BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Still Ice Bound

No sign of any let upon on the cold frosty weather as the 16 Black-headed Gulls and a Common Gull on ice bear testimony to.

I note the mention of Claife Heights on the LDBWS website recently. This prompts me to remember it as by far the best location I ever visited to make contact with the ever elusive Hawfinch. But I'm long overdue a return here and I have to go back over ten years to have recorded up to twenty birds on one visit in January 1997, and several visits around this time consistently recorded various numbers of the species. I cannot recall the exact date I first went to this area in the Lakes but I have walked many times from the Sawrey Ferry, over the top of the heights, dropped down to Bell Grange, and back along the shore of Windermere, a walk which takes me over five hours of dawdling to make sure I see all the birds the place has to offer. It is also an excellent area for Crossbill, Siskin, and Raven to mention a few and can be recommended as a good birding walk winter or summer.

A better known place for the Hawfinch is Whitherslack and my best record here was eight birds near Whitherslack Hall which is the area I have always seen the birds though a walk/drive through the woods to Pool Bank can also pay dividends sometimes for the bird to be seen given time and patience on which this species can test you to the limits. A few miles up the road North from here to below the far end of Whitbarrow can also reward you with - in my case one day - thirty Ravens.

A friend informs me today of a Stoat in ermine at Lancaster Golf Club recently.
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