Migrants arriving all the time now, the first Swift and Whinchat was seen today in the Gelt Valley. Also there were 190 Golden Plover in one flock, these dark faced birds were almost certainly stopping over on their way further north.
Grasshopper Warblers were heard yesterday, Common Sandpiper, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Tree Pipit have been present since the weekend. Willow Warblers (like this singing bird here) arrived in numbers on Tuesday, coinciding with the good spell of weather. The warmth has brought out a few butterflies, mainly Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock, but the highlight was Green Hairstreak seen today.
Some birds are now nesting, this Reed Bunting is watching over a sitting female nearby. Many birds are nest-building like this Dipper which briefly visited an old nest site before collecting more nest material for its new nest.
Despite the at times, cold and showery weather summer migrants are returning to the reserve. Wheatear, ring ouzel and sand martins arrived last week. The photo here is of a wheatear in the field next to the visitor centre, seen on the 7th April.
Curlew have been back for a few weeks now and are displaying. Lapwing numbers seem to be down this year, we will be starting our surveys next week and will have more data. The first black grouse lek count of the year has shown that numbers, as expected are low, only 23 males were found. The poor weather last summer has resulted in low productivity for several species.The mute swans are nesting in front of the viewing screen on Tindale Tarn, if we have heavy rain in the next couple of months this nest will not survive.
Reed buntings, chaffinches and goldfinches are visiting the feeders at the visitor centre at Stagsike. Highlights of the week have been a passing red kite and osprey.
Come and join us at Hallbankgate Village Hall, and be part of our award winning Skydancer Project Celebration on Thursday 16th July, 4:30pm to 7:30pm.
There will be an evening packed full of hen harrier related activities, including activities for children, a Skydancer Trail and the showing of our inspirational Skydancer film.
For more information contact Julie Chrisp, Skydancer Engagement Officer, telephone: 0191 233 4321 email: firstname.lastname@example.org