Friday, 23 April 2010

Into The Trough!

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 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.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Very pleased yourself and JB had an excellent day's birding in TOB.Thanks for showing Goldie and for the chat re Dotterel etc. Enjoy your weekend and take care.

Warren Baker said...

you've seen Species of birds I can only dream of on my patch Pete! I did get a Turtle Dove today though :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

An excellent day topped with the Pied Flycatchers at the nest hole again, always a more rewarding sight than those in boxes Brian.

I dream of dream of mine, thats the way it goes with the birds, some you win some you loose Warren.

Thanks for your continued support Brian/Warren.

Phil said...

You're getting about a bit there Pete. Make sure you know who doesn't just pip you at CG when you are a travelling man. Just joking as you know.

Pete Woodruff said...

All the CG birds know when a visitor is around and keep their heads down Phil....just joking as you know!