Large Skipper. Pete Woodruff.
With JB today we got off to a good start at Conder Green where a Spotted Redshank in the channel was a pleasant surprise still in its glorious 'black as the devils waistcoat' breeding plumage as my old dear and departed friend John Leedal use to say. JB and I gave Conder Green a reasonably good going over and it took me almost an hour to find 2 Little Ringed Plovers still here seen from the west end, and I'm now taking any bets they have a breeding programme still in place, also a Common Sandpiper on the pool, a Little Egret, Kestrel, and the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls still hanging around but showing no attempts to breed. Non bird interest was a Stoat within two feet of me on the viewing platform but disappeared in an instant when it saw me, and the Large Skipper in the pic above which just about achieves my level of photographic expertise these days.
We decided a visit into the hills next was the best plan and found a healthy colony at Cam Brow which consists of up to ten nest holes being attended by up to 20 Sand Martins, this represents the highest number of nests at this small bank above the stream here. At Marshaw 4 Common Sandpipers seen as two pairs didn't appear to have any young that could be seen, another bird was at Tower Lodge where 5 Spotted Flycatchers were seen two of which were as a pair and fair to suggest five pairs at least in this area this year with another seen previously but not today and with more yet to be found I'd wager, a Grey Wagtail also of note, 2 Coal Tit and 2 Long-tailed Tit also noted.
At Christ Church at Abbeystead just 2 House Martin seen along with a Painted Lady which is my third this week, and a Buzzard over. And finally....
Long-eared Owl. Brian Rafferty.
It's just not possible for me to resist an excellent image of this stunning bird superbly photographed by Brian Rafferty. Thanks for allowing it on to Birds2blog Brian and....WOW!