A Time To GO

September 27, 2015 at 7:19 pm

The last of this years fledged Swallows are now on the wires in our avenue and contemplating the long journey down to South Africa. I often wonder how many will make it and return next spring to breed as adults close to where they were born. It is a figure that we will never know but I fear that it will be only a small percentage. I wish them well.

My first Pink Footed Geese of autumn were thirty flying north-west on the 26th – it seems a strange direction to be going! Along the local canal four Herons were roosting close together on the 25th. The sunshine this last week has brought a late showing of butterflies like Comma, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

As Hen Harriers are always in the news these days this weeks gallery is of a female at the nest with her recently hatched young. The eye colour of the female Hen Harrier is only yellow in her fifth year and this bird is three years old and probably breeding for the second time. With the present persecution threat she may never reach a full adult. Lets hope so. Click here

Waders On The Move

September 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

During the last few weeks there has been a massive exodus of wading birds from the Pennines. With this summers cool and often wet weather most waders have had a good breeding season. One of my local moors had its highest ever density of Dunlin, with even a pair of Lapwings, breeding over the one thousand foot contour for the first time in decades. However, the biggest success in the hills this year has been the number of Short Eared Owls and Long Eared owls producing young. see gallery Click here

We had a new bird in the garden this week when a Heron landed on the garage. It was moving from one garden to another and looked as though it was checking for ponds to fish. Some of the juvenile Goldfinches in the garden are still begging for food from the adults which indicates a very late breeding season and possibly triple breeding.

September is always my quietist month for wildlife filming with many of the summer visitors already having moved south. However, a Fieldfare has already been seen in the Ribble valley so it won’t be long before more arrive to devour our berries – can’t wait!

Goldfinches On Thistles

September 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Wherever you go in the Pennines there is an abundance of thistles. It is not long before you hear the calls of Goldfinches and soon encounter charms eating their way through the late summer spoils. They have had a brilliant breeding season this year and ninety per cent of the charms I have encountered comprised of young birds. There are so many thistles around this autumn that it may be some time before all these Goldfiches end up in our gardens. click here

The weather this last week has been some of the best that we have had all summer. I have been checking the Adder site all week in the hope of seeing their young. None have been forthcoming but more than ten female
Adders per day have been enjoying the autumn sunshine before hibernation. A Small Copper butterfly was enjoying the sunshine on the 10th.

Kingfishers disperse

September 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Kingfisher young
This is the time of year when this years fledged Kingfishers leave the streams where they were reared. They have spent the last few months learning how to catch fish and avoid such predators as Sparrowhawks. They will now leave the relative security of the streams where they were born and wander the waterways of the country until next spring when they will find a place of their own to breed. Click here

Conservationist Mark Avery has taken it upon himself to bring to the publics attention the plight of our Hen Harriers. I have been asked to provide some photos and discuss Hen Harriers and hides. This can be viewed on his Guest Blog.  click here (you may have to scroll down to find it)