Friday, 22 March 2013

Spring into action...

The Gdale uplands are starting to pick up with activity with the call of the Curlew heard on our moors again and a small number of Lapwing seen heading up the valley. Brown Hares are active at dusk and a few Meadow Pipits seen lower down. A number of owl species are beginning to be more active as night time hours decrease and the breeding season looms. 6 Whopper swans were seen above the valley heading north and also 60 plus Fieldfare and 30 odd Redwing. 3 Black Grouse (Grey Hens) flushed by a female Peregrine was another highlight. 

Real life vermin turning their backs on our wildlife again...
http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2013/03/18/government-misses-chance-to-turn-up-the-heat-on-wildlife-criminals/
 
No point teaching the kids about the 4.5 billion year natural history of earth and that the environment is vital for life on the planet, lets just teach them about business, greed and money instead. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9937464/Young-primary-school-pupils-will-no-longer-learn-about-caring-for-environment.html

Another day another domestic dog bite, but a made up one off urban fox attack creates call for a cull... http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/cumbrian-man-banned-from-keeping-dogs-after-boy-bitten-1.1043300?referrerPath=home 



The famous Gdale Ash at night this time...look out for the andomeda galaxy top left of tree

A clear sky on the Thursday so headed up the valley with Jono And Ash to do some stargazing and a bit of photography. Quiet on the wildlfie front with just Tawny Owls calling. A few shooting stars and enjoyed views of the Andromeda galaxy showing well to the north. 

 
The Cairns at night...stunning sky

On the Saturday I met Danny at Hexham station and it we moved onto spend a half day at the Falconary Days bird of Prey centre in Kielder. It was great to experience some iconic raptor and Owl species close up and do a bit of handling. Thanks very much to Rachel for the opportunity and read her excellent blog here...
http://wildreviews.wordpress.com/

On the way back west Danny and took some back roads covering some upland sites and got rewarded with a Short-eared Owl working the rough grass. Also a brief glimpse of a Tawny Owl moving from one Scots pine to another. Clear skies after dusk and Aurora winds on the way so headed out to try but we were too early for the cme to hit. He got a screeching Barn Owl as a nice back-up. Also roding Woodcock. 

The next day we decided to cover a stretch of the near by River Irthing. Dippers and Grey wag were seen and also a female Sparrowhawk finding height overhead. Some good sites for Little Owls but no birds seen. Curlew and Oystercatchers feeding in the flooded fields. Buzzards pairing up nearby and signs of Otters on the river banking's. A group of 15 Meadow Pipits seen feeding as well. I dropped Danny off at the station as he headed back to Darlo...great to see you again lad...cheers! 


Full frame photo collection from Falconry days...




Look at that stunner...


Common Buzzard calling...


GG Owl...


Male Barn owl...


Tawny...


Female Snowy Owl...



Myself with GG Owl...

Thanks for looking...Trying to make the most out of my beloved Cumbria before another migration north to the isle of Mull for the next 7 months.

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