Monday, 8 June 2009

The Good, The Bad......

......and the not ugly at all. The only 'bad' was that I found not a solitary Stonechat on Hawthornthwaite from the Scorton Road access track, and another 'bad' record at the end of this post. In actual fact the day was much better than 'good' it was excellent.

On Harrisend I found 12 Stonechat including 5 juveniles so even if the fortunes of this species are a little mixed this year from location to location this was a good start to my day. Also noted here were 2 Lesser Redpoll giving excellent views from the lone Hawthorn on the path, at least 23 Meadow Pipit were counted, 5 Willow Warbler, a single Wren, a House Martin flew past me going NE, and about 4 Goldfinch were seen from the path towards Lane Head where I saw the highlight of the day in a Nuthatch feeding a fledged young bird, in all my years birding this is a personal first. A Small Copper was the only butterfly seen on here in two hours plus.

On Hawthornthwaite I noted at least 4 Sand Martin which I see on every visit here in the summer months, I've never been able to work out where these birds nest (if they do) and the small colony near Cam Brow have not taken up at this site this year. I noted 11 Meadow Pipit, 3 Wren, a Buzzard, and 2 Small Copper.

At Marshaw I saw a Common Sandpiper again from the cattle grid, and a few minutes later found another adult with a downy young from the new bridge towards the Hawthornthwaite access track, so it appears there may be two pair breeding in this area but not yet confirmed. The Spotted Flycatcher showed here again today, and 5 House Martin were feeding in this area. From the track I found 5 Stonechat, three of which were juveniles with a male, and a lone female which appeared to be unattached to these four, I counted 17 Meadow Pipit, 2 male Reed Bunting, a single Wren and Willow Warbler, and noted a Painted Lady.
A quick visit to Abbeystead to find the Pied Flycatcher pair still feeding young in the nest. And at Christ Church the Spotted Flycatcher was showing again, but the bad news here was that not a single House Martin was to be seen here again today and they are surely not going to colonise the church this year given today's date. I had excellent views - on the day - of my second male Hen Harrier in seven days.

The pic is again courtesy of Brian Rafferty who captured this image of a Meadow Pipit with a Light Knot Grass moth in its bill......excellent stuff Brian.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Congratulations !! Your hard work paid off, an excellent count of stonechat on Harrisend Fell. Thank Pete Marsh for me for identification of the meadow pipit moth and thanks to you again for using my pics. Nice to see Dave Cookson's as well. Dave really is one of the " top men " with a camera.

Pete Woodruff said...

Have carried through your 'thanks' also its good to be able to use the pic's of such as yourself, David Cookson, and John Bateman, and some of my own if/when I ever get another decent result with my improvised methods these days.

Thanks for your contribution Brian.

Colin Bushell said...

Hi Pete,
Now you mention it I'm seeing lots of Stonechats, but not many juvs. Another Whinchat this evening giving that "Bullfinch Call". I've never noticed it until this year - probably due to my lack of experience on breeding territories. First Lapwing flock (19) of the "autumn" this evening too.

Pete Woodruff said...

I wouldn't have known the 'Bullfinch' call in fact I heard a singing male not many minutes after leaving my car at the top of Cross of Greet recently and had to see the bird to ID it such is my experience of singing Whinchat. I'm sure you already know this Colin, but they are excellent mimics and one took me for 'a ride' one day at Borrowdale (nr Tebay) when it was mimicking a Whitethroat to perfection.

Thanks for comment's Colin.