Well not quite a 'tour' but if I was supposed to know the plan for today with JB/BT I didn't.
Ruff. Ian Tallon.
Not for the first time Ian saved the day with a pic of the female Ruff currently at Conder Green, and just to prove him wrong - just like I am very often - here it is for the whole world to see but about which he said to me that he doubted I'd use it..Thanks Ian, I've said it before but here it is again....keep 'em cumin!
We started at Conder Green this morning where a nice surprise was a Little Grebe back on Conder Pool in it's brilliant summer plumage, but the bird NOT still in it's summer plumage is the Spotted Redshank and blending in more each day with the c.50 Redshanks so beware the casual eye. Also of note, a Ruff seen again as in the photograph above, 3 Common Sandpiper, and on the pool the juvenile Great-crested Grebe still, and a solitary Wigeon.
Now came the 'mystery tour' when BT announced we should go to Cross of Greet to which I would'nt have ever disagreed and in fact I was well overdue to revisit myself. I was dropped of at the top and would walk down to Greet Bridge at a leisurely pace which would take me an hour. I wouldn't take my telescope but - not for the first time - soon regretted that decision as it's a bit like going out without your pants on. However, despite some distance between us I recorded 8 Whinchat seen as 2x4 juveniles between the top and the middle cattle grid where I saw 4 Stonechat being a female and three juveniles, I counted at least 38 Meadow Pipits, 14 Wheatear, a Willow Warbler, and a male Reed Bunting, a Kestrel was the only raptor seen on the visit here today, and 3 Red Grouse were seen enroute in the Burn Moor area. In the plantation at Greet Bridge, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, and a brief male Siskin. Butterflies on the walk down were disappointing with just 6 Small Heath, a Large Skipper, and a Small Tortoiseshell seen. Dropping down from Merrybent Hill c.20 Goldfinch were of note, and a call in at Marshaw on the way home produced excellent views of a Peregrine Falcon in the midst of a hunt which put all the Swallows in the area on full alert and screeching loudly.
I photographed this daytime moth at Greet Bridge but amongst many other things 'I am not' one of them is a 'moth-man' so ID would be much appreciated.
A couple of notes.
1) It's nineteen months since I saw a Grey Wagtail at Conder Green.
2) The duck in yesterdays post is - with my thanks to a man I know very well on the Fylde - a domestic variety of Mallard known as a Cayuga. If you so wish you can learn more about this bird on Wikipedia but I can tell you it's claim to fame is far from glamorous.