Saturday, 30 May 2009

Ladies Day!

When I left the car on Rigg Lane today I could never have believed the spectacle I was about to witness for the next five hours whilst I was on Clougha/Birk Bank. 

At the head of my records today are the truly amazing 149 Painted Lady butterflies which flew by me at the rate of 30 per hour, an experience I shall never forget. Conversely I was equally amazed at not seeing a solitary Green Hairstreak up here today......Mmmmmmm!

Not quite up to the standard of the 'butterfly' excitement was finding 7 Stonechat, though in itself this was a bit of a surprise but the downside was the fact that for the second year running there are no juveniles at the end of May to show evidence of any first brood success's. However, the seven birds seen today tells me that it is reasonable to suggest five pairs of Stonechat here at the moment, though the three lone males can only suppose this as a 'possibility'. Incidentally, one Painted Lady reached the end of its journey in the bill of a male Stonechat which showed to good effect its ability to behave like a 'flycatcher'. Also to note was 21 Willow Warbler, 6 Red Grouse, at least 12 Meadow Pipit which were seen as nothing remarkable, 5 Wren, and a Mistle Thrush. A return five hours later to the bog (no not the toilet there are none here) to see if I could find Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary had me jumping up and down at what I thought was a Clouded Yellow butterfly but turned out to be a Brimstone Moth.

Thanks yet again to Brian Rafferty for the male Stonechat pic. With just a £60 camera these days I can't take them as good as this any more. With my sincere apologies to JC and his 'Birding Aldcliffe Blog' for unintentionally violating copyright laws and using the same title for my post today which was completed one hour and five minutes after his......Erhum!

1 comment:

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Looks like you have had a great three day's birding. Glad your House Martins turned up and the Woodchat Shrike was a great find. We really are being invaded currently by Painted Ladies. Dozens and dozens on the Bowland Fells on Friday . Enjoy this wonderful weather here for a few more days !!. Cheers Brian.