An update on the weekend at Dove Stone. Exciting news of 60+ Waxwings, roosting in one of the plantations past Chew Brook. It's been an influx year for Waxwings and there's been quite a few reports of them in the local area ( Uppermill, Greenfield, Springhead ) but these are the first sightings this year from Dove Stone. In the next few weeks it's likely that these birds will be returning to their Scandinavian summer breeding grounds. Waxwings are a new addition to the Dove Stone 2013 bird list bringing the total up to 40.
Elsewhere in Dove Stone's woods we have recent sightings of both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. Song Thrush is another record for 2013 at Dove Stone, taking us up to 41. Basic id.tip for telling Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush apart is that Song Thrush have arrow shaped markings on the chest whereas Mistle tend to have more rounded spots. Alos there's quite a size difference too with Mistle Thrush being the larger of the two.
Elsewhere around Dove Stone we have sightings of a male Bullfinch in the trees that line the entrance road to the main car park and Moorhen in the fields alongside Banks Lane. So Moorhen isn't strictly speaking within our reserve boundaries but I'm including on our list anyway, now standing at 42. Also new for the list is Buzzard (43), which we don't see many of at Dove Stone so that's good. Carrion Crow seems to have not been included on the reserve's list until now - standing at 44.
Up at Binn Green the feeders continue to provide a real spectacle with large numbers of Siskins as well as Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Also good views of Treecreeper around Binn Green, sometimes being seen on the moss covered boulders around the car park. Good numbers of Coal, Blue and Great Tit also. Over at the main car park regular sightings of Nuthatch on the feeders.
No further sign of the Pochards that were seen recently on Dove Stone reservoir. Worth keeping an eye out for. Round at Chew Brook really great views of two Dippers. Peregrine has also been seen at the weekend, as have Raven.
Coming up this Sunday we have a wildlife pond workshop at Binn Green, drop-in between 11am and 3pm. The small pond we have already at Binn Green is really well used by Siskins and other birds using the feeders there. If you want to find out what's involved in making a wildlife pond why not come along ? We'll be taking you through the steps of what's involved through adding a second pond for birds and frogs etc just by our woodpecker sculpture. More soon...
A quick update with recent sightings both this week and last.
Dove Stone reservoir usually has a good amount of Black Headed Gulls, and this week there have easily been 100+ on the res at any one time. Always worth a scan for something more unusual in the mix of Black Headed Gulls though ! On the main res and today were a group of around 8 Pochards, which is a new sighting for the Dove Stone Bird List, bringing it up to 36. Last week we had 5 Mute Swans ( 37 ). Add in a sighting of Kingfisher (38) earlier this week ( at the Ashway Gap end of Dove Stone res and also seen around Yeoman Hey ). Finally, sightings this week of Long Tailed Tit brings the list up to a mighty 39 ! The Long Tailed Tits were seen in trees surrounding the area where we have feeders at the main car park and also on the peanut feeders themselves up at Binn Green. I don't recall seeing Long Tailed Tits on the feeders at Dove Stone before.
Also to be seen in the feeding zones are Nuthatch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch at the main car park and also up at Binn Green, along with two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Mistle Thrush today. The Treecreepers were keeping out of sight. Good numbers of Siskins still present, with 80+ being ringed at Binn Green last week. We've also had a report of possible Crossbills heard but not seen. Elsewhere around Dove Stone we've had sightings of 6 Dippers and a Grey Heron over Yeoman Hey moving towards Greenfield res. Finally, the Peregrines are regularly being seen and observed by us all here and we also have sightings of 2 Ravens over Alderman's Brow as well as around Dove Stone rocks.
Well, we’re gearing up for the Date With Nature - Peregrine Watch season, with excitement mounting over whether our Peregrines will breed successfully this year! Signs are promising so far with the pair seen on Sunday January 27th displaying some courtship behaviour over Dove Stone reservoir. As you may know, in the previous two seasons the male Peregrine was a juvenile and although he was seen doing all the right things (!) he was still too young to fertilise the eggs successfully – at least that’s our theory. So, if it’s still the same male Peregrine, he’ll definitely be old enough this year as he’s lost all his juvenile brownish plumage and markings. So fingers crossed that when Date With Nature starts at Easter we’ll have lots of activity to observe! Hope to see you there.
The Isle of Sky road is open but Binn Green car park isn't ! So just a quick heads-up that if you're coming to this part of Dove Stone today that there are a limited number of parking places in the layby adjacent to Binn Green. It's looking beautiful out there with bright sun and blue skies, so the snow melt will probably be fairly fast. Cue dramatic water levels on Chew Brook ! More soon...
Pretty wild at Dove Stone today with a strong, freezing wind blowing the snow across, particularly when walking along the main reservoir wall and between Dove Stone reservoir and Yeoman Hey. Accessbility-wise, not too bad getting into the main car park earlier today but we have had another snow fall since then and it's snowing as I write so the situation might be different in the morning. Advice for Binn Green car park is to leave your car elsewhere and enjoy the walk !
The Siskins today at Binn Green were fantastic; the males looked so vibrant, such an amazing colour with the females no less beautiful; just more subtle. Binn Green itself was quiet on the people front but that was great for watching all the activity on the feeders. As well as large groups of Siskin, there were a good number of Goldfinches in the area on and around the Larches, masses of Chaffinches and good numbers of Blackbirds, looking good against the snow. Over at the main car park there were Greenfinches on the feeders and a reasonable number of Black Headed Gulls on Dove Stone res. Always worth taking a look for any unusual or less frequent gulls on the res.
A fuller ' recent sightings ' report coming soon...