge watching so they are obviously quite happy with the reburbishments….its a nice sunny morning….

    Like

  97. S says:

    hello fellow falcon fans,

    this video appeared on Yahoo! Canada….although it is not a falcon, but rather a “sea eagle” it is brief and amusing….thought bird watchers might appreciate it whilst waiting for nesting season to begin!

    This was filmed in Australia…the eagle stole a camera that had been set up by rangers for the purpose of monitoring crocodiles.

    Enjoy!

    Like

  98. Wow, thats quite a flight! And quite a sight too………..thanks for showing it 🙂

    Like

  99. Maurice says:

    A snapshot from this morning at 09:30, not very clear.
    per1

    Like

  100. 1 windswept falcon perched on the ledge……if I were it I’d get in the nest box and stay put til the wind dies down…..
    Its a bit wild here in South Yorkshire, wind, sideways rain and lots of noise, its a proper horrible day…even the crows in the field at the bottom of our garden are being blown over and turning somersaults! They look like feathery footballs!

    Like

  101. Lovely close up of one of the falcons……….

    Like

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