I just e-mailed my Stonechat records for 2008 to JW and reckon a few words about them might interest one or two visitors to the Birds2blog.
I can't wait to see the comprehensive RSPB Stonechat records for Bowland, as far as my records for 2008 are concerned from just two of my most favourite areas for this species, the breeding season for this year is best described as a disaster and there will be nobody needing an explanation as to why if they remember all the unused sun blocker in the bathroom cabinet.
I wasn't even able to get to the Clougha/Birk Bank location in the entire month of August simply because, on what days I was available to do so the weather was unbelievably appalling. In March and May I succeeded in identifying 10 birds as 5 pairs but as the season progressed and indeed came to an end, the only breeding evidence I gathered was of a single young bird, and a pair with 4 young - which in the circumstances was a resounding success - both records in the month of July. The year ended on a down note when a rare event occurred here and I found not a solitary Stonechat in December.
As always these record are achieved through in excess of 50 hours observations on Clougha and Birk Bank, and whilst our summer months produce anything like the weather 2007/8 threw at us the upturn of the status of the Stonechat will remain on hold and in any case in my opinion has probably peaked already and much sooner than I had hoped for if it turns out I'm correct on this one.
This picture does at least have a connection to all this as I took it a while back one November evening from Birk Bank.