Friday, 10 September 2010

Cumbria Birds....

....of thirty years ago, but first....

Steam Crane. Peter Guy.

Another remarkable and interesting photograph of the old steam crane at Lamb Hill Quarry on the moors of the Forest of Bowland and all that remains of the stone extraction for the construction of the dam at Stocks Reservoir. I'd wager the average birder/visitor to Birds2blog didn't know about this piece of history....I certainly didn't. Thanks for this Peter, the second the the two B/W photographs you sent me recently for which I'm truly grateful.

Well, they say something good comes out of everything in varying degrees and I suppose my currently being 'off the road' gave me the opportunity to do some searching through old records to come up with something of interest from our neighbouring county of Cumbria thirty years ago. I know little detail of the birds of Cumbria today but was intrigued to find the following records/notes from 1979 when Cumbria was broken down into five areas for the purpose of recording. Randomly but systematically chosen with varying degrees of interest some of which can be regarded as 'very interesting' making you realise how things have changed both locally and nationally.

Black-throated Diver. Five records one of which stood out as being seen 2 March on the River Kent at Watercrook, Kendal inside the town boundary.

White Stork. At Brocklebank, Wigton, 3-6 June regularly seen roosting on a chimney.

King Eider. A male seen 10-23 June, South Walney B.O.

Hen Harrier. Bred at two sites in Cumbria for the first time in many years.

Black Grouse. Breeding recorded in all districts with single birds in possibly new sites.

Dotterel. A pair bred successfully on a Cumbrian site.

Temminck's Stint. At Hodbarrow 17 May. The record also reads, quote....'The last Cumbrian record quoted in R. Stokoe's 'The Birds of the Lake Counties' was September 1891.

Baird's Sandpiper. Arnside Marsh 25-30 September. The bird - a first for Cumbria - was seen by many observers and was flushed by a male Peregrine Falcon one day.

Nightjar. One seen in May at Heversham Marsh was the only record.

Yellow Wagtail. On 17 April, 25 seen at Tarn House Tarn, on 5 May, 20 at Kendal Sewage Works, on 29 August, c.30 at Killington Reservoir roost.

Stonechat. A note reads....The hard winter produced a notable decrease in most areas especially on inland sites where many were deserted in the breeding season.

Ring Ouzel. Breeding recorded in all five districts.

Willow Tit. A note reads....Still regular in woodland around Carlisle e.g. High Stand. No records from the south of the county.

Nutcracker. Two records one of which was accepted by BBRC and was seen on 22 October 1978 at Fallow Park, Bowness-on-Windermere and was the first record for Cumbria. The second record is of a bird seen on 1 December 1979 by the warden and four other observers at South Walney B.O.

Two-barred Crossbill. A female seen on 10 August at the southern end of Lake Thirlmere by an observer with experience of this species.

All interesting stuff and I personally wonder just how much things will have changed with at least seven of these fifteen records in the thirty years since they were collected in Cumbria in 1979.


1 comment:

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Glad you are feeling a bit better and will no doubt be out and about birding very soon.
Obviously I didn't go to Southport today as the weather as forecast was not good but I may go Sunday.

Keep taking the tablets !!! and take care.