Friday, 28 June 2013

More from the Merlin

The Merlin have been dining on a steady diet of Meadow Pipits. the young birds spend a lot of time hidden away under the heather, returning to the nest centre for food and to huddle together for warmth at night.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Thanks to the hard work of  local raptor workers LMDP team on Langholm moor - we are lucky enough to have the nest cameras in a Merlin nest on Langholm moor.
This is the first time we have had the nest cameras on a Merlin nest and we are so privileged to have this incredible insight into the world of these fantastic birds. This tiny raptor (about the size of a Thrush) can nest on the ground (often in heather) or in trees. They typically eat small birds like meadow pipits  (as seen in this clip) and insects like moths. 

Over the nest few days we'll try to sharpen the focus to get a better picture and bring you some more clips of activity in the nest.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Woodcock nest

The woodcock is still sitting tight on her four eggs. She leaves the nest three or four times a day for no more than 30 minutes at a time (presumably to feed).

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Moorland nestboxes

Over the past four years we have been erecting nest boxes in the woodland that surrounds Langholm moorland. The boxes attract resident species such as Blue tit and Great tit, and migrant species such as Piedflycatcher and Redstart. It looks like the late spring has effected breeding attempts this year, nesting attempts in boxes are down in general this year and only one nest box in use by Piedflycatcher.

 An empty great tit nest - young fledged successfully.

Great Tit female sat tight on her nest
 Brood of Blue tit chicks.

 stunning male piedflycatcher bringing food into his chicks.

nest of piedflycatcher chicks

 Redstart nest, note the blue eggs

Langholm Academy moorland visit

Langholm Academy higher students joined me for a morning on the moor yesterday as part of their Managing Environmental Resources module. The group learnt about the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, the Red Grouse moor / Raptor conflict and the challenges moorland ecosystems are facing.

 Looking at the new heather growth on an area of a previous year's management - heather burn.
 Taking a closer look at an Emperor moth pupae.
 Head Gamekeeper on the LMDP, Simon Lester, talking to the group about the heather regeneration work that has been carried out on the moor.
 Hunting for Sundew - a carnivorous moorland plant.

Sundew  (Photo curtesy of Laurie Campbell)
 (Photo curtesy of Laurie Campbell)

Cotton grass in full flower.

 Bog asphodel just coming through.
Bog Asphodel as it will look when is full flower  (Photo curtesy of Laurie Campbell)

Langholm moor

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Woodland suprise

Glorious weather on the moor the last week. blue skies and sunshine.. which is unheard of in Langholm.
This good weatehr is perfect timing for the grouse broods that are hatching at the moment.
We've been lucky enough to locate a nesting woodcock in the birch woods tahts around the moor. This is the first clip we've managed to get on our cameras.