Friday, 4 May 2012

Let Osprey for our Raptors...

After a week back home in Cumbria the main talking point still has to be the spectacular Northern Lights display from Geltsdale. Here is the link to the article that made the mornings paper...News and Star

The future looks so grim for Englands Hen Harriers with more negative news about the majestic bird...so sad...Hen Harriers in Bowland...a lament!

And disturbing news about Bowlands Eagle Owls and people possibly interfering with their nesting attempts, The truth, nothing but the truth. Please join the Facebook group Help save and protect the Bowland Eagle Owls.

A great article in the spiffing Daily Mail regarding urban fox's and mythical attacks on Humans, well said Chris I said it was a load of nonsense from day one, Link. Another article in RP regarding a report of a Red Kite attacking someones little dog, all I can say is go and put your rubbish little £1000 dog in your handbag and get out of my sight...dear me... embarrassment. Red Kite attacks dog?

A bit of positive news on Scotlands Wildcat populations as thanks to the superb intervention of camera traps a new population of the highland tigers was discovered in the Cairngorms. Link.


Aurora over Carlisle...

More dancing lights over Geltsdale...

Sea Pink...Balcary
Back in Cumbria and I had a day over on the Scots side with Gary, Danny and Andy covering a couple of my favourite sites in Threave and Balcary. The weather was pretty grim but with the option of hides it made it less of a problem. We settled in the Castle hide looking over the river Dee towards the Osprey nest site the last few years and we got nice views of the male bird but reports were confirmed that it has been by itself for a month with no sign of a female bird. A brief view of an Otter was another bonus but the major highlight was an elderly couple coming into the hide and after failing to see Osprey in Calender they got views of the male bird here at Threave and were made up and quoted to saying 'it made their holiday'...That was special to see when people get such joys and rewards from seeing birds of prey.
Onto Balcary and with the easterly wind it was quietish with the usual Auks on show, A small raft of Common Scoters, RT Diver, Rock Pipits, Fulmers, 2 Ravens and some weird looking sheep in the nearby fields.

Razorbill focusing on pear shaped egg at Balcary

Male Osprey over nest on Threave...

Sea Campion at Balcary...

High up Gdale valley looking back to the west...

Looking up the old water valley...
On the Friday I headed up the valley with Dad to spend a few hours in beautiful upland Gdale. We started with checking for Adders at Binnie banks but no joy so we headed further up the New Water. 2 B Grouse on the way up along with a single SEO and plenty of Curlews. Settled on a hillside to scan the surrounding area and got another 7 SEO, 2 Merlin, 2 Kes, 4 Buzzards! on the way down we got 10 B Grouse on a Birch and another 3 SEO interacting. Good old Gdale it was just like moorland Mull except for one thing...Harriers.

young Stonechat chick...
7am start on Saturday morning to check on the Pied Flycatchers with Danny and Cain. walked around the fell first of all before descenting down to the Birch woodland. 5 Ring Ouzels brought in with the Strong easterly, 2 Black Grouse cocks, Stonechat, Wheatear and Curlews. Down to the Birch woodland where we got 3 male and 1 female Pied Fly. A possible pair entering a box was promising and we watched interactions between two dominant male birds near by. A pair of Sparrowhawks showed well flying low through the woodland. Blackcap signing was other point of interest. We headed further into the woodland and checked out a Badger Set which hasn't been very active in years gone by and when we approached it a Badger appeared meters from us swapping from one hole to the other, crazy!

Male Pied Flycatcher on nest box...
Stunning birds...
Branching out...
An evening walk on a stretch of the Eden near Hornsby with dad on Sunday. Grey Wagtail and Dippers showed well along with Common Sandpiper. On the beaten track roadside we found evidence of Otters and also dug out areas from Badgers. A Cormoront roost of upto 15 was also present later on as well.  

River Eden near Hornsby...Life's a Beech!

Our crazy full of personality Cat, Chris Packham would love him!
Thanks for Looking, I am back on sunny Mull now and our Sea Life Survey trips are getting going so there will be plenty of marine life and sea bird action to come in the next few weeks along with updates on the very important raptors breeding success on the island. 8-)


6 comments:

  1. Great article, just a pleasure to read and look at the pics. Has made my mind up to visit Geltsdale again in the next week or so.

    John

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  2. Thanks for the kind words John, yes its a great place at this time of the year, give me a shout if u need any advice on Gdale if you plan to visit, cheers

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