Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Whats the commonest owl in the world?

A tea towel!

Anyway... Last week was national nest box week, so we put up a new barn owl box. As you can see the box was a beast and took several hours to get into position... screwing a triangle box from inside the box when on the end of a wobbly ladder in the wind isn't easy. I'll be using a square box design in the future as they are easier to place. Fingers crossed for a good Barn Owl breeding season. 

More rain, drizzle, mist and weather warnings for Geltsdale this week but work goes on and the dry-stone wall is nearing completion. 

The male and female Smew are still looking good down on the Tarn and seem to be moving between Tindale and Talking tarn. Curlews and Lapwings both seem to be settling in on the reserve and things are beginging to look more busy bird wise.

Aside from birds I was treated to great views of Red Squirrel and managed to get one or two snaps. So far i've only seen a single red in the woodland by Tarn House but let’s hope for more. 


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Larking about on the shore!

My travels have taken me to Norfolk this week. Here is a quick picture update…

4 at Holkham showing well!
Spotted redshank and redshank at titchwell (twitch-well/tit-swell)
Norfolk list included
Shorelark, Marsh tit, Water rail, Bewicks, DB Brents, White Fronts, 300+ siskin/redpoll flock, Barn Owl, Ringtail, Marsh Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Green Woodpecker... plus a few other bits and bobs.

Back at Geltsdale it’s been a mixture of cutting back reed to open up the Tarn viewpoint and dry-stone walling. Exciting times. Nothing of any great note to report on the reserve, Black Grouse have been showing well this week including 5 males from the bedroom window. Not seen any full on lekking action yet but its early days and the males and females are generally still grouped apart.

Cutting reed

Mrs Black

 ps. if anyone knows of reliable sites for Hawfinch please let me know…  

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Getting a bit icy up here!

Been down to Cheshire for a day or two and took a few pics... enjoy.

Not the best photo but what a little lesser beast!
Spot of ice skating!

Ringtail at Parkgate
Mr Stonechat

Check out me red wings!


Back at Geltsdale it has clearly been a tad chilly, walking up on the hills yesterday (to do a timed tetrad visit) the streams were all frozen and it was knee deep in snow on the tops. Unsurprisingly the two hour visit to the 2x2km upland square revealed only 2 species... Red Grouse and Wren (minus 9 doesn't stop a wren).

Frozen waterfall
Icicles bigger than ya leg
Looking out the window its just started snowing again here... brrrr wrap up warm!