Birk Bank. Pete Woodruff.
You don't get class photography if they're mine but this one illustrates a bit of sunlight which came down at my feet on the top of Birk Bank this afternoon and lasted about ten seconds to brighten up an otherwise dull day in more ways than one.
Nothing to celebrate up here today as my five hour search for the Stonechat ended in disaster with not a single bird found. Without labouring the issue too much this is the first time in more than ten years I've turned up a blank on the Stonechat in the Clougha/Birk Bank area, the ten years represents at least 132 visits and consumed up to 600 hours so I learned a bit about the species in that time both here and at about twelve other upland locations. On the United Utilities Estate in Bowland the Stonechat population fell by close on 50% in 2009....you'll have gathered I'm not a happy chappy at the moment.
As I got out of the car 6 Swallows went over south and were the only ones seen, raptors were one Buzzard and a Kestrel, 6 Redpoll went 'bouncing' overhead, I heard just 2 Wren, and 16 Meadow Pipits erupted out of the bracken and flew towards Cragg Wood, and taking into account duplicate counting I saw at least 23 Red Grouse. Well it's the end of September now and upland birding doesn't offer you a long list of birds and you often have to be content with scant reward for some bloody hard work, but not as scant as today....but it's gotta be dun!
Red Grouse. Pete Woodruff.
The lone Red Grouse showing the height and ruggedness of its habitat. And finally....
In a recent post I was 'shouting my mouth off' about the Greenshank becoming the next species to winter at Conder Green. Well this turns out to be some Birds2blog rubbish as instead of relying on my weak memory recall I should have consulted my records - which I have done now - to find the species has done so at this location for the past three winters....I think I'm on the wrong medication!
I suggest- no actually insist - you take a look at Richard Shillings latest post HERE and be shocked at what he saw in a beautiful Lakes valley.