Stonechat. Peter Guy.
My pessimistic view of the weather almost got the better of me again today as it looked decidedly doggy as I set off to enter Holme Wood, but as well it didn't rule as it developed into a good day and for some time before my birding ended it had been blue sky wall to wall almost and and some nice birds too. I gave Holme Wood, down Grizedale and return three hours at a snails pace noting 20 species along the way of which the following qualify for the blog. The Gold Award was abandoned today....too much competition!
I'm not sure 14 Willow Warblers in three woodland hours is anything impressive but that's the total, 3 Blackcap is a species I get the impression is quite 'healthy' this year, a Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, a lone Redpoll (Lesser) was a nice find, 2 Treecreeper, 4 Dunnock, a Jay, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, 4 Wren and 2 Grey Wagtail. The only butterflies seen were singles of Peacock and Orange Tip.
As I got to almost going out of Holme Wood I'd been wondering why had I no sightings of at least a couple of species in a woodland habitat ideal for them when a black and white miniature Magpie type of bird flashed through my line of vision....when I eventually picked the bird up again it was exactly what I had thought and hoped, a male Pied Flycatcher which - if only briefly - burst into song....nice one!
Part two of today's plan was to check out Harrisend where I managed to find 4 Stonechats, being a pair and two female though I saw no evidence of any breeding results despite lingering in their company for some time, 12 Meadow Pipits were counted, 2 Willow Warbler, a solitary male Linnet, and a Buzzard seen. As I reached my farthest point in my quest for birds on Harrisend I spotted a distant 'dot' on a fence post, too bright for Stonechat, too small for Meadow Pipit....there's only one thing for it, I need to extend my visit and get closer to find out what this bird is....
Whinchat. Pete Woodruff.