Friday means JB/BT/PW day and with a clear blue sky and brilliant sun shining on us all off we went towards the Trough of Bowland but it was all false hope and by noon we were considering an abortion......if you see what I mean. But before the early finish......
We called at Blea Tarn reservoir - I'd guess a little watched site - but with the exception of a single Redshank, one or two pair's of Oystercatcher, and about 5 Shelduck, the only record's to enter my book was a nesting pair of Great - crested Grebe and male and female Orange Tip butterflies. BT suggested a call in at Birk Bank the result of which was brief calls from a Cuckoo. As ever the constant song of the delightful little Willow Warbler was all around and I never fail to be amazed by this birds abundance. We probably saw only 3 Green Hairstreak, a Brown Hare was unusual and I'm trying hard to remember the last one I saw here. The visit could hardly have been called either prolonged or intense but its all interesting stuff isn't it.
Past the Jubilee Tower and on to Abbeystead Lane we were excited to find 10 Golden Plover and scanned through them to find a Dotterel but it soon turned out to have been wishful thinking. Further down the lane 3 Greenfinch and a Song Thrush were noted and at Stoops Bridge another 2 Song Thrush were heard, a House Martin was around the estate office, also here a Garden Warbler as heard in full song and eventually showed briefly, a Buzzard was heard to 'mew' a couple of times, but best here was 2 Pied Flycatcher male's one of which is almost certainly showing interest in last years nest hole. A butty and coffee was followed by a hesitant drive - in the now steady rain - towards Trough Bridge at which point I distinctly heard BT suggest the aforementioned abortion but not being a man to throw in the towel as quickly as I'm known to he did a 'u' turn and drove to Conder Green to see if the Avocet's were still 'around' at which point I began to think 'is this man leaning towards becoming a twitcher'. The reward for doing so produced a Spotted Redshank, at least 12 Black - tailed Godwit, and a Whimbrel over.
It's interesting that whilst we were at Conder Green and watching the Spotted Redshank JB commented on the fact that in the not too distant past this species was never expected to be seen in summer plumage, yet in 2008/9 this bird has spent the entire winter - including the coldest December for 30 years - at Conder Green and has now taken on its full summer plumage, and in fact - void of checking my records - the bird was only absent from this location a matter of a few weeks in the summer months in 2008 before it returned.
The pic illustrates just one example of the beauty of our landscape and shows the view today from Birk Bank looking towards Askew Hill.