I'll get rid of my weather whinge first as I was on Clougha/Birk Bank on a day more like 27 March rather than May, cloudy most of the time with a stiff and cold westerly wind. The Cotton Grass on the bog at Birk Bank was looking quite nice although my pic doesn't really do the scene any justice but I just keep trying. I had returned here before wandering back home in the hope a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary would be showing but sadly no luck. My records from giving Clougha and Birk Bank 'The Works' for almost five hours follows.
I was greatly encouraged as I found a pair of Stonechats just two minutes out of the car on the right of the track, but it was false encouragement as it was two and a half hours later before I found the only other pair here this year and were the same pair as seen on my last visit a month ago on 27 April, neither of these pairs show any signs of breeding so no help in the numbers game for the Stonechats with these four yet. The pic above is yet another of my moderate attempts at photography.
Also into the book were 2 Garden Warblers singing within a few metres of each other, a single Wheatear, only 8 Willow Warbler and 7 Meadow Pipit, 3 Mistle Thrush, a Linnet with three possible over, singles of Buzzard, Kestrel, Raven, and only 2 Red Grouse seen but I had to remind myself it's the breeding season, a Cuckoo was heard distant from the top of Birk Bank and was regarded to be in the Long Ellers area, 2 Brown Hare seen here today.
A White-tailed Plover (sometimes apparently Lapwing/Plover) was found today at Seaforth LWT in Liverpool and is still present as I write. Link to Bill Aspins blog HERE to see three excellent images and read Bills account of this equally excellent bird, unfortunately I don't have Bills permission to copy them on to Birds2blog.
Britain's first WTP was only found as recent as 35 years ago in Warwickshire in 1975. Interestingly an investigation at some point in time had eventually proved that several birds had been imported into Britain but an influx of this species into six countries in Western Europe in 1975 had brought about the acceptance of the WTP on to the British List with the Warwickshire bird an obvious part of the influx.