Do three swallows herald spring?

There’s nothing better in my view than being out there in the fresh air, watching the aerial manouvres of a male Hen Harrier as it glides low over Thorne Moors.  Marsh Harrier observations in recent years appear more numerous in terms of numbers of birds and more frequently sighted alongside the other familiar and smaller birds of prey.  The unexpected sighting today was that of three swallows seen from near the Paraffin Tram, one of the birds passing low along the drain nearby.

Who would have thought back in the 1970s that we would now, more than forty years later, be able to roam freely without the risk of harrassment on these wonderful and special places?  When I stand in the middle of Thorne Moors now as I did back then, sadly the view is very different, but despite the industrialised landscape all around the Moors at least they remain and I can continue to study and to enjoy the wildlife that still exists there.  Had it not been for the critical mass of community campaigners it might have been a very different ‘picture’ that we see today and hand on to the next generation.

What of the future?  A playground for off roaders, motor bikes and stalkers?  Or is it a SSSI, a National Nature Reserve and a Natura 2000 site?  I think the clue is in the name, but there are others who see and advocate different outcomes for our local heritage.

If invertebrates interest you, then the entomological paintings of the late Peter Skidmore are inspirational but better still, get out there and find the real thing and continue the survey and monitoring that is at the heart of the Forum’s work.  Let us know what you find ….

Who needs ‘Secret Britain’ when you have 1900 hectares on your doorstep to explore, what hidden gems remain to be discovered?

Unfortunately the only deer observation was a dead one, generally they are plentiful.   At least this buck appeared to be being recycled, nothing is ever wasted in nature ….

Oh deer

Oh deer



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