......hours that is, at Barbondale. Always a good idea to make some return visits to try to get to grips with whats really going on in the bird world, but didn't get to grips with the Whinchat here today as I saw a female at about 10.30 on the right of the path just through the metal then new wooden gate, JW who I met later in the morning told me of the unusual sight of two male and a female in the same area virtually together about an hour later, and four hours after this I found a male in the area of the track to Bull Pot......Mmmmm!
I can confidently record just one pair of Pied Flycatcher at Barbondale this year, and can equally confidently record - though I found four adult's today - no first broods of Stonechat here - or some other areas I cover - and have found just one juvenile so far in 2009 which follows the same miserable pattern as last year. The Green Woodpecker wasn't quite so vocal this time as in the past but was still 'yaffling' on and off whilst I was here again today and has now been doing so for something like 24 hours (in four visits total)......why on earth does this bird call so persistently?
I saw a male Great - spotted Woodpecker in the morning and on a later return visit (to see if I could find anything in the area I missed on the first) I watched a female GSW feeding a fledged young which - the instant it had been fed - lunged with its bill at the parent bird with such force it knocked it off balance and had it made contact with its eye it would have taken it out......thanks for the meal mother! Some other interesting behaviour observed today was an adult Dipper in a hot and lengthy pursuit of a juvenile.
Other Barbondale 'specialities' seen were, a Spotted Flycatcher, at least 5 singing male Redstart and excellent views of a male and female, 7 Wheatear, one possibly two Tree Pipit heard, and 4 Grey Wagtail, I also found my first Small Copper of the year and a single Painted Lady.
The insect above which is a first for me and which I found here today along with about another six on the wing at the same time is as far as I know a Capsid or Mirid Bug: Family Miridae, which doesn't appear to have an English name but here goes......Dryophilocoris Flavoquadrimaculatus. Though you have to look quite closely at the picture to see its antenna I can only refer to the length as......well, quite something.