• Blogging in Bowland

    The heavy showers continue to pound the Bowland Fells, interspersed with sunny intervals. This makes life a bit more interesting! We currently have two surveyors here on the estate, Colin and Peter, undertaking moorland bird surveys for us. The methodology of the survey states that surveying shouldn’t be carried out in winds of greater than force 3, or when there is any rain. This immediately rules out any kind of survey…

    • 29 May 2009
  • Northumberland - hen harrier event 30 May

    Wildlife Day at Kielder
    What? A day of wildlife events and activities including guided walks, bird ringing demonstrations, crafts... and a special hen harrier stall. I'll be there chatting to visitors and making hen harrier kites with children.
    Where? Leaplish, Kielder Water, Northumberland
    When? Saturday 30 May
    What time? 11 am until 5 pm
    How do I get there? Leaplish is half way around Kielder Water and is signposted…
    • 28 May 2009
  • Northumberland: Dedication, Patience and Persistence

    Great to hear about hen harrier nests elsewhere in England but of course we are all very disappointed in Northumberland where our harriers haven't had a successful season.

    We hoped that the male hen harrier would start displaying again and pull in a new mate, but that hasn't happened, so far. However, we saw a male hen harrier towards the end of last week which was uplifting. Of course, it would help if he stayed put…

    • 28 May 2009
  • Bowland amongst the showers

    Time marches on, and spring along with it. The heather clad slopes still look a dull winter brown, but the bilberry is growing apace, and is a stunning bright, fresh green, in contrast to the heather. The first cohort of chicks is beginning to appear out of the nests of stonechat, dipper, grey wagtail, meadow pipit, etc. And the male green hairstreak butterflies do battle with each other over the bilberry on sunny days…

    • 19 May 2009
  • Northumberland: Exit, Pursued by a Peregrine

    Grey clouds tumbled through the North Tynedale site for much of last weekend and this week, but we did see a female and male hen harrier which was uplifting. The female bird swooped along the top of some crags before dipping below the ridge and... straight past a peregrine nest. When the harrier came back into view, she was being shown the door, as it were, by our male peregrine.

    After no sightings of a female hen harrier…

    • 7 May 2009
  • waiting game at Geltsdale

    Hi everyone. Well, unfortunately no news is not good news when it comes to hen harriers! Things have gone worryingly quiet here on the harrier front – in fact, we’ve not had a single sighting on the Reserve for three weeks now (though a female was seen on low moss land to the north of Geltsdale last week). However, we still remain optimistic that there’s a chance of a late nesting attempt here for two main reasons:…

    • 5 May 2009
  • April into May

    We have two more harrier nests! This takes our total to three.

    We still have birds present at two other sites, and possibly a third, which continue to show signs of pairing and possible nest building. But things really are very slow, with birds still seemingly unsettled. Speaking to others elsewhere in the country this week, this seems to be a common theme with hen harriers, as well as other birds of prey, with many people…

    • 2 May 2009