Thursday, 20 May 2010

Adding a bit of cheer.... the blog.

Well the pic is just about as good a reversal of yesterdays as is possible, from the dead Black-winged Stilt in Malta to this truly smart little Hooded Merganser on Radipole Lake photographed by Mark Fellowes, and if you don't think this creature's cute then you're past your sell by date....Thanks for this Mark.

I thought it a good idea to check out Barbondale to look for any changes/additions since my last visit here on 29 April and soon found that a pair of Pied Flycatchers had arrived, also noted - on a visit not as intense both in time or area covered as is the norm for me - male Whinchat, a Wheatear, 4 Redstart, and by coincidence 2 Tree Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Great Tit, and Blue Tit, c.12 Willow Warbler, a male Reed Bunting and a Kestrel. Birds noticably 'missing' from here are the Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, and the - perhaps less expected - Wood Warbler. 

A couple of hours on Newby Moor was a little quiet, even more serious than 'a little quiet' was the complete lack of any Stonechat sightings. Noted was another numbers coincidence with 3 Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, and Linnet, a Song Thrush and a Redshank was of particular note.

A visit to the area around Clapham Station was well rewarded by 2 Spotted Flycatchers with a possible third bird, 6 House Martins were a nice find around the cottage below the station, a Blackcap and Greenfinch were of note, and 3 Grey Wagtails were on the River Wenning.

I had a conversation with a farmer in the Barbondale/Kikby Lonsdale area who I asked if he had noticed any changes in the bird-life at - and around - his farmland, he expressed his concern of too many Buzzards which had taken out the Lapwing chicks from 16 nests recently, he also commented on no House Martins 'again this year' were his words, but his best one was his last before I left him when he claimed a Corncrake had spent two days on his farmland before heading north, he told me his claim was confirmed when the bird put to flight.

And finally....

Many thanks to Ian Tallon who must have known I was going to find a Whinchat today at Barbondale when he sent me this pic yesterday....quite appropriate and thanks Ian, keep'em cumin!

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