Friday, 9 April 2010

In Stark Contrast.

Great-spotted Woodpecker thanks to David Cookson.

Weather-wise today was the first day of spring in stark contrast to yesterday which was more like the first day of January. Today I paid a visit to Newby Moor the area which gave birth to my passion for the Stonechat more than 12 years ago and where I have been neglecting to keep up to date on the status of this species having not been here since 11 September last year. I also struggled for a pic to accompany the post but the Great-spotted Woodpecker above at least echos the one seen later in the day at another of my many favourite locations....thanks for the pic David. 

At Newby Moor things got off to a great start and within minutes of 'dumping' the motor - which I was grateful for having transported me there but otherwise I have no respect for the thing - I had found 2 Stonechats, 2 Wheatear, and 2 Willow Warblers, but it turned out to be false encouragement not least of all because the two Stonechats are the only two to be seen here according to my searching which wasn't half measured. But another sighting which cheered me up was that of  2 Redshank which hopefully are a pair, which hopefully will breed, and which hopefully will be successful in doing so. Other waders were represented by just 'one or two' Oystercatchers, Lapwings, and Curlews. Also noted in my two hours here, 14 Meadow Pipits, 5 Reed Buntings, 2 Song Thrush, and a single Swallow over was the only one seen all day, also as I was about to depart 15 Whimbrel went over >NE.

Wheatear thanks to Brian Rafferty.

Well if you want to study the tail markings of the Wheatear this is your picture. I only saw three Wheatear again today and the question has already been asked before....where are all the Wheatears?...Thanks for the pic Brian.

I always like an early in the season visit to Barbondale but four hours legwork produced just one pair of Stonechats and we really have to compare last years ten birds - five pairs here on 22 April - to this worrying show. Also of note, just one Wheatear, singles of  DipperReed BuntingBlackbird, and Willow Warbler, 12 Meadow Pipits, 3 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, a Kestrel, Great-spotted Woodpecker, and the Green Woodpecker heard only.

Get birding here in the next couple of weeks and you can triple the number of birds I found today, an excellent birding area  where you can get to really study the birds you love to watch. 

Including travel time I managed an excellent seven hours serious birding's good to be alive!!    


Warren Baker said...

I'm glad the good weather has reached you pete. 7 hours out, love it!

Pete Woodruff said...

Set for a day or two now Warren and I have one or two excursions planned I can tell you and they're not to Sainsburys either.