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.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Flaming June.

With JB today on a nothing like a 'Flaming June' day and wherever else we were going to go we had to first check out the LRP's on Conder Pool but the result was a disappointing one as it/they didn't show. I also did a full scan from the far viewpoint and got the distinct impression they were not here anymore, but perhaps I'm putting on my usual pessimistic hat which I prefer to call my 'realistic' one. So I'm now on the lookout for reports on the LDBWS website proving me wrong.....here's hoping.

Well its June now, a month I've often heard referred to as the quiet month in terms of birding. At Conder Green I can only report finding 16 House Martin nests - something of a surprise - from previous years at the house called River Winds, this year I reckon there are just two in use one of which the young were looking out from the hole. At Glasson Dock on the Lune Estuary, up to 9 Bar - tailed Godwit were the only waders to be seen, also noted were in excess of 200 Mute Swan's accompanied by the - or another - Black Swan first seen here 14 April then for a 'few' days and not since.

At Cockersands, on Plover Scar c.280 Oystercatcher, 8 Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, a surprise Whimbrel, and 4 Knot one of which was 'red' and as the Back Swan could well be the same bird I found here on 7 May. Also to note here were 3 Meadow Pipit and 11 Painted Lady.

The usual plan around this time of year is to make the short 35 minute drive to the Trough of Bowland were 5 adult Common Sandpiper were found on the stream between the cattle grid at Marshaw and the new bridge at the start of the Hawthornthwaite access track, included in this count John also found an adult with a young bird, the young one I saw yesterday I didn't see today but nothing to be read into that. In the Tower Lodge area, a Spotted Flycatcher seen up the track behind the lodge, also 2 Treecreeper together, 2 Willow Warbler, and a Mistle Thrush, and at the back side of the plantation a male Redstart showed itself on the fence whilst I engaged myself in a temporary 'dreamland' as I imagined the Woodchat Shrike would be seen on the fence post's again as on 29 May......I then quickly woke up.

Calling in at Abbeystead we saw the male Pied Flycatcher still visiting the nest hole, and at Christ Church the Spotted Flycatcher was again on view, and just as I was about to proclaim the location 'dead' this year for the House Martin's low and behold one whizzed by and promptly shot into a nest and just as quickly shot out again. The bird repeatedly returned to the nest proving at least one pair have taken up here after all......but I still believe there is a 'problem' with/about the House Martin's in 2009......time - and studies - will tell.

Well at least I got another one of my half decent pic's today with one of the five adult Common Sandpiper's posing whilst screaming its head off at me at Marshaw.






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