Join us on a walk to take a look at the RSPB’s blanket bog restoration work and see how we’re regenerating essential habitat that is home to moorland wildlife such as Merlin, Golden plover, Short-eared owl and Mountain hare. Along the way we’ll be talking about how our partnership work with United Utilities contributes to improving local water quality and about the effects of our carbon footprint.
Please note: this is a strenuous 8 mile walk, lasting about 41/2 hours. The walk will be soft and wet in places, so suitable walking boots are essential as are warm clothing and waterproofs in case of poor weather. Binoculars will be an advantage but there will be a limited number of pairs to borrow on the day.
The walk leaves from the RSPB visitor information point, at the top of the Dove Stone car park at 09.30 am on Thursday 11th August 2011
Around and about at Dove Stone recently have been sightings of Fox moth caterpillars on the path up from Chew Brook.
The caterpillars have been in their early instar where they are yet to moult, which they'll do when basically they've grown too large for their skin. This could be the first of a number of moults. With the Fox moth there’s quite a difference between early instars and late instars with late instars looking totally different. Once in its final instar then this caterpillar will move on to the pupal stage of its life cycle.
The Fox moth’s ( Macrothylacia rubi ) preferred habitats are open woodland, moors and commons with caterpillars feeding on heather as well as feeding on bramble amongst other plants. Fox moths fly in May and June ; if you’ve seen one during the day then it’s probably a male ( although they do fly at night ) as the females tend to fly only at night. Caterpillars can be found from July to March / April.
If you're interested in moths then we have a moth trapping night on Friday 23rd September, meeting at Binn Green - full details on the events pages soon.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone there have been recent sightings of groups of seven or eight Red grouse which is good to see. If you're interested in reading debate around Red grouse management and Hen harriers then check out Mark Avery's blog http://markavery.info/blog/
Still with us for now are Swallows with adults still being seen feeding juveniles. They'll be starting their migration to South African over wintering grounds sometime next month flying via France, Spain, Morocco and either, for some, crossing the Sahara, or travelling down Africa's west coast. Amazing. More on Swallows here for those interested http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/swallow/migration.aspx
Also seen at Dove Stone recently have been Stonechat, two juvenile Kestrels, Raven, Wheatear, Curlew, Peregrine, Mistle thrush, Wren, Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Goldfinches are one to look out for as it won't be long now until there'll be large groups of Goldfinches along Chew Road feeding from the thistle seed heads.
More soon with a special feature on bats, particularly as it's International Year of the Bat and we do have another bat walk coming up soon . . .