Friday, 23 May 2014

Muckle Toon Adventure Festival (MTAF)

A huge congratulations to the organisers of he Muckle Toon Adventure Festival for a great event over the 16th - 18th May , to all our wonderful volunteers for your help and a big well done to all those who took part.

The Making the Most of the Moorlands Project was involved in several ways - with a project stand at the base camp with information about the moor and the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, and children's moorland art activities.

A male Hen Harrier

Zola pointing grouse in the heather

A cock Red Grouse
We ran several stream dipping session on the Tarras water on the Saturday, getting thirty kids and their parents guddling about for invertebrate life (and the occasional fish).

young Trout (I think.. I'll admit my fish ID is a little rusty) 

Cased Caddis fly larvae

A dawn guided walk on the Sunday was a great success with wonderful views of Whinchat, Wheatear, Curlew, Lapwing, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Hen Harrier, Short Eared Owl to name but a few and the feral goats put in an appearance too!

The group stopping to admire the goats and a lovely male Whinchat singing away from a tuft of heather

 Feral goats
Red grouse broods have been hatching all over the moor, it has been wonderful watching families of grouse moving through the vegetation.. just the heads of the Cock and Hen visible most of the time keeping watch for predators.. and occasional views of tiny grouse chicks bouncing along.  MSc Student Kat Fingland is working at Langholm this season on her study looking at Red Grouse breeding success.

Red grouse chick

Cock (male) Red Grouse with his radio collar

Can you spot the grouse nest?
  A good reminder to please, please keep your dogs on leads April - July on the moor.. there are many species still on eggs and young birds can not fly far if at all for several weeks.

Kat Fingland ... good luck with your studies

Short Eared Owls doing well on the moor this season - some nests are almost ready to fledge, some still on eggs.

Harriers (including Hattie and Grainne) sat on eggs, we'll keep you posted as the season goes on.


  1. Fantastic to see the moorland flourishing this spring, the project inspiring people, and many folk wanting to learn more about the environment. Great work!

  2. Good work Cat, keep it up.