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.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The Works!

Well that's what I gave Barbondale and the surrounding area today, and if you're going to try to get to the bottom of things its the only way. I managed 26 species in spending eight full hours in the area the most notable of which were......

I'm prepared to give the Pied Flycatcher precedence over the Stonechat perhaps just this once and today I found a pair and a singing male which was no more than 60mtrs away, hopefully this may indicate two pair here as last year, so its looking a little slow in the build up of numbers at Barbondale again......I wonder why. As on my last visit on 22 April I found 8 Stonechat and remain convinced there are at least five pairs here this year. Despite a thorough search I could find only one pair of Whinchat again. The next in line for excellent news is that I found the nest site of the Green Woodpecker which 'yaffles' on and off - as it did last visit - all day long. Next in line for the awards was a Wood Warbler which gave me excellent views near the gate into the plantation as always. A pair of Common Sandpiper were upstream from the bridge, I saw just 2 Redstart but heard more, 5 Wheatear, heard only one Tree Pipit briefly, counted at least 25 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Reed Bunting, 3 Mistle Thrush, a Treecreeper, a Dunnock, 2 Kestrel, and a Sparrowhawk. Apart from a few 'white' butterflies I saw just one Small Tortoiseshell and an Orange Tip in a quite strong and cold wind from the east which took the edge off an otherwise beautiful May day. The disappointments here today were the absence of Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, and Dipper, though in this latter more a matter of not seeing rather than 'missing' as in the case of the other two.

I was intrigued by the behaviour of a female Stonechat which in all the years I've had an interest and observed the species I never associated it with water and fast running water at that. Today I watched this one behaving like - and thinking it was - a Grey Wagtail in that in flitted and hopped from stone to stone for quite some time and distance collecting insects as it went......another first for me.


The pic is yet another excellent Pied Flycatcher image 'nicked' (by permit) from Brian Rafferty.

4 comments:

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. What a super day you had in Barbondale.You worked hard and got your rewards!! I am honoured that you are using some of my images for your blog and now two in one day!!! Thanks Pete. Love to know where the Yaffle is nesting !!

Cheers and take care. Brian.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, I thought of you when I saw the bird enter the nest hole, my friend JB will also want me to show him where it is when next we visit there. You must try to meet me there some time soon Brian as there is no problem showing you 'the hole'. Thanks for comments Brian and please do keep the pics coming as my photography these days falls into the 'crap' category.

Regards Pete.

Colin Bushell said...

Hi Pete,

Yes, a good day indeed. Had 3 male Pied Flys plus a female this morning along the bridleway near Syke's Farm during fieldwork in western Bowland. Thought you'd be interested in the 2 male Stonechats as well, especially as one had two juvs with it!
Few Green Hairstreaks on the wing which was nice too.
Colin

Pete Woodruff said...

Think there will be more than me interested in your Pied Flycatchers Colin. I must visit this area you mention as the Stonechats are interesting too and thanks for letting me know about them. I'll let you have the results when I do. Thanks also for looking in on the blog Colin.

Regards

Pete.