Monday, 13 July 2009

Chatting on Clougha....

....and Birk Bank where there was a few surprises today.

It was looking like the 8 Wheatear I found were going to take first place in the numbers game here today but as it happens it finished a draw with 8 Stonechat also seen. In the former it was good to find eight birds of which six were juvenile. Conversely the latter were a big disappointment including just one juvenile seen. However, some salvation was in two pairs which were scolding/alarmed whilst I was around indicating young keeping their heads down so numbers perhaps could have been as many as 16 had I have seen these young birds. The biggest surprise here was from the top of Birk Bank where I observed up to 50 Mistle Thrush making a post - breeding movement South, 7 Wren seen included four adult birds in an altercation lasting several minutes and which intrigued and left me wondering what it was all about. I found just 6 Meadow Pipit up here today which seems to fit the pattern of things with this species at most upland sites I've visited this summer, Meadow Pipit numbers down nationally? Two Willow Warbler gave good views flitting through the branches of a tree and were the only two I saw. Other notes of interest were negative ones as I saw no Buzzard, Raven, or Red Grouse here in five hours......Mmmmm!

I can only record butterfly sightings as 'miserable' with, single Small Pearl - bordered Fritillary, single Painted Lady, 2 Red Admiral, and three Small Heath.

Well I certainly did not see the male Merlin today in the image above which is credited to Peter Guy and is both stunning and exceptional......many thanks PG.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Nice to see you have enjoyed another excellent day's birding with your favourite bird in one of you favourite areas of Lancs. Keep up the good work.I will be at Leighton this pm but am entertaining Kath's grandson so the birding/photography may not be too serious. Hoping to see red deer !! Catch up with you soon.

Pete Woodruff said...

For goodness sake please don't let Kath's grandson come between you and your birding/photography Brian. Your chances of Red Deer are probably something like 75% in favour of doing so, the Griesdale Hide being your best bet. Don't know why I'm telling you this as you'll be back from the trip when you read this.

Regards Pete.

Richard Shilling said...

Hi Pete,

Thanks for your recent comments on Flickr and my blog.

So you were on Clougha yesterday too? I wonder if you were just in front of us as we wandered down. You said that you were behind that group of kids at one point and we were in front. Did you go up to the top then on towards grit fell, turn left and then down the track and back round to the car park? Do you have a red car and did you get caught in the rain a few minutes from the car? If so we were just behind you.

Just for the record I saw probably 20+ meadow pipit. Near the cairn towards the top of Clougha Pike there were three who were quite bold. One with a mouthful of worms and another on a rock perhaps 10 feet away calling. Got a reasonable picture. They seemed peculiarly unbothered by our presence. Perhaps they had young nearby and were trying to decoy us away? Didn't see any stonechats yesterday but saw a similar number to you last sunday. There was a particular spot on the track where there were 3 pairs I observed for a while. On our way down yesterday we saw 30+ grouse. Four groups of parents and youngsters which seemed to just have fledged. There flight was a little eratic but I think they literally had just learnt to fly. The previous week we encountered several other family groups but the youngsters were running and not flying. After seeing them yesterday and their early flight attempts I was perturbed to see two land rovers and a dumper truck getting things ready for the wallies with guns.

Due to your blog I have been taking the binos out with me and I've really enjoyed doing some twitching again, although I now realise how lacking my knowledge is! Love to take you up on that offer to go to LM one day. Our own private guide!

Also saw wren, curlew (one that my partner did an impression of and he started calling back and flying around us - it was quite funny) and a few skylarks. But no kestrel, buzzard the same as you. Still Clougha is a wonderful place.

All the best


Pete Woodruff said...

Really appreciate this Rich which will be easier to reply to by e-mail. Can't resist drawing everyone's attention to your comment re 'getting things ready for the wallies with GUNS' very polite of you Rich but can't tell you of my delight to read it on my blog which helps me to maintain my policy of steering clear of controversy - whilst leaving it to someone else - something I 'wallow' in at times but have succeeded in avoiding thus far on here and looks like I may achieve a full twelve months at it at this rate.

Thanks again Rich and with my regards.