....to check out the Clougha/Birk Bank area primarily for Stonechat which continued the poor show this species is making this year in all the area's I regularly visit with - for example - only two birds found in five hours on 2 April in the Cross of Greet/White Greet/Cross of Greet Bridge area's, just one bird in two hours on Harrisend 15 April, and none in two hours from the Hawthornthwaite track. Another disappointment up here today was the lack of any Tree Pipit sightings. However, a perfect day for the task/pleasure of some upland birding in your shirt sleeves for the first time.
Three Willow Warbler were singing in competition in the car park on Rigg Lane and a total of 25 were heard up here today. This little 'warbler' never ceases to amaze me with its apparent abundance. I found just 3 Stonechat and assume just two pair up here this summer as the lone male was definitely on guard duty, I observed the female of the other pair showing itself to be the perfect 'flycatcher' taking an insect on the wing with ease. A Cuckoo called about three times early on in the visit but never made another peep in four hours. A Song Thrush was in full throttle, 3 Wheatear, 6 Red Grouse, 6 Wren, and no more than 8 Meadow Pipit seen which represented yet another big disappointment in this area today. I counted 38 Green Hairstreak on the wing in the four hours, hardly a record count on an ideal day for this species to get out and about.
This place - and the extensive area of it which I cover - has puzzled me in excess of 10 years in that the Whinchat is rarely if ever seen here - well I do have c.3 records off passage - let alone breed here......why?
A Peregrine Falcon was reported to me on the South side of St Peters Cathedral steeple yesterday evening, and a Brimstone butterfly in the Story Institute garden on Saturday.
This smart sub adult Med Gull was on the Allan Pool at this time last year which has absolutely nothing to do with todays post....nothing new there then!