Spring arrivals are definitely making an appearance now, as well as a few unusual visitors passing through...so a quick update of what's been seen at Dove Stone over the last week or so, starting with today and a beautiful Stonechat male and female, perched on the fence on the other side of the watercourse above Ashway Gap.


Along with a Meadow Pipit heard, a Pied Wagtail in the watercourse below the bridge at Ashway Gap, and a Blackbird feeding from a suet feeder hung in a tree (unusual to see a Blackbird do this!), it's been a busy day! And that's even before mentioning that the Peregrines were both up today too! We'll be keeping a close eye on them to see how they get on over the next few weeks. They've already had a run-in with the Ravens! Also seen at Ashway Gap recently was a Treecreeper - nice to see one here as well as at Binn Green - and today we saw a very vocal and brightly coloured male Chaffinch, along with Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit. A big thank you goes out too to the families who helped fill the suet feeders today, good fun and the birds appreciate it!

At Binn Green we're still seeing the Brambling - yesterday I saw 3 males and 2 females and we saw some again today, along with Siskin, and some really stunning-looking Lesser Redpoll - if you don't see them at the feeders then have a look in the Spruce trees next to the viewpoint.

And yesterday two male Great Spotted Woodpeckers were there too, one on the peanut feeder and the other drumming on a nearby nestbox! The Mistlethrush is singing every day, as well as the Dunnock and others - great to hear.

Down at the main car park we had a great view on Friday of 3 Curlew flying over the back field - it's such a beautiful sound, I love it, and a real sign of Spring, along with the disappearance of the Redwing and Fieldfare that we've seen there recently. 

Also on Friday I was lucky enough to get a photo through the scope of the Oystercatchers mating - what beautiful birds they are!


But to top it all we had a first for Dove Stone - Pintail! We've never had a record of them here before, and there they were - two handsome males and two females, along with two male Tufted Ducks! By saturday they had gone of course, off to their breeding grounds no doubt, but great to see here albeit briefly. My blurry shot of them doesn't do them justice so here's a really nice library photo of a male and female Pintail instead. Thanks to the guy who mentioned they were there when he saw me at Binn Green! 

So a great week at Dove Stone, and I must say I'll miss it....keep enjoying this fantastic place!


  • Hello Mandy. Managed to get across again yesterday, (17.03.14) in time to miss out on the Pintail Stonechat and Peregrines. Plenty of activity up at Binn Green with Bramblings and Siskings in good numbers. Also had the Raven fly over towards Ashway. Went down to the main car park and managed to see a Cormorant on the water, and the 2 Oystercatchers on the pontoons. No dippers though. Canada Geese were in good numbers, I think one of your volunteers counted over 30 !. See you soon. David.