Geltsdale volunteers Amanda and Martin have returned for a fourth year to continue their amazing work monitoring and ringing our whinchat population on the reserve.
This spring/summer they have identified provisionally 81 territories (singing males) with at least 50 of those territories occupied by pairs. 54 colour ringed birds have returned to the reserve from 2012 and/or 2013. The oldest colour-ringed male has had a different mate each season and only one pair have survived together from last year.
The weather throughout May and June was benign, resulting in 44 nests and 22 broods successfully fledging. Unfortunately, 14 broods failed a higher percentage than last year, due to predation of the eggs or nestlings. There are presently large numbers of voles on the reserve, in no small part due to the mild winter. The hillsides are like pincushions due to the number of holes and not surprisingly sightings of stoats and weasels have been high. The increase in number of predators has meant that whinchat nests were more likely to found than in “normal” years and hence the high level of nest predation.
Geltsdale is one of the best places to see this summer migrant, the photographs with this posting were taken by John Proudlock at the reserve.
Come and join RSPB Geltsdale for an afternoon of family fun at Hallbankgate Primary School on Saturday 12th July.
The RSPB's Skydancer project has just been nominated for a National Lottery Award!
Skydancer is just one of seven projects in the running for Best Education Project, selected from more than 750 applications.
Winning would mean gaining national media attention for the plight of the hen harrier, as the award ceremony will be televised at primetime on BBC One in September! There's also a £2,000 prize which would go straight back into the project to help us do even more to raise awareness for hen harrier conservation.
We now need your help to win!
Vote for us by clicking on the link below and encourage your family and friends to do the same. You can also register your vote by calling 0844 8369682*. Voting closes on 23rd July.
*calls cost 5p from a BT landline, calls from mobiles will cost considerably more, always ask the bill-payers permission.
Since the project began in late 2011, the Skydancer team have delivered hen harrier talks to more than 2,000 people across Northern England and run assemblies, workshops, and field trips with more than 1,500 school pupils. They have also run sessions for over 100 gamekeeping and countryside management students and started over 800 conversations about hen harrier conservation at county shows and game fairs.