Watching Peregrine falcons in Derby
Adult peregrines can be seen on most days around the tower at Derby's Cathedral Green, or perched high up on the blue lettering of nearby Jurys Inn Hotel. Even outside the March to June breeding season they are often visible on one of our webcams.
Peregrine watch-points are usually run on Derby's Cathedral Green from mid-May to mid-June. These are organised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, with full details announced on the Peregrine blog.
Look for birds on the east (rear) face of the tower where the nest platform is located half way up. Or look higher up a ledge of gargoyles near the top. The female peregrine is considerably larger than the male (also known as a tiercel). One or both birds are usually 'on guard' prior to egg-laying, but during incubation and brooding the female is rarely seen. She mostly stays out of sight on her nest. That's when the web cameras come into their own.
If you do not have your own binoculars or telescope, why not politely ask other peregrine watchers if you can try their equipment? Most will be happy to let you look.
As the chicks grow rapidly during May there is an increase of activity around the nest, with both birds bringing back food. This increases still further once the birds fledge (leave the nest), and then there are exciting acrobatic displays to be seen by watchers on the ground in Derby city centre. This happens in mid June/early July as the young are taught to fly and hunt.
Cathedral Green is at the rear of Derby Cathedral, near the Silk Mill Museum in Derby city centre, England. The best viewing point is from the very bottom of Amen Alley, or by standing on Cathedral Green. Don't forget binoculars if you have them. Further information on Cathedral Green and the location of Derby Cathedral at the corner of Amen Alley and Irongate (Postcode: DE1 3GP). Do watch out for traffic if crossing Full Street.
Why not combine a shopping trip to Derby with a visit to the museums, and call in to see our world-famous peregrines for yourself, all in one day? We've great links by road or by rail, and Park and Ride facilities and many great hotel facilities too. Follow this link for Derby Tourist Information.
Derby Museum and Art Gallery contains an exciting wildlife gallery, showing many of the habitats and species that live here. Come and stand close to a peregrine falcon in the Derbyshire Nature Gallery, then go and watch one flying free over the City Centre. Please note that our specimen is very old and that museums today do not condone or encourage the taking of any bird for display.
Other local birdwatching sites around Derby
Other nearby birdwatching opportunities include the River Derwent footpath, going either upstream to Darley Park or downstream past the Council House and on to Pride Park. Just 200m from Cathedral Green, a Park-and-Ride bus from the Council House takes you to The Sanctuary, a new bird reserve next to Pride Park Football Stadium where many unusual birds can be observed, and where our peregrines sometimes hunt. You can cycle there in just a few minutes along the riverside path. Further afield, there are many Nature Reserves owned and managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.