We've just had one of our woodland art walks ( courtesy of the good folk at the local Woodend Artists collective ) where we follow a trail through Dove Stone's woods, collecting a small number of leaves from a number of trees such as Sycamore, Alder, Birch, Rowan & Oak ( as an aside, apparently oaks can support 400+ species of invertebrates - amazing ), to name just a few of the broadleaf trees at Dove Stone. From these we then go on to make extraordinary leaf prints. What's good about the art walks is that they lend themselves to looking at and learning more about some of the trees that we have at Dove Stone up close, in detail and in a way that you might not ordinarily do. From a print you really get to see just how intricate leaves really are.
For anyone interested in seeing more of these beautiful prints take a look at some of Jacqui's work here : http://www.jacquisymons.co.uk/Gallery%20Printmaking.html
Woodland management is just one part of the habitat enrichment work at Dove Stone that goes on and we're going to be having regular postings soon on this and other habitat work undertaken by our wardens and their crew of hardworking vols. It's not all sitting around eating cake from what I hear !
Back to the walks. We''ll be having another Woodland Art Leaf Print Walk on Saturday June 16th. If you'd like to come along then check out our events listings page for details. This week however it's the return of the guided Bog Bodge. We do like a good bodge about on the bog. Taking a route up the side of Chew Brook we'll be heading up to Chew Res before going over to Featherbed Moss. On the way we'll be looking out for Dipper and Grey Wagtail, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Raven, Common Sandpiper, Red Grouse, Mountain Hare and Golden Plover to name just a few regulars to be seen at Dove Stone. The blanket bog is a fascinating habitat with its bog pools and Cotton Grass and plants such as the carniverous insect-eating Sundew. This walk is really about finding out a bit more about blanket bogs and why they're so important. It's also a chance for us to talk a little bit about the work we're doing to protect these places and the remarkable wildlife that they support. So. It all starts at 10am on this Sunday from the main carpark. Here's the bit you really need to know though: sturdy walking boots, warm clothes and waterproofs. Seriously. It's quite a strenuous route too. Full details on the events pages.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone this week there have been good sightings of our regular woodland birds up at Binn Green with Jays, Mistle Thrush, Willow Warblers, Treecreeper as well as Coal, Great and Blue Tits and some incredibly bright looking Greenfinches - worth taking a look through some bins at.
More soon, including an update on what's happening with the Peregrines...
Emperor moths Saturnia pavonia are stunningly beautiful and it was great to hear that one had been found at Dove Stone over the weekend - thanks to Jamie for that. Emperors inhabit a range of habitats but are most often associated with heathland and moorland so Dove Stone is an area with the right habitat. That said, although widespread Emperors aren't common.
Male emperors are day flying with the larger, slightly greyer but no less spectacular females flying at night. Day flying males will be looking for females; the females have a pheromone gland at the end of their abdomen and this gives off a scent to attract male Emperors who have a feathery antennae that they use to detect these pheromones. It's thought the males are able to detect the pheromones from several kilometres away - amazing !
And if you're at Dove Stone over the next few weeks we hope that we'll be able to show people Emperor moths in person - if you see our resident moth specialist, Jamie, treading the paths around Dove Stone then say hello - he'd be happy to tell you more ! And on the subject of moth trapping our next night-time moth trapping drop in is on Friday June 22nd followed by a Saturday moth-morning on June 23rd. Full details on our events pages. More on this soon...
Great to hear the first Cuckoo of the year from Dove Stone this morning. And amazing to think of this bird's journey from its overwintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. Cuckoos are a red listed bird in rapid decline. Take a look at this link for info on just how much this species has declined: http://blx1.bto.org/birdtrends/species.jsp?year=2011&s=cucko
For more info on Cuckoos and the BTOs satellite tracking project check out this link: http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking
Elsewhere around Dove Stone today we've seen Common Sandpipers up on the banks of Chew Reservoir, Red Grouse on the moor tops with Wheatear, Stonechat, Curlew and Meadow Pipits seen from the Chew Road. Around the main trail look out for Swallows along Dove Stone reservoir bank. No sign of those Yellow Wagtails tho' that were spotted earlier in the week...Up at Binn Green look out for Jays, Mistle Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, Brambling, Great, Blue, Coal and Long tailed Tits.
What's about this week at Dove Stone so far: at the moment we're liking the activity up at Binn Green. This morning lots of Siskins with Lesser Redpolls, Brambling as well as regulars Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Coal, Blue, Long tailed and Great Tit and Black Pheasants. Jays are also around regularly at Binn Green at the moment. They really are spectacular looking birds.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone recent sightings of Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipits, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Curlew, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Common Sandpipers, Swallows and Stonechat. Also reports of Grey Partridge and two Yellow Wagtails. More soon...
A quick update with news that Common Sandpipers were heard at Dove Stone on Sunday - quite often they'll give a three-note call as they fly. They've also been seen earlier this week, with the most recent sightings being on Friday around Yeoman Hey and Greenfield reservoirs. Common Sandpipers are summer visitors to Dove Stone. They'll be here to around July and August with any young birds staying a bit later, leaving around September. Look out for these birds flying low over the reservoirs and alongside areas such as Greenfield brook. You might see them 'teetering': bobbing up and down, and they have quite a distinctive flight with stiff, bowed wings with white on the wings. Also around and about on the reservoirs there have been Cormorant and Oystercatcher with Dippers on the watercourses around Greenfield res and Chew Brook. There's also been sightings of a Snipe at the water's edge down from Ashway Gap.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone there's Siskins showing well up at Binn Green along with lots of Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll, plus plenty of our regular Blue, Great and Coal Tits and Chaffinches of course. There was also a male Bullfinch on the feeders at Binn Green yesterday - listen out for the low piping call - as well as a Jay. I also saw a Brambling in the feeding area at Binn Green yesterday.
Further around at Dove Stone there's Meadow Pipits, Peregrine, Willow Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallows, Wheatears and Red Grouse on the moor tops. More soon with hopefully news of Blackcaps and Cuckoos...