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.

Friday, 12 June 2009

More Repetition's......

......and more rewards. With JB/BT (the Red Kite man) we were off again to Cross of Greet but on our way there BT suggested we had a look in at Thrushgill where in truth I am unable to record anything on this blog because we saw nothing there. Apart from the fact I have nothing to report from here it is my duty to warn any proposed visits by anyone to Thrushgill that they should be aware of notices at the gate into the plantation of CCTV cameras and the word 'Police'......just forget the place is my suggestion. In the Lowgill area encounters were, male Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, a brief view of a male Pied Flycatcher, and we heard Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Non bird's were a Roe Deer and an Orange Tip butterfly.

Between the top cattle grid at Cross of Greet and Greet Bridge - which I personally walked on a slightly less intense visit than 1 June - two singing Whinchat seen, seven Wheatear, and six Stonechat - which eluded me last time - and were made up of a pair near the middle cattle grid, and four juveniles in the area of the bridge. Two Small Heath were seen here which brings about the question......where are all the butterflies to date this year?

At Abbeystead it was almost essential we checked out the Pied Flycatcher's nesting in the tree hole to find they are still feeding young of which the ones nearest the hole could clearly be seen with gaping mouths. I'd be willing to take on bets these birds will have fledged before the weekend is out. At Christ Church there is one pair of House Martin's feeding young in the nest, and the Spotted Flycatcher here is by far the most obliging one I ever saw.

I'm taking the word of someone I had a conversation with today who I'd suggest knows a great deal more than I do regarding the House Martin and who assures me that the Christ Church colony can still be assembled up to mid-June, which means if I go there on next Monday and the situation remains as today, in my view we will have confirmation of a species problem in 2009 based upon what is happening at this and other site's I've spoken to people about including some who do annual surveys on the House Martin.

The Spotted Flycatcher pic at Christ Church is thanks to John Bateman, and the rubbish pic is thanks to the 'people' who visited Cross of Greet for reasons other than those which people like you and I visit it for.

3 comments:

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Good to see you et al had a good day out in Bowland.Cross of Greet is a wonderful area, just a pity that it is spoilt by some very untidy people.
I must go to church next week!! the one at Abbeystead sounds delightful with a congregation of house martins and especially the Spot/Fly which I have still to get to grips with. I presume this is the so called "Shepherd's Church"??
Enjoy you weekend and I will catch up with you soon.

Pete Woodruff said...

The church is Christ Church, the one you refer to is (I think) the one at the junction of Long Lane and the Trough Road. Out of Abbeystead on Abbeystead Lane which becomes Abbeystead Road Christ Church is on the left soon after the road goes left at a junction straight ahead which would take you to Jubilee Tower. There's some rather 'hot' discussion (off line) on where birders should go and not go at the moment (not material for this blog if I can at all avoid it) but please remember its a church grounds we are talking here Brian.

Thanks again for your input.

Anonymous said...

Thrushgill is dead at the moment due to lack of cones. Regular police patrols in this very dodgy area, a kind of rustic Moss Side. Agree with Pete, too dangerous for birders.

Pete Marsh