Monday, 24 November 2008

What Stonechats?

On an otherwise poor result checking out the current status of wintering Stonechats at three locations, following a much appreciated alert from Pete (Marsh) earlier in the day I called at Jubilee Tower to see if the Snow Bunting was still here. I must confess to thinking I was wasting my time, it being about five hours after the call, but hey......the bird is still here. I was curious to see what this bird had been doing all day long as this is a busy road so what does it do every time a vehicle passes? Well it flies about 30 metres into the moorland and returns back to where it left the road, I watched it do this eight times. By the way, the Snow Bunting above is one of 12 (I think it was) on the beach between St Annes and Starr Gate January 2003.

As for the Stonechats......well it took me 1hr 40mins to find just one distant female at Harrisend today. The most impressive sight here was at least 300 Fieldfare from the path towards Lane Head from Harrisend. I did a little better at Hawthornthwaite in that I found two Stonechats in 45mins from leaving the car. From the track to the same fell with access from Marshaw, again I found just two Stonechats here today. So, all in all a disappointment and upland birding in the winter months isn't exactly a bundle of fun but it has to be done if we are to keep tabs on the birds of the uplands and if someone has to do it then it might as well be me as I'm half way to mad anyway!
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