Theres always a feel good factor to getting out of the car at somewhere like Harrisend and wandering off for a couple of hours, though there was nothing feel good about the weather today when the sun disappeared behind the clouds - as it did most of the day - it felt more like 20 April.
I found 9 Stonechat on Harrisend today, in order of sightings they were seen as a pair, a single juvenile, a female and four juvenile, and a single juvenile. The most exciting observation was seeing c.25 Starlings flying NW at about c.40 mph when a Peregrine Falcon came into view following them at c.140 mph catching up in seconds and achieving nothing more than scattering them, so the 'falcons' master of the hunt title went out the window on this occasion. Also to note 2 Buzzard, a Kestrel, 4 Red Grouse, a Song Thrush, just 7 Meadow Pipit, and 6 Painted Lady butterflies.
At Hawthornthwaite as expected I found not a single Stonechat. I saw just 2 Meadow Pipit, a Buzzard, and at least 7 Sand Martin were around the recently discovered colony. An excellent record here today was 22 Painted Lady.
At Marshaw it was a pleasure to find the Spotted Flycatcher's have three juvenile in the area around the small plantation just beyond the cattle grid with all five birds observed, also a juvenile Redstart was in this area but I could find no adults. From the Hawthornthwaite access track I found only 3 Stonechat today being a pair and single juvenile, 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 Kestrel included three in the air together, a Buzzard, and a Song Thrush noted, and another 7 Painted Lady seen.
Today's best positive record was the 35 Painted Lady butterflies seen at three locations, whilst in the negative just 15 Meadow Pipit's were seen at the same three locations in six hours......food for thought.
I don't recall ever having had the opportunity to photograph the underwing of a Painted Lady as good as I had today giving me the chance to study this beautiful creatures markings in detail.