Conservation Blog

Welcome to the new Creswell Crags wildlife blog. My name is Jim and I am one of two wardens who regularly patrol the site. I am a trained naturalist  and have a background of many years in conservation. I really enjoy working at Creswell Crags because the site is so varied and there is always something different to see.

I hope you will enjoy my blog and perhaps even contribute to it. Each monthly entry I will highlight what has been seen around the site during the last month. I would like this blog to become yours as well with your input and your photos. I would welcome your input (reports of sightings and photos) via email ( Alternatively, please feel free to take details of your sightings to the main Reception desk during open hours, leaving your contact details.

January 2014

The first month of year has not been typical weather-wise - it’s been a very wet and windy month at the Crags, and when we have had a calm day with some sunshine it's felt more like a spring day with the birds singing. The first part of the month we had a pair of goosander visiting the crags lake, both male and female on one day, and then just the male bird afterwards.

Male Goosander The reason they are visiting the Crags Lake is because they are a member of a group known as the 'sawbills’ because of their long narrow bills with saw-like ‘teeth’. They are fish-eating birds. While out gardening, I have noticed more robins around the site - they have been fighting amongst themselves.I presume this behaviour is all about setting up their territory because it can meet their needs for food, water, shelter and nesting sites. The robins will chase away other robins from their territory but will except a wren in the same space because the two species do not directly compete for food.

Life at the bird feeders has been busy at both sites, but nothing unusual as been seen on them. Sorby Beck Bird Ringing Group very kindly installed a seed hopper this month to help feed the birds.   By the 23rd of January, the snowdrops were flowering in the woods near the visitor centre. The snowdrop’s botanical name is Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus being derived from the Greek words for ‘milk’ (gala) and ‘flower’ (anthos), and nivalis being the Latin for ‘snowy’. Other common names for snowdrop are Candlemas Bells, Fairmaids and Dingle-Dangle. Snowdrops are regarded by many as a wildflower but most colonies are probably garden escapees. Snowdrops were not recorded as growing wild in the UK until the 1770s.  Next time you see a snowdrop look at the inside of the flower and see the beauty of them close up.


Upcoming related events:

 Ice Age Zoo: Handling Collection 

18th February & 19th February, 11 - 3

Lions, hyena and wolves all roamed the gorge during the Ice Age. Join us to find out more about these amazing animals. 

Birdringing Demonstration 

Sunday 23rd February, 8 - 11am 

Join the Sorby Beck bird ringers and get up close to the feathery residents of Creswell Crags. Booking essential.  

See the What's On section for more details

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