The edge of the Stiperstones

On the moorland edge under the bare grey Stiperstones, the hand-reared curlews that have been held since hatching in a netted enclosure are now released. The birds either fly off in a rush or walk slowly out into the field before heading off, a few keep walking and stay in the rushy pasture on the…

The Welsh Marches

A unique patchwork of fields rolls over the valleys around Church Stoke. The farms are mixed; winter wheat, rye grass silage fields, and pastures grazed by sheep, and dairy and beef cattle, but the overriding impression is of fields of green. The intensive agriculture means the fields no longer hold many curlews and lapwings but…

Shropshire hills, mires and mosses

The rolling landscape around Churchstoke on the border between Shropshire and Powys is a mix of green fields and woodlands except for some steep-sided landmarks like Roundton and Corndon Hills where acid grassland, bracken and gorse remain. Most of the valleys are drained and improved with monocultures of rye grass and arable crops but a…

Ringing Breeding Birds in Wales

Friday evening near Llyn Brenig in the Sitka spruce forests of North Wales. The warm, humid air that brought storms has been replaced by a chill northwesterly and clearing skies. In the clear-felled forest, the nightjars ‘churr’ at dusk and we try to lure a male┬áto a large mist net with a recording of the…