Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Staying Local

I have been staying very local recently wandering around areas I consider my local patch. I have found a pair of Buzzards that seem to have laid claim to an area of woodland, and a pair of Ravens that have done the same. I will keep an eye on these and see how things develop.

On 4th Feb Pete and I had excellent views of a Red Kite on Old Warks Moors. A first time sighting for us both on this patch. It was being relentlessly mobbed by crows and eventually drifted off with a posse of screaming corvids in pursuit.

Fox sightings are noticeably down, but I expect that is due to the females starting to den up in preparation for the birth of this years cubs.

There have been a couple of local otter sightings reported to me recently, I have yet to see one locally myself this year, my last sighting being in December 2016.

I checked out the local gravel pits on Monday 20th looking for Oystercatchers. I heard one calling in the dark as it flew over on Sunday evening. Sure enough there were a pair at Tameside Nature Reserve. There were also two Shelduck at Tameside, but they departed before I was in a position to photograph them.

A walk along the river also produced one male and two female Goosander.

Tameside is fast shaping up as an excellent oasis for local wildlife thanks to the hard work of the volunteers that constantly strive to maintain and improve the available habitat. The recently created "Tracey Island" is looking good and I have already seen, Little Grebe, Kingfisher and Grey wagtail regularly on and around it. I was also impressed with current work being undertaken in the form of a Sand Martin bank.

Tracey Island

Sand Martin bank  in Progress.

Tuesday evening I spent an hour watching some local badgers worming on the plough. The rain has provided them with a good supply of worms. Some sound or movement undetected by me spooked them and they charged off back towards the sett. I waited five minutes to see if they reappeared. They didn't, so I quietly walked past the sett and to an area I know they visit to feed. I placed a trail camera intending to collect it early morning. A few nice captures!

This has motivated me to get the trail cameras out again. I will set a couple up on some obvious animal highways and see what they produce.