Friday, 28 May 2010

Harrier Highlight.

Bugle. Pete Woodruff.

Starting with a plant pic which is common in suitable habitat and is quite at home in the damp surroundings at the bottom of the woods at Barbondale where I was not a little delighted to find a pair of Pied Flycatcher looking settled in here to breed. My visit here today was in the good company of JB/BT and wasn't quite as extensive as is my norm but the following were of note....Another excellent record here was at least three - and possibly four - Spotted Flycatcher, a pair of Whinchat is yet another excellent record here, 3 Redstart males - possibly three pairs - are the sum total this year according to my three times observations here this summer so far, 2 Tree Pipit, 3 Wheatear, 2 male Reed Bunting, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Dipper, and a Common Sandpiper.

I've taken particular note of 'tits' at Barbondale this year in four visits here so far, today was another perfect example of their absence when I found just one each Blue Tit, Great Tit, and  - best of all - Coal this space!

Distant Pendle from Cross of Greet. Pete Woodruff. 

BT decided we should 'shoot across' to Cross of Greet where he dropped me off at the top cattle grid to walk to the one at White Greet at a faster pace than I did last Thursday but gave me time to find....6 Wheatear, a male Whinchat, a female Peregrine Falcon gave us the perfect display at just how powerful this bird really is in flight when it means business, a Raven was also overhead. A pause on Merrybent Hill showed 2 Stock Dove on a barn before flying off.

The highlight of the day had to go to the stunning male Hen Harrier which came into view as we drove over Burn Moor and gave us excellent views as it hunted in its usual lazy style for a few minutes before dropping behind a ridge never to be see again. I can think of very few things in the name of wildlife which can stir the feelings of excitement more than this magnificent creature. 

Well, that's it for me and my birding for three days until next Tuesday, there are other things in life than just birding....aren't there!! 


Colin Bushell said...

Agreed Pete; there are other things in life but after a day on the moors with Redstarts, Whinchats, Pied Flys and that ultimate predator (he HH), it makes me wonder if there's anything quite so satisfying or rewarding.
Nice post.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Good to see you had a super day out in the hills with some excellent sightings.I must put Barbondale on my list of places to go!! Have a good weekend and here's to more good weather and birds next week.

Warren Baker said...

Cant agree with your last statement Pete :-)

But the Harrier was indeed a highlight......

Pete Woodruff said...

There are so many ways to express yourself re the sight of a stunning male HH and I think your 'ultimate predator' is as good as any.

Thanks as ever for looking in Colin.

Brian....If/when you intend to go to Barbondale it's almost essential (insider knowledge nudge nudge) you go with me, but no commitment you understand....erhum!

Warren....'can't agree with your last statement Pete'....I think you may be right!

Colin Bushell said...

Great new header photo Pete!

Pete Woodruff said...

I plan to do a little writing around it regarding 'when and where' which was rather interesting to say the least....and a first record too.

Glad you like it Colin, and thanks for saying so.