Monday, 26 March 2012

A Stoat in the wrong coat!

This ermine Stoat is a little reminder that only three weeks ago we still had snow showers at Geltsdale. Spring has certainly sprung now though, with squeaky lapwings displaying and mippits everwhere. This week has also marked the return of Wheatear, Grey Wagtail,  Redshank and Ring Ouzel. Spring has also been apparent in the Moth department and catch numbers are gradually increasing.

It’s been a satisfying week to end my time at Geltsdale and many of our long term winter tasks have been completed including;

The repairs to a huge stretch of dry-stone wall... long may it stand!
Mapping over 100 Heather cuts with GPS!
Inputting 15 years of daily weather data to excel (over 2000 individual pieces of data)

It’s all change this week as I have now waved goodbye to Geltsdale and will soon be moving on to my summer quarters at St Abbs Head (watch this space for regular updates on moths and migrants).

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Birds, moths and a Donkey!

I’ve been away for a while on an ESAS training course at Tarbert. Highlights from the trip include good numbers of Red-throated and Great northern Divers, 2 Slavonian grebe, Long-tailed duck and Merlin. I also managed to cash in on the white wing goodness with a couple of Iceland gulls.

Quick update from Geltsdale
Summer breeding birds are back… (some of them) Curlew, Lapwing, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Golden plover, Redshank, and Oystercatcher and many are now displaying.

Guess the bird?

Yesterdays coordinated Black Grouse Lekk count, showed that there are a minimum of 34 Lekking Males across the reserve (mostly in groups of 3-5).

Snowdrops looking dated already!

Recent sightings include;
Peregrine ‘1 male Bruithwaite viewpoint’
Siskin ‘4 Howgill Garden, 1 Stagsike feeders’
Raven ‘4 HLF’
SE Owl ‘1 Rigg’
Dipper ‘1 Howgill Beck’
Stonechat ‘Pair Howgill Beck’
Moths (should be trapping regular now)
Autumn Green Carpet ‘1 hibernating in dry-stone wall’
Chestnuts/Dark Chestnuts ‘2 worn individuals in trap’ 

Other sightings inculde one cheeky Donkey!