Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Langholm Harriers 16th September

It may be mid September but it is feeling more like mid July here in Langholm. We've been experiencing sunny, warm days,  even managing 23 degrees one day. Barely a drop of rain means the rivers are the lowest we've seen them in a long while and the moor is about as dry as it gets (which admittedly is still pretty wet). It has been about a month since we've seen swifts wheeling overhead but the swallows and martins are still actively feeding young. Finches and pipits moving about together in large flocks feeding on the thistles and meadowsweet.
 Vole numbers appear to still be pretty high, It is hard not to tread on them as you walk through the heather, grasses and rushes. Several pairs of Barn owls are on second broods (some feeding large chicks, some still sat on eggs). On the Harrier front the girls (Hattie, Grainne and Annie) have not made any major changes in recent weeks but Sid (the young male tagged at Langholm this year) is heading west.

Sid the day his sat tag was fitted
After spending a few weeks in the Scottish Borders between Langholm and Kielder Reservoir Sid  made a pit stop on Langholm moor before continuing South West..  Is this just a foray to the west of the moor or could he be heading further afield across Dumfries & Galloway, even following Miranda's route from 2013, Isle of Man and onto Ireland? Watch this space...
Hattie, Grainne and Sid (137859) recent movements

From the southern part of the moor  (Whita Hill) you can see as far as the northern end of the North Pennines AONB,  the northern peaks of the Lake District, the tip of the Solway and the Criffel at Dumfries.. This would have been what Sid saw and maybe what enticed him to explore a little further.
View from Southern tip of the moor across to Lake District and Solway

Annie is favouring ground in the very south of South Lanarkshire


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