A good sunny if windy day for the monthly 'tab' on the Stonechat's which today totalled eight birds seen as four pairs, a good start to the season being only mid March. However, the stewards of the countryside are out and about with their boxes of matches as the smell of burning heather was in my nostrils during the visit here today. Well the uplands management is OK, I just wish the cut off point for these burns was made to be sooner.
The notes ended up a bit sparse as was to be expected but the sighting of two male Wheatear was excellent one of which had already found its way to about 400m above sea level two days earlier than the one I saw up here on 21 March 2007. Meadow Pipits were few and far between and I saw just six which is the same number of Wren noted, the Red Grouse beat these counts by one, and I noted one Mistle Thrush in flight beyond Ottergear Bridge. But the big surprise was the last sighting of the day when I went on to Rigg Lane from the car park to check out a field which held an excellent double figure count of Wheatear on a date around this time last year to find at least 70 Fieldfare there.