Golden Plover courtesy of Brian Rafferty
What a coincidence that BR posted some stunning images of this smart little wader around about the same time as JB and I went off into the Trough of Bowland this morning and had excellent views of a male Dotterel in company with c.70 Golden Plovers. It was to be a good start to a very enjoyable trip into this area of outstanding beauty followed by a shorter visit to the coastal area of Cockersands and Conder Green. Please link under the photograph to Brian's website to see some pretty impressive images to accompany his regular trips here and there.
Our next port of call had to be to Stoops Bridge at Abbeystead which couldn't possibly have been better rewarded than to see the Pied Flycatcher pair back here at the same nest hole in the same tree for the third consecutive year having returned here in 2008/09 on 25 April and 1 May respectively. Also to note here, a male Blackcap, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, and Mistle Thrush. At Marshaw another sign of the season was the discovery of 2 Common Sandpiper, and 3 Willow Warbler heard.
At Tower Lodge a female Redstart was behind the plantation, with another 3 Willow Warbler heard. Also in the area a Grey Wagtail, and a wander briefly to the edge of Winfold Fell produced just a solitary Red Grouse. Parking up at the access track to Hawthornthwaite I walked just a short distance up the track to find 7 Wheatear, 2 Red Grouse, 3 Meadow Pipits, and a Kestrel over, 6 Sand Martin were also in the air around here and appear to be almost certain to check out one or two of the banks as availablity for nesting sites....watch this space!
A call in at Street Bridge initially presented me with a puzzle as I had my sights on a tree with a singing Garden Warbler hiding somewhere within it when I caught sight of a male Blackcap....Mmmmm me thinks, a Blackcap which can mimic a Garden Warbler or, I can't tell the difference between the two, but wait the singing Garden Warbler is a couple of branches below the silent Blackcap....Phew!
I'm not really sure why but we decided to visit Cockersands but just managed c.12 Eider by the lighthouse off Plover Scar. The last call was to Conder Green where I noted 2 Greenshank, and a Common Sandpiper. On the pool the lone Little Grebe - which I'm beginning to feel sorry for - 3 Goldeneye, and I counted 122 Mute Swans which had been put off Jeremy Lane for some unknown reason but which is where they had been five minutes earlier when we drove past them.
With the exception of a couple of 'dead spots' this was what I would call an excellent day....Thanks for your company John, and thanks for the photograph Brian.
Back to pollution on a grand scale with thanks to Gary Jones for the pic on a grand scale....Thanks Gary.