Clougha Pike From Little Fell Lane. Pete Woodruff.
Not connected with lager at all but probably the best visit to Clougha in the ten years plus I've been observing birds on here, including a first record here for me when, just ten minutes away from the motor I found 2 adult Spotted Flycatchers in trees twenty paces short of the bog - no lavatory jokes please - and twenty minutes later found 2 Whinchat. I need to address the negative side of the visit which came with just a single young Stonechat in the five hours spent here today, this was an even more worrying sight as I'm not acquainted with young Stonechats seen on their own but despite a search of the area I found it in I could see no other bird/s accompanying this fledgling of no more than a week....strange.
Good numbers of Meadow Pipits were lingering and I easily counted 85 birds during the visit, a count of 25 Red Grouse was also a good record, conversations with gamekeepers in Bowland indicate no shooting of RG taking place again this year. Another good record was that of 14 Wheatear, and to make up the nine species seen on Clougha/Birk Bank today, a Blackbird and just two raptors, a Buzzard and Kestrel.
Butterflies seen were only my seconds of Wall Brown and Red Admiral this year, 2 Small Skipper, 7 Small Tortoiseshell, and 3 Peacock.
Spotted Flycatchers and Whinchats are two species on the 'going down' list and it pleases me no end to find them. With regard to the Spotted Flycatcher - void of searching through my records - I've found up to 20 this year, and the Whinchat 23, so for birds heading for scarcity status that's excellent. As for the Stonechat, my maximum August counts over ten years on Clougha/Birk Bank were 27 birds on 26 August 2004 which is 26 birds up on todays result to add to the number of locations I visit were the species has virtually been lost. It was also notable that in the entire five hours up here today I saw not a solitary 'corvid'.