Another week done and it is starting to severely drop in temperature now. A trip down to white rose county at the start of the week for wildlife and football reasons. A couple more trips later in the week to see what wildlife I could find. There has been a lot of media attention regarding the eagle sighting which is great to make people aware of how important they are and the value of the birds. I will put links at the bottom of the page.
Grey Hen posing nicely roadside
Headed off to Yorkshire on early Tuesday afternoon and we decided to go the scenic route over the higher ground and through Alston and its cobbled streets. The first major encounter was a Stoat crossing the road in front of us and into the stone wall. John broke sharply and pulled up road side and I got out stood tight to the wall and attempted to squeak the mustelid in to me. I have attempted this a number of times in the past but with no success but this time amazingly the Stoat came right up to me and put its front paws on my foot before making a move as I attempted to pick it up. It could being a young animal or maybe just desperate for a feed but its a good job that squeaking doesn't work often as a lot more would be removed to protect game birds.
Black Cock, shame the fencing and barb wire ruin it a bit
We moved on and John kept repeating for me to keep my eyes pealed for Black Grouse as we moved over the upland area. A few minutes later John rammed the anchors on again....Black Grouse road side sat on a wall! A cock and a hen!....4 more birds took flight behind the wall. great stuff....John was going mental at the sighting......unbelievable passion. We headed further east and spotted a good number of distant BG in a field with 36 cocks and 30 hens! The most even John had ever seen! Great stuff.
coming out for the second half, The only good thing they did in the second half was turn up on time!
On the evening we met up with Jamie my brother down in Leeds and we headed to Elland road to watch the Whites v Coventry. A good game apart from a 94th injury time equalizer for the away team. I managed to take a couple of nice images but I was informed that I wasn't allowed to take any match action images for copyright reasons!
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Red Deer stag bellowing hard
We got up early the next morning to cover a couple of sites for dads magazine articles and the first place we visited was Eccup reservoir. We had 3 Red Kites fly over the water. On the Leeds-Horrogate road we had a further 10 Kites enjoying the sunshine. We called in at Studley park where we got 3 species of Deer....Red, Sika and Fallow. Some good rutting activity to go with it.
We watched a Red Stag focusing on the back end of a hind and getting his nose right in there to check if the smells were right and the lucky guy got success as the female was very obliging. Deer have got it easy, a couple of sniffs and they have got it locked.....I wonder if that would work for me at Club Concrete on Saturday night??....see a girl I like and start sniffing her back end and see how far I get.......
To be fair we have our own version of the Deer ruts in human form and a good location I would suggest for a sighting is Bochergate, Carlisle on a Friday night......You get a lot of bellowing calls by the males.....'You looking at my bird pal!?'.....and you also get the aggressive street fights by the males (stags) fighting over a 16 stone woman (hind) stood watching on the pavement eating a bag of chips.....And the police break up the fights..... interfering with nature, disgrace haha.
We moved onto Nosterfield Wetlands which is a lovely little locally manged reserve with great facilities. A good number of Lapwing and Golden Plover on show. A single Cormorant but unfortunately missed the Crane which was there in previous days. We headed back to Cumbria taking the Langdon Beck route again and got plenty of Black Grouse again and also a good number of road side Kestrels.
Fallow Deer stag
Just south of Middleton Teasdale
playing about with camera, nice moon shot....
After all the eagle excitement on Geltsdale the week before there had been a good amount of media attention and interest on the sighting in the Cumberland News and Raptor Politics mainly and here are a few links......Print out the pictures of me and pin them on the couch to stop the dogs jumping on the sofa....thanks for reading :-)
Cumberlad news eagle article.....
Cumberland News full story - http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk/news/could-rare-eagle-earn-cumbria-multi-million-pound-nest-egg-1.890155?referrerPath=home
Raptor Politics - http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2011/10/22/could-the-rare-white-tailed-eagle-earn-cumbria-a-multi-million-pound-nest-egg/