Monday, 16 March 2009


Still only mid March and I didn't need reminding about that with a stiff cold wind today but at Harrisend a count of 6 Stonechat was a reasonable one and included some interesting interaction between two males and was obviously over a female which was in close company. I saw just one Red Grouse on here and a conversation later in the day with the gamekeeper I see almost every time I visit a particular area indicated a long way to go before the 'tic' battle is won with young dead within days of hatching last year if they are unfortunate enough to collect one. Also noted here, 2 Buzzard, very few Meadow Pipit yet with only about eight seen today, and 2 Brown Hare.

At Hawthornthwaite I found just one female Stonechat and never heard let alone seen a single Red Grouse.

From the Hawthornthwaite access track at Marshaw I found another 6 Stonechat four of which were found when I decided to wander off the routine course. This has always been a problem for me as I will now have to spend even more time and do more searching over a wider area if I want to keep tabs on these two extra pair and if I'm not careful I'll be spending the entire summer in the Trough of Bowland. Also noted here were 7 Red Grouse, a Buzzard, and a Red - legged Partridge which is a bird I normally don't take seriously, but this one today is the first I ever saw in this area. A Green Woodpecker was over the access gate when I arrived back there.

In the pic is the female/immature Black Redstart which I found at Fluke Hall on the sea defences behind Fluke Hall Wood four years ago 24 March 2005 and which I had at first thought was a Stonechat when seen at a distance......Nice !

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