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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Windhover

A few weeks ago, we had a call from our friends at the BMC after a climber had reported a kestrel nesting on Curbar Edge.

I headed down to have a look, and was tiptoeing towards the nest site when a female kestrel swooped low with a vole to the base of the crag. She disappeared from view before flying off, minus the vole, several seconds later. A chorus of screeching struck up, the unmistakable sound of hungry young birds of prey. I crept closer, and was surprised to see a bundle of feathers perched contentedly on a boulder beside the footpath, chugging down the remains of the unfortunate vole, freshly flown in just moments earlier. 

"What are you looking at?"

I suspected that this chick had fallen from the nest. It was a good sign that it was still being fed, but it was very exposed, and I wondered if it would make it through the night's perils and predators. Up in the crack, two more bundles of fluff looked down at me keenly, before shuffling back comically into a sheltered crevice.

When I returned the next day the young fallen chick was no-where to be found and I began to fear the worst.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Youth Rangers survive a night in the woods

The ultimate shelter
Last weekend the Eastern Moors Youth Rangers braved an entire night in the woodland below Froggatt Edge.

We’re pleased to announce that despite searing sunshine, pouring rain and an awful lot of spiders, we all survived.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Summertime in the meadows

Self heal

Summer is here and the wild flowers are looking great as we have already seen in the recent orchid post. During the summer we carry out monitoring in the meadows so that we can get them in the best condition possible.

Youth rangers helping with meadow monitoring at Curbar
This habitat has been created over time by human management and the assemblage of plants and the wildlife they support depend on the continuation of this management. If these areas are over grazed then many of the plant species can be lost as they are unable to reproduce as they are not given the chance to flower. If abandoned courser grasses will out-compete the wild flowers and succession will eventually lead to development of scrub.