Wednesday, 11 June 2014

June 2014

Wow, what an amazing few weeks on the moor, we've enjoyed mixed weather  - some days of glorious sunshine interspersed with cold winds and torrential rain showers..

Firstly an update on the Harriers - well it is turning out to be an amazing year at Langholm and I hear there is positive news south of the border too (check out the Skydancer Blog). At Langholm moor there are eight active Hen Harrier nests, Seven of which have already hatched or are in the process of hatching - including the sat tagged 2cy females Hattie and Grainne.

Grainne's nest

We have our nest cameras in on an adult female nesting at Langholm and have managed to capture some incredible footage of incubation, hatching and early feeds. The footage is being shown at The Eskdale Hotel on Langholm High Street - drop in anytime between 11am and 11pm to watch as the chicks hatch and grow. Video clips will also be posted shortly here on the blog and on our facebook page.
 It will be worth watching Springwatch  this evening -11th Wednesday June -  footage shot earlier in the season of Hattie skydancing with her male will be shown - hopefully raising the profile of the beautiful Hen Harrier and prompting some discussion about the future of Hen Harrier conservation.

These wonderful composite images taken by David Palmar show some of the wonderful patterns the harriers draw in the sky as they dance.
Composite image of Male Hen Harrier skydancing (David Palmar

Composite image of a food pass between a pair of Hen Harriers (David Palmar)

David Palmar

I've mentioned before that vole numbers are high at Langholm at the moment and everything is making the most of them including the Harriers. Barn owls broods in the area are between four and seven which is incredible, and will hopefully help the population recover from a couple of bad winters in previous years.

Barn owl brood of 7

oldest and youngest in the brood 

The Short eared owl action is fantastic, adults are seen very regularly and sometimes several in the air at the same time, it is hard to know which direction to look in sometimes.  We are making the most of these wonderful views and ringing any chicks we can find.

Short Eared Owl (John Wright)

Short Eared Owl (John Wright)

Short Eared Owl fledged chick waiting to be fed (John Wright)

Short Eared Owl chick well hidden in the vegetation

Short Eared Owl chick

If you are interested in visiting Langholm moor to watch the wonderful Hen Harriers and other fantastic wildlife, please get in touch with  Making the Most of Moorlands project manager Cat Barlow  .

All the nest visits and ringing is done by experienced fieldworkers under licence.

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