Monday, 30 September 2013

Autumn on the moor

Apologies for the lack of maps for Harrier update, technological issues, I'll get maps up as soon as I can. No major changes from last week, Miranda evidently likes the area north of Leadhills, she has now been there about 10 days. Recently quite flighty, she has visited Kielder, Northumberland, then a brief flight home before heading 60  odd km north west. Miranda is now quite predictable in her landscape use, not flying out of an area measuring approximately 10 x 4 km.
Blue remains in and around Eskdalemuir and Grainne and Hattie are still on Langholm moor, favouring Roan fell.

A different view of Langholm moor taken from Moricambe Bay on the Solway. Many thanks to John Wright for these photographs.

 It is feeling very autumnal on and around the moor, colours changing and fungi. like these Fly agaric, popping up all over the moorland edge.

Violet Ground Beetle

Many of the small birds Siskins and Redpoll in particular are moving in large flocks around the Silver birch woodland making use of the abundance of natural food and the Rowan trees are having a bumper berry year which will be good news when the Fieldfares and Redwing arrive back.  We've been enjoying some fantastic views of raptors on the moor too, several of the young harriers are still around and this young osprey was spotted on its migration south a couple of weeks ago. The young male osprey was following the path of the Tarras when it was mobbed by a Goshawk. Osprey is not a raptor we see on the moor very often so a real treat and Goshawk is a bird that always gets my heart racing. I was sat at the moorland bird feeding station yesterday when a female Goshawk dropped in over the trees and flew just a couple of metres above the ground towards me.. banking just metres over my car and away.. that sight must strike fear into the hearts of the small birds feeding there but left me buzzing with adrenaline.. what a bird!!

Juvenile male Goshawk mobbing a juvenile male Osprey

many thanks to John Wright for these photographs.

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