Stonechat, Brambling, Jays and Grouse seen daily from the new Celebration Wood near Ashway Gap. If you'd like more info about the wood and how to get involved please call Jacqui on 01457 819885.
Binn Green feeders full of Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Chaffinches as well as Nuthatch, and Great/Blue & Coal Tits. Thanks to Margaret, John and Alan for keeping these feeders filled up!
Kestrel, Buzzard and female Peregrine seen from Ashway Gap on Sunday despite the cold and snow showers!
Lots of activity at the Binn Green feeders with a Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinches, lots of Chaffinches, Blue, Great & Coal Tits, and a lone Brambling and Siskin. This week has seen the return of Greenfinches too.
On Sunday there was plenty of action to be viewed from our scopes at Ashway Gap. Visitors had the chance of close up views of hunting Kestrels, a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, and Ravens circling round the rocks.
It was all drama for our resident pair of Peregrines, which were perched on the quarry rocks for a while but were then seen flying above the quarry apparently chasing off a 3rd Peregrine, possibly one of the juvenile females from this year's brood?
We also got amazing views of a white Mountain Hare high up on the hillside above Ashway Gap. This was a large hare which could be seen with the naked eye (it almost looked like a lamb!), so the view through the scope was really clear!
Weather permitting we'll be at Ashway Gap with the scopes again this coming Sunday.
If anyone sees more than one Brambling or Siskin at a time please let us know! No further sightings of the Rough Legged Buzzard this week.
Most of the information and photos in this blog come from knowledgeable RSPB volunteer and local naturalist Ken Gartside...thanks Ken!
Good news - a lichen called 'reindeer moss' (work that one out!) has returned to the peat bogs above Dove Stone. This lichen has not previously been seen here and is an indicator of environmental improvements - both cleaner air following years of industrial pollution and the restoration work being carried out by RSPB staff and volunteers. It's name comes from the fact that it is eaten by reindeer in Lapland - so it should be safe enough here!
There have been a range of other new or rare sightings. For example a fungi called Arrhenia Peltigerina (see photo below) was spotted growing on dog lichen up on the bog, this is only the 3rd time this fungi has been recorded in the UK, so a real rarity!
Some of the rarer Dove Stone inhabitants are tiny and probably mainly go unnoticed, so thanks again to Ken for photos and id of a rare spider from the Agroeca species
On the practical side, sphagnum moss translocation has been continuing a pace on up on the bog. This vital restoration work is being carried out by RSPB Wardens and a team of dedicated volunteers.
It is nice to see bog rosemary, which was introduced to Dove Stone along with sphagnum moss from a site in Bowland, growing well this year too. It used to grow in this area so great that it is making a come-back. Despite looking similar to rosemary, bog rosemary is inedible and can cause nasty stomach upsets if eaten - so not one for the dinner table!
Autumn is a great time to see fungi around Dove Stone reservoir. Fly Ageric (with its red top and white spots) is always an impressive and colourful one to spot, but there are also lots of less common examples if you take time to explore and look closely, like the Splitgills pictured below the fly ageric .
This water cricket in a pool up on the bog is a sign of how mild the weather has been lately - Christmas is coming...pass me my lilo!