Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Beautiful View!

Thank you to Andy & David and Alys & Stephen And Topper, Tilly & Poppy for forwarding a copy of this photograph. It is the view from the cottage and was taken on a sunny morning in October this year.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Nature Diary

In the garden this morning 2 blue tits and a pied wagtail. Starlings flew by.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Nature Diary

In the back field this morning there were 3 mallard, 3 magpies and a blackbird. On the power cable was a pied wagtail. Chaffinch also in the garden. Spotted a wheatear in the garden.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nature Diary

Cranefly on the kitchen window. Saw a herring gull while looking out of the kitchen window. Also 2 pied wagtails. Flock of starling flew by. Saw a blue tit. More pheasants again today. Along Strickens Lane I saw a sparrow fly into a hedge and some rooks flew over. In a field there were 2 swans. Also a magpie today.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nature Diary

Saw 2 jackdaws in a field down the lane and more pheasants. On the way back to the cottage yesterday evening I saw a rabbit in Strickens Lane.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Nature Diary

Just after 9.20 this morning, looking out of the window, I saw a pheasant in the field just the other side of the garden wall. While watching that a hare came close by the wall. Saw 4 more pheasants in a field down the lane as we were going out and another 6 on our way back.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nature Diary

Saw a mole digging the lawn up and worms escaping from it.
Seen pied wagtails, tits, chaffinches, magpies, sparrows, robin, dunnock, wren all in the garden.
Seen rabbits, heron, buzzards, pheasants, lots of different sea birds whilst out walking.

Andy, David, Alys and Steven

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Nature Diary

We saw a Cormorant on the bank of the River Wyre. Never got so close before!!

David & Audrey Aspinall

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Nature Diary

We saw blue tits early morning. One came and had a little bit of peanut.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Nature Diary

Whilst having breakfast in the garden we watched 4 buzzards playing in the thermals over the moors.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Steve came home this morning after mowing one of the meadows to find the mower covered in thousands of ladybirds. I have never seen so many ladybirds!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Nature Diary

Pied wagtail, family of 7 blue tits, 2 great tits, magpie and blackbird, 2 sparrows - all in the garden. Swallow, house martins and swifts flying.
Adult curlew with a juvenile. Oystercatcher, hares, jackdaws, wood pigeons, mallards and a kestrel seen from the birdhide.
Little owl seen flying between the roof line of the farm buildings.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Nature Diary

2:30 pm - Little owl in field and on stone wall in field behind farm (next to track).

Evening - Sparrowhawk flying (chasing martins) at adjacent farm (down track halfway to Calder Vale). Grey wagtail, goldfinches, meadow pipt, grey partridge, blue tits, young robins and brown hare. Little owl in garden on electric pole!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

4th Breeding Wader Survey

Another fine morning on your farm earlier today, doing the 4th wader survey.
A lot of change since the last visit (17th May), with most chicks now having turned into fledged youngsters, very capable of good flight. Large groups of adults and fledged young moving about, including using fields on adjacent farms, which makes the process of trying to count them quite interesting !
However the counts showed at least 76 adults still using your fields, with 27 fledged youngsters, and at least a further 5 young not yet fledged – shaping up to look like a good year.
Curlew, oystercatcher and redshank all still present, and also several skylark in good song.
A single raven flew over, calling loudly, and was hastely seen off by the lapwing.
Best wishes

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Viewings from the bird hide

Lapwings 109+ including birds still sitting on eggs, chicks of various ages and a post-breeding flock of circa 35 birds.
Curlew - 2
Oystercatcher - 3
Buzzard - 1
Kestrel - 2
Skylark - 1
Dunnock - 2

Gavin Thomas and Sarah Blyth (RSPB)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Nature diary notes

Sound of lapwings as we got out of the car. Herds of curlews! Wonderful sounds. Swifts screaming. Lovely birds on the bird feeder in the garden too.
Saw a female deer running across a fell!

Brigit & Gwen Thurstan

Viewings from the bird hide

Starlings feeding under cows!

Charles & Linda, RSPB members

Viewings from the bird hide

Lapwing, skylark, mallard and ducklings, oystercatchers, hares

Monday, 4 June 2012

Viewings from the bird hide

2 brown hare, 2 skylark, numerous lapwings and young, swallows, house martins, curlew, mallard, oystercatchers

Friday, 1 June 2012

Birds in the garden

Spent a few minutes in the garden this afternoon and watched the blue tits on the bird table.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Rolling meadows

Josh is busy at work - rolling the meadows to smooth out any lumps ready for silaging in a few weeks (making fancy stripes too)!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cuckoo calling!

We walked over to Bleasdale this afternoon to Bleasdale Tower Gardens Open Afternoon - a pleasant walk and lovely gardens. On our walk home we heard the cuckoo calling - the first time I've heard it this year.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Breeding Wader Survey (3rd Visit)

A total of 58 adult lapwing – suggesting 29 pairs – at least 3 of these are still sitting.
There are now lots of chicks about since my last visit on the 20th April – a total of 31 seen, from at least 14 different broods – some of these are getting well grown, and still in broods of 3, suggesting survival is good. This number of young will be a minimum count – its very likely there will have been others I didn’t see. There were several adult birds that were behaving as if they had young with them, but I could not see the chicks.
The fields nearest the hide continue to be where most of the lapwing are to be seen.
One sitting oystercatcher was also seen, and at least 5 curlew were present.
There were six wheatears on the main hide field, including several very smart males – two were even sitting on the roof of the hide at one point !
The pond at the top of the farm held a brood of young moorhen with adults.
I also saw several brown hare.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Duck on bird table!

Saw this duck on a bird table outside a house in Calder Vale this afternoon.

Calder Vale Bluebell Wood

Walked down to Calder Vale village this afternoon through the church wood, which is carpeted with bluebells. Called in at the village hall for a bluebell tea - homemade banoffi pie, delicious!

Refreshments are available during May on Saturdays and Bank Holidays at St John's Church and on every Sunday afternoon in the village hall in Calder Vale. Well worth a visit!!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Caldertop Heritage

Bleasdale Delight has given birth to a bull calf and we have named him Caldertop Heritage - our first pedigree charolais calf.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Cows let out for the summer

Steve let some cows out today for the summer. It's good to see cows and calves out in the field.


Photographs of Wheatear spotted from the birdhide at lunchtime today - stopping off on their migration to Africa to feed on insects on the open ground.

Viewings from the birdhide

The following birds were spotted today by Gavin Thomas, RSPB and a group of delegates on a Field Trip as part of Bowland Symposium:-

Lapwing 40+
Curlew 2
Redshank 2
Whimbrell - approx 70 flew towards Barnacre
Wheatear 3
Oystercatcher - 1 sat on nest
Peregrine - 1 flew over

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lapwing chicks!

Whilst having a walk around the sheep and lambs spotted two lapwing chicks which were sitting very still in the grass.

Swallows Return!

Steve saw the first swallow of 2012 on the farm today.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Viewings from the Birdhide

12:00 hrs
- numerous lapwings and chicks (at least 4 chicks spotted)
- 2 x redshank on posts
- oystercatcher on nest
- 2 curlew flying overhead

Friday, 20 April 2012

Breeding Wader Survey No.2

Hi Alison, Stephen.
 Had another very enjoyable visit this morning, to do the second of this years breeding wader surveys. Results as follows....
 Lapwing – a total of 54 birds, suggesting 27 pairs – a slight increase on the fist survey visit (poss 24 pairs) – the field immediately in front of the hide today held 13 incubating birds – with the 9 nests from the first survey two weeks ago still all present – which is excellent. The smaller adjacent field also still held 5 incubting birds, the same as two weeks ago – this indicates good nest survival (note – getting these figures did not involve nest visits, just observation from the same vantage point !) A further 4 incubating birds were noted on other fields.
 Redshank – 2 birds seen calling and feeding
 Curlew – at least 3 individuals seen calling, in flight and some strong display seen.
 Oystercatcher – 4 birds noted.
Additionally, more wheatear were again noted, 5 in one field and 1 in another – these are most likely passage birds still heading up to the moors, but the dry stone walls on the farm could well attract a breeding pair. Lots of pied wagtails in various locations, and up near Delph Lane, redpoll and siskin again heard, and also other summer migrants – willow warbler and chiffchaff.
 Best wishes

Friday, 13 April 2012

Bird Hide Viewing

Thank you, this is our fourth visit to the hide. It is pouring 'hailstones', however, very enjoyable. Did see lapwing. Thanks again.
Alex and Martin, Calder Vale

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Lapwing Nests

I went for a walk this afternoon across the Wood Field and found 3 lapwing nests.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Breeding Wader Survey

We had our first visit from Andrew Gouldstone, RSPB Area Conservation Manager, this morning to survey the breeding waders on our land. This is his first report:

Lapwing - total of 49 birds, which suggests 24pairs – the two fields in front of the hide had 14 incubating birds.
Redshank – 1 pair calling together in front of the hide
Curlew – at least 3 birds, displaying and calling
Snipe – 5 seen in the rushy field above the ‘hide field’
Oystercatcher – 1 pair.
I also saw 5 wheatear on the hide field (summer migrants), 2 fieldfare (quite late for these now) and heard both redpoll and siskin up near Delph Wood.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Viewings from the Birdhide

52 lapwings, 200+ starlings, 2 oystercatchers, 4 cock pheasants, 4 curlews, 6 herring gulls, 4 crows, 1 magpie and 1 brown hare.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Green tourism Gold Award

Received confirmation today that we have achieved a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. 
'Caldertop Cottage maintains its Gold award with excellent sustainable practises across the board which have allowed the site to also win a number of other green awards. The green message is very prominent for guests and there is a huge amount of information to allow them to make not only green choices but also choices that will enhance their holiday experience such as local produce, car free activities and the wildlife likely to be seen on the site and surrounds. Wildlife is encouraged on site through various habitats and refuges.'

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lapwings return

There are several lapwings on our land again - I love to hear their unmistakeable call when they are in flight!