Another excellent day for 'doing your own birding thing' and mine for today was to get on to Clougha/Birk Bank and do the October check of the bird-life here. The title of the today's post is exactly what it says so lets get on with it......
I decided that I'd do one of my rare days birding were I record everything I see but to avoid boredom I'll just note the 'notables' here. The first two sightings as I got out of the car was the Red Admiral above and two Brown Hares one of which ran ahead of my car on Rigg Lane. The Stonechat total was ten birds but I'd been on Clougha an hour before I found the first one and I have to confess if I/you had been on a casual walk on here today you'd have found not a single Stonechat despite their characteristic 'sit up and beg', they were mainly distant birds and very hard work. I think the Gold Award for today goes to the Wheatear, still at over 400m in mid October, time to read the script for this bird was a thought through my mind. As I walked along the boardwalk I had seen four distant birds in silhouette which at first glance I had took to be Stonechats - a good start to the day I thought - but better views proved them to have been Dunnock, another first for me as I don't ever recall seeing four of this species together before, a family party I presumed. Four Buzzard and three Kestrel was the raptor total, 2 Jay, 16 Red Grouse with ten put to flight as I came on the scene, 7 Robin, 3 Wren, 2 Meadow Pipit and a Mistle Thrush. As I walked the top of Birk Bank 42 Redwing and later 25 Fieldfare went over. I gave the day an extra hour to walk a part of Littledale Road and Rigg Lane to see if any more of the latter two could be found but to no avail.
So......5.5 hours legwork here today means I'm either dead keen or dead nuts, in my opinion a bit of both.
I just thought I'd put up the Large-billed Tern, and the Ornate-Hawk Eagle. Another two of Colin Bushells 'Birds of Brazil' to accompany the two latest ones added to the sidebar yesterday to illustrate to some small degree the diversity of exciting birds in this country.
And to conclude the 'miscellany'......I have been in touch with John Bateman again today and John has asked me to convey via Birds2blog the message/info regarding his health which in Johns own words is serious. I myself would have referred to him as being rather poorly at the moment but time will change this situation I'm confident on that. It is important to me that I repeat that John specifically asked me to convey this message here on my blog and I am therefore confident I've said nothing against Johns request/wishes to me in this post and would add that I'm not at liberty to discuss the matter further.
Get well soon John and back to birding the coastal area you're so well acquainted with and to which you add your comprehensive counts like nobody else.