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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Welcome to the world little ones

Some great news from curlew cam this week, we have three chicks, hatched over the last couple of days. The chicks are from the third nest found, the nest was one of two nests located last week, making 4 nests, 12 eggs and 3 chicks.
Three chicks in the nest

So nest monitoring is now in full swing, each nest camera recording unit is checked every three days, this is how long the battery power and memory on the SD cards will last.

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Ring Ouzel

It's early on a bright May morning, and I'm standing in a holloway beneath a gritstone edge once known as "Wildmoorstones". Around me, the bracken is beginning to push through the peat and unfurl, and purple lanterns of bilberry flowers are blooming. The scent of peat is in the air, as is the distinctive sound of a ring ouzel in full song.It is a song that is at home here, in this landscape of rugged crags, blanket bog, windswept heather and running water. A wild sound that compliments the acoustic qualities of quarries past. A sound that ricochets off boulders and forgotten millstones, and is echoed down in the gurgle of Burbage Brook. It is a sound that flows from high places and floods to pool in the natural ampitheatre of the valley.

The gritstone edges of Derbyshire support a localised population of this rare and beautiful bird. Known to many as the “mountain blackbird”, the ring ouzel can be easily mistaken for it’s more common relative of the thrush family. But look closer, and you will see a telltale white crescent, or “gorget” adorning it’s breast. Silvery wingstreaks and a piping song as clear as mountain springwater distinguish it as the blackbird's secretive, upland cousin; a ring ouzel.

A male ring ouzel 


Just over a year ago, I met Bill Gordon, North Lees and Stanage ranger with the Peak District National Park.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Our curlew monitoring season has begun once again. This year we are supporting the RSPB national curlew management project that aims to understand the recent declines in population and aims to redress this.
Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata   

The UK has an estimated 66,000 pairs of curlew, which are Amber listed in the UK due to recent decline. Globally the species is classified as near threatened by the IUCN red list due to the declining population trend.