Monday, 8 June 2009

Northumberland Borders (31/05/09)

Me and John Milo were planning to go and look for Hen Harriers up Geltsdale valley this weekend but as there was talk of them not setteling down and not been sighted for a week or so, so John decided that we went to check out a Peregerine Falcons nesting site in Northumberland. Sunday morning we headed out fair early for a sunday at about 10am because I wanted to get back for the Andy Murray Match in the French Open.
Dad had been speaking to a fella that week and he said that the 3 chicks on the nest would be ready to fledge this weekend so we were hpoing we would catch the special moment for our selves.
On the way over Dad was pointing out all the different bird locations and nesting sites he has visited over the years and all the changes to the area and landscape. The Falcon nesting site that we were heading to I dont want to give to much away in terms of location as Dad was telling me that they have used the nesting site since 1974 (The Year Leeds Won the League!) and the eggs get stolen some years as well as pillocks disturbing the birds so I dont want to give off to many details in this blog as we all know it gets read by a huge online global audience (Hi Gary).
When we got to the spot we parked down this secret lonning as dad seems to know every little secret place in all the remote places in his terrotory. We headed up the fell side and we came to a pool in the river that dad referred to as the wash pool becaue all the miners came down for the quarrie and washed themselves in it and had a bit swim. We got to the track at the top and came across 2 Curlew chicks right infont of us scurrying along and before I could get my phone camera out they went into the bracken on the side. Also Curlews alarming above upto three of them and they are quite a common bird in places i have visited in the uplands and moorlands.
When we arrived at the nesting site the nest was clear to us as the whitewash (bird poo) on the crag face was clearly visable, and soon afterwards the male perregrine which is smaller than the female was up alarming at us while circling above. We got the scope locked on the nest and the first thing we noticed was that there was four chicks not three and also the chicks had no brown juvenille feathers coming through and still had its white plumage which meant they were still another two wekks away from fledging the nest so that fella was talking nonsense! We took some digiscope shots of the nest (Photo above) and within 5 minutes were on our way as the male was alarming virotiouslly (how the flaming hell do you spell verotioslly!)
On our travels back home we seen two kestrels, A blackCap, Lapwing and a Buzzard which i never ever get bord of seeing. I got back in time to see Super Andy Murray win in straight sets to round off a good news day!

Sightings Record
  • 6 Peregrine Falcon
  • 2 Kestrel
  • Buzzard
  • Blackcap
  • Lapwing
  • 5 Curlew
  • Jenny Wren

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