The run of good weather we've been having came to an end this morning with low cloud, rain and poor visibility at Dove Stone this morning. On the plus side, rain is what we need at the moment as the reservoir levels at Dove Stone are very low at the moment.
We've had a busy weekend on the Peregrine watch. The two Peregrines that have fledged are still being seen regularly on the crag from Ashway Gap. The remaining two young Peregrines on the nest ledge haven't fledged this weekend - we'll give you an update during this week as it won't be long before they too are fledging. We're still seeing the adult Peregrines on the crag, including seeing them fly in with kills for the young birds, so there's still plenty of Peregrine action to see.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone this week there have been recent sightings of Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Curlew, Blackcap, Golden Plover, Short Eared Owl, Wheatear, Red Legged Partridge, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher.
My bird of the week is the Cuckoo, one of which gave us great views by posing for quite sometime on one of the telephone cables running along the fields adjacent to the main car park. The fields adjacent to the main car park at Dove Stone are actually quite a good spot. As well as our Cuckoo I've seen Curlew, Oystercatcher, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail and Great Spotted Woodpecker in those fields. Down in the main carpark you might also look out for one of wildlife action zones. Our feeders are attracting a good number of Goldfinches and Greenfinches amongst other seed feeding birds. A local artist has also made some feeders for us cleverly disguised as bracket fungi - see if you can spot them.
More soon . . .
Another few good days on the Peregrine watch.
This photo of one of the chicks was taken during the ringing on Thursday. The chicks will be about two weeks old now so not long before they start to lose the white down as their juvenile feathers grow.
Highlights this week have been watching the adult birds hunting with one of the Peregrines going into a short stoop yesterday. We were also able to watch both the male and the female Peregrine on the nest ledge feeding the chicks together and just appreciate what beautiful birds they are.
Elsewhere at Dove Stone there have been sightings of Lesser Redpoll, Blackcap, Redstart, Dipper, Common Sandpiper, Kestrel, Curlew. And earlier in the week we heard our first Cuckoo here this year - now that's a special sound . . .
Up until now we've been able to see two Peregrine chicks being fed on the nest site. It wasn't until last night when the chicks were ringed that we discoved there are in fact four chicks - that's made my week really !
We're still getting some great views of both the male and the female birds as well as of the chicks being fed.
Things are only going to get more exciting now as over the next couple of weeks or so we'll have the opportunity to watch all four of the young birds fledge - brilliant !
Keep watching and reading with us...
Sometime between yesterday early evening and this morning our second young Peregrine has fledged. We've seen him or her ( most likely him ) sitting with the young bird that fledged earlier this week. So, two down, two to go. The remaining two Peregrines can still be seen quite clearly on the nest ledge, looking like they'll be fledging anyday now really.
Don't worry though, even when these young Peregrines have fledged they're still going to be around for the next few weeks as they develop their flying and hunting skills. Plus, we're still getting great views of the adult Peregrines too.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone it's been another cracking day. The weather's been hot and we've had sightings of Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Cuckoo, Curlew, Oystercatcher, young Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail - adult and young, Redpoll, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Wheatear and Red Legged Partridge.
More news soon . . .
How does getting muddy. making friends, getting fit and learning about nature conservation sound ?!
The RSPB and United Utilities at Dove Stone are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to help with a whole range of tasks. We're looking for people who will help us with practical work tasks such as felling trees, planting wildflowers and putting in fences; with face-to-face visitor work, including showing visitors the Peregrine Falcons; with wildlife surveying, from birds to plants to mammals to insects; and with trail checking.
The RSPB and United Utilities partnership is in it’s fledgling stage right now so this is a chance to be involved right from the beginning.
What do you get in return ? We’ll offer you the opportunity to meet like minded people, learn about nature conservation, gain practical experience, see some fantastic wildlife as well as the opportunity to work in one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Peak District. Plus volunteering with us is good for fitness - it has to beat going down the gym any day !
If you want to be involved or just want to find out more then feel free to contact Mags Martinez-Alzate on 01457 899614. You don’t need any experience in volunteering, practical tasks or in visitor work just lots of enthusiasm.