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, 28 May 2009

Breeding Season Protocol.

There has been a discussion on the LDBWS website regarding the title of my post today, if you've not seen it I strongly suggest you take a look at it and make your own decision about what has been said there on the subject.

The purpose of this part of the post is to illustrate with the picture on the right which was taken recently whilst checking some nest boxes at a location I am involved in with John Wilson. I don't just think....I know the picture explains perfectly why - for the past two years - I have had no intention of disclosing publicly the location for these nest boxes, apart from this, anyone who is up to date on whats happening within the LDBWS area or anyone who needs to, will know very well where they are and I have now mentioned them for the very first and last time on this blog and am not likely to mention them again elsewhere. I don't really need/have to say this but I'm going to....the people who - unlike us - have no interest whatsoever in the wildlife we have around us obviously don't all go to Blackpool.

On a much more lighter and enjoyable note, following a recent telephone conversation with John Wilson I found myself today in the company of - and guiding - five excellent birders from the Emerald Isle, better known as 'The Dubliners'/'The Irish Contingent'/'Chris & Co'....take your pick. We were at Barbondale where these guys were hoping to see - in particular - Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler, as it turned out from that point of view I must reluctantly say the day was a failure. However, as I've said many times before - and as we all agreed today - birding wouldn't be the same if birds were seen to order and the observations we made including Redstart, Tree Pipit, Wheatear, Green Woodpecker, and Stonechat were enjoyed to the full. I wouldn't dream of listing all the birds as it would represent nothing more than the old record played all over again, but after the party had left me to go to see the Eagle Owl/s I spent another hour or so here and found my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year for Barbondale.

From Barbondale I went to visit the long overdue and neglected Newby Moor where I was a little more than disappointed to find just one pair of Stonechat with a single juvenile from a first brood. This is at a place where for the past ten years I've been watching a healthy population of this species go from strength to strength....well what was I expecting following the appalling spring we've had. At least 4 Sedge Warbler were seen, and I noted 5 Linnet, 2 Willow Warbler, no more than 6 Meadow Pipit and a Reed Bunting.

I reckon I had a poor result today for all the effort put into it but wouldn't want to sound ungrateful. The best title for this post should perhaps have been 'A Mixed Day'.

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