• Time to fledge

    Thirty years ago I started working for the RSPB on a six month upland bird surveying contract – with the additional challenge of helping to protect England’s only regular nesting hen harriers. The Forest of Bowland was the only stronghold for hen harriers in England in 1982 – it still is. I’ll be contributing a series of guest blogs over the spring and summer and tweeting in real time on @andrefarrar…

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • Update from Bowland

    I really wish I had been able to talk about harriers as much as I seem have been talking about the bad weather this year. Too much of one and really not enough of the other is how I feel about this season!

    That rain at the end of last week really did hit us hard in Bowland. As you’ll see from these pictures the rivers rose to almost bursting points in places.

    Langden beck in spate on Friday 22nd June. © Jude Lane…

    • 28 Jun 2012
  • Just add water

    Guest blog from Gavin Thomas, Bowland Wader Project Officer.

     

    ... is what it says on the mug on my desk - part of the recipe for Lapwing breeding success. But how much water? This is indeed ‘Great weather for ducks’ but also apparently ‘great weather for wading birds’ I’m often told. I have to dispel this myth - waders detest this weather as much as the rest of us do.

    True, wading birds…

    • 27 Jun 2012
  • Skydancer hits the road

    It's been a bit quiet on the blog front lately but that's only because we've been out and about doing what Skydancer was designed to do - bringing hen harriers to the people! So far, we've attended the Newcastle Green Festival, Northumberland County Show, Cumberland Show and the Glendale Children's Day. Not including the children's day (at which I completely lost count!), we've given out over 2…

    • 25 Jun 2012
  • A meal interrupted

    Thirty years ago I started working for the RSPB on a six month upland bird surveying contract – with the additional challenge of helping to protect England’s only regular nesting hen harriers. The Forest of Bowland was the only stronghold for hen harriers in England in 1982 – it still is. I’ll be contributing a series of guest blogs over the spring and summer and tweeting in real time on @andrefarrar…

    • 19 Jun 2012
  • Introducing some non-avian taxa

    Any guesses?

    This is the caterpillar of the Oak eggar moth (Lasiocampa quercus). It's the first one I've seen this year and seemed to be taking advantage of a spell of sunshine by warming its self on a 'lounger' shaped rock!

    The name Oak eggar is a little misleading as they don’t associate with oak trees as you might first think; in fact it refers to their cocoons which resemble the shape of acorns…

    • 14 Jun 2012
  • Heat haze and buzzing sheep

    Thirty years ago I started working for the RSPB on a six month upland bird surveying contract – with the additional challenge of helping to protect England’s only regular nesting hen harriers. The Forest of Bowland was the only stronghold for hen harriers in England in 1982 – it still is. I’ll be contributing a series of guest blogs over the spring and summer and tweeting in real time on @andrefarrar…

    • 13 Jun 2012
  • Not so flaming June

    Somehow we have reached June. It certainly doesn’t feel that way sitting out on the hill, last week I was out there fully waterproofed up with fleece and woolly hat and it felt like March ... the lack of harriers just added to that feeling. The only thing making it feel like it really was June was the brood of fledgling ring ouzels I had the pleasure of watching flying about, dropping in and out of the heather with their…

    • 11 Jun 2012
  • Flaming June

    Thirty years ago I started working for the RSPB on a six month upland bird surveying contract – with the additional challenge of helping to protect England’s only regular nesting hen harriers. The Forest of Bowland was the only stronghold for hen harriers in England in 1982 – it still is. I’ll be contributing a series of guest blogs over the spring and summer and tweeting in real time on @andrefarrar…

    • 11 Jun 2012
  • School's out, farm's in

    Guest blog from Gavin Thomas, Bowland Wader Project Officer.

    Last week I was sat, brew in hand at kitchen table, with yet another Bowland farmer who is doing his bit to make space for nature on his land. The chat was broken as the door burst open and in piled the kids back from school. His youngest girl, Jessica, ignored the computer, games console, toy tractors, sheep, chickens and other items of childhood fascination…

    • 7 Jun 2012
  • Hatchings

    Thirty years ago I started working for the RSPB on a six month upland bird surveying contract – with the additional challenge of helping to protect England’s only regular nesting hen harriers. The Forest of Bowland was the only stronghold for hen harriers in England in 1982 – it still is. I’ll be contributing a series of guest blogs over the spring and summer and tweeting in real time on @andrefarrar…

    • 6 Jun 2012
  • Spotlight on sport shooting and birds of prey

    What a week it's been! The announcement of Defra's proposals to (amongst other things) destroy unoccupied buzzard nests and remove "problem" adults into captivity, as part of a trial management project to protect young pheasants at their release pens, caused national uproar on a scale that few could have anticipated. So much so that only a few days later, Minister for Wildlife, Mr Richard Benyon, issued…

    • 1 Jun 2012