Thursday, 26 August 2010

Probably the best....

....lager in the world!

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'.


Anonymous said...

Talking of Whinchats did you manage to get to Bannisdale?
I have been going regulary and Whinchats peaked at 21 two nights ago.
Numbers have increased steadily over the Summer and there was a positive explosion on Wednesday when 21 appeared about 6.30 p.m.
A heartwarming and reassuring sight at a time when such a species has been in decline.
Its been a wonderful year this year there.
Total peace and quiet and not one birdwatcher seen all year,nor for that matter not many other people neither.Heavan!
Other birds seen:Cuckoo,Redstart,Spotted Flycatcher,Reed Bunting,Redpoll,Tawny Owl,Snipe,Meadow Pippet,Wheatear,Curlew,Raven,Sparrowhawk,Kestrel,Buzzard, and regular tits,finches and hirundines.

Warren Baker said...

Excellent news for you with the Spot fly's pete. Wheatear, Whinchat and Stonechat as well! Shame we are loosing the latter two at such an alarming rate, at least the stonechat could make a come back if it was just the cold weather last winter that killed them all.

Richard Shilling said...

Hi Pete, I've not seen the Stonechats by the car park for a while, although I have not stopped to look properly but I did see the male up by the tower for quite an extensive time a couple of weeks ago. I might be up there tomorrow and I'll see what I can find.


Pete Woodruff said...

The 'Anonymous' is frustrating as I now have two to deal with, but I think I know who you are - and certainly do the other - and am sending you an e-mail soon.

Meanwhile, many thanks for your interest in Birds2blog and comments re the excellent Bannisdale where I have still to explore.

Yes the Stonechat will make its comeback. Thanks for your continued interest Warren.

Have sent you an e-mail Richard and good to hear from you again.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Well spotted !! Your tireless visits to all your favourite locations paid off with your Clougha visit today. I hadn't realised there wasn't any red grouse shooting taking place in Bowland. This is obviously very good news for the red grouse !!!

Keep up your excellent recording work and enjoy your birding. Take care

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comments Brian.

I'll keep my comments regarding 'No Shooting' for sometime in the future when I get into my 'controversy' mode.