Thursday, 28 January 2010

Mission Accomplished....

....but not with any success for the reason I undertook it.

Stonechat thanks to Brian Rafferty.

Well it had to be a Stonechat pic today and Stonechat pic's don't come any better than this one....and that's official.

Despite four hours searching the routine areas on Clougha and Birk Bank - including the customary four diversion's from the main track's - I found not a solitary Stonechat for the second time this week. With Harrisend/Clougha/and Birk Bank combined these records represent no more than three- possibly four- occasions this has happened here in more than 12 years coverage since the Stonechat started an upturn in its status. Perhaps not conclusive evidence to claim the species has gone from here but certainly looking like this is the case. I have more to do yet with other places I need to visit to establish whether or not we've lost them in our area until the breeder's arrive back on territory.

Well at least I doubled the number of species seen here today compared with Harrisend on Monday with six species (33 birds)  in my book being....4 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, a Peregrine Falcon gave an excellent ariel display including two stoops at goodness knows how many mph, 6 Ravens together also gave me a show of ariel dance which is a delight to watch, 18 Red Grouse, and I flushed a Woodcock almost from under my feet.

For the time being I intend to put a link at the foot of all my posts on Birds2blog which I implore everyone who visits the blog to sign. You will see the link is to the Birdlife Malta website and if you click on 'Sign the Petition' you will be adding your name to hopefully at least help put a stop to the endless slaughter which takes place on this island annually by an estimated 12,000 mindless hunter's. As the Flag Counter on this blog indicates there are 'one or two' visitors here on a daily basis and I believe we can make quite a mark on this petition if we really try. Please pass the message on to family, friends, and relations.


Richard Shilling said...

Hi Pete, Ah yes a Woodcock! Despite that being a name of a watering hole back in Kent that I used to frequent as an - ahem - 15 year old, I too have had encounters with one that flushed almost right under my feet on two occasions on Clougha recently. Once next to Trough Brook in the wooded section by the big tree half way up the path to the ladder stiles and again in the other direction below the tower. I hadn't given it a postive id but now seeing your post that is definitely what it was. I am quite sad about the stone chats. They've kept me company lots of times when I've been out creating on Clougha. I hope their numbers recover. But then I don't suppose this winter is over just yet.

All the best

Pete Woodruff said...

Good to hear from you again Richard a welcome sight.

Quite amazing you 'came on here' as I was thinking of you today - well I would be up Clougha wouldn't I - and wondered if I would come across any signs (Landart) of your having been there recently but either you haven't or I visited the wrong area's.

Thanks once again for looking in on Birds2blog Rich.

Warren Baker said...

I signed that petition on another blog. :-)

I think your Stonechats will be back to breed. This winter has been quite cold, different to recent winters, they have probably moved to a beter spot, I suspect they will be back next winter - weather permitting.