Back to basics

March 13, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Red Grouse

After a fortnight on Islay it is now back to basics with the first hide work of the year. I spent three hours on a Heron’s nest hoping for a changeover on the eggs but the male Heron incubated the eggs throughout my stay. However he turned the eggs twice and some good video was obtained.

During the week I watched two pairs of Goosanders on the river Roch at Bury but failed to find a rare fungi that was the original reason for my visit!

I paid a visit to Queens Park, Heywood and had some good views of up to a dozen Herons as they built their nests on the island in the Lake.

A moorland plantation was searched for Long Eared Owls and although one was seen it flew before any film could be obtained. Three woodcock were also flushed from the high plantation.

The coldest morning of the week produced a low of -5C and by 7am I was on a high moorland in the Northern Pennines looking to film Red Grouse. There were good numbers of displaying Grouse and more than three hours was spent on the high moor. Plenty of video was taken and it was well worth the effort of getting up at 4.30am.

On Hopwood two pairs of Long Tailed Tits are now starting to build their nests in gorse bushes – two days later than last years start date. Many other pairs are ready to follow

Finally, the villain has returned, with the male Sparrowhawk catching his fifth bird in the garden this Winter that we know of and probably a lot more. This time catching a Starling that took one hour fifty five minutes to eat!!!