Thursday, 29 October 2015

Who's been a-visitin under the cover of night?

Someone has been busy here last night! I'd noticed a few perforations in the mud on tracks up on to the hill the last few days. Today I spotted this old puddle of mud, totally riddled with holes round the edge, and with some fairly tell-tale footprints......

Friday, 16 October 2015

Wheatear in no hurry to leave

This young wheatear is still happily feeding up on the top of our moor, and seems in no hurry to head south. I took a couple of pics before it decided to use the top of the truck for a better viewpoint. Don't blame it for sticking around, it's been a cracking few weeks and where else would you want to be!


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Very cool links to amazing bird blogs and images!

Check out this harrier with big dinner ideas at Making Most of the Moorlands, a busy community education project around Langholm Moor. See what happens when a hen harrier thinks big...

Making the Most of the Moorlands

Swifts are a common sight and are part of summer, screaming over our rooftops, but where do they go in winter? These projects are finding some great data, the first is from the BTO

BTO - Tracking swifts

and this one on the Beijing swift porject shows the truly extraordinary journeys some birds take annually: we still have so much to learn.

Out of Africa! The Beijing Swift’s Incredible Journey Charted At Last

And for great photos, see Paul Riddle's brilliant Owls about that then!, a blog full of amazing owls - how's this for a shot!

Owls about that then!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Sunset beech!

 Amazing sunny Autumn days! A year ago I climbed a beech to the base of the main fork. I abseiled out and left a hemp string in place, tied off to a little sapling nearby, so I could climb it properly another day....which was the last day of September 2015! Gorgeous sunny day, hiking out with my haul bag.

 Going up, SRT

 Alpine butterfly & maillon rapide as top anchor, rigged from below
 Looking up to the unexplored canopy
 Top anchor point @ 20m with arb on DRT with distal hitch & Pinto pulley
 Todays book - it's a brilliant mix of anthropology, history, adventure and sea

I found a cracking wee spot near the very top of the tree, where I sat nibbling on chapati and reading for hours in the warm sun - bliss! Then I had a bit of a look around...
 The top branches

 King twigs

The view

Hadn't meant to stay so long but it was such a brilliant spot I decided to stay and watch sundown

As I was about to leave, I noticed hoverflies flying in to roost on the top twigs, had no idea this happened - a nice little bit of extra magic to the evening. I descended on DRT, but the 30m arb was too short to drop the full height to the ground, so I did some top problem solving, adding in an extra 10m length with a double fishermans and then passing it by transfer onto the Petzl Rig and a very smooth touchdown - what a superb evening!