Thursday, 27 January 2011

This won't take long!

The result of today's exercise - which won't take long to record here - was a forgone conclusion really but I needed the evidence and gave five hours on Harrisend and Hawthornthwaite on the west and east sides to find not a solitary Stonechat. When I got out of the car at Harrisend this morning I had thought I wouldn't need my notebook today....something of an understatement. The uplands of Bowland can be desolate places in winter and I was alone on Harrisend for two hours save 17 Red Grouse and a few 'corvids'.

On the west side of Hawthornthwaite Fell there was at least 300 of the animals in the pic above, and probably another 300 I didn't see, something I'm hoping isn't the case when I go up there come the spring. I noted 12 Red Grouse up here but also got the bonus of 2 Ravens overhead. This wasn't looking good as I'd been on my pins about three hours now and had 'collected' little.

There's little to say about the east side of Hawthornthwaite except it took me almost two hours to find another 12 Red Grouse with another bonus in a Buzzard.

Common Sandpiper. Phil Slade

Conder Green is maintaining it's place on the list as one of the best in the area for some birding and PS saw and photographed the wintering Common Sandpiper which has survived the harsh weather we had recently despite the banks of the River Conder being white with frost for days on end, no doubt it made a few visits to the River Lune in the hunt for food.

Spotted Redshank. Phil Slade

Three Spotted Redshank were also found by PS on his visit yesterday. The Spotted Redshank is a virtual resident now at Conder Green with the exception of a few weeks in the breeding season and you can witness annually the unique transformation of this birds plumage from what you see in the pic above to it's summer coat of black.

Cockersands also lived up to its reputation again today as a 'good birding location' and one of the most reliable in the area for Snow Bunting when one was found here this morning.

Amidst all of today's negativity and a five hour/six mile slog for little reward - but it has to be done and I'm the man to do it - I managed to maintain an essential sense of humour and took a pic of the 'Nice pair of legs' on Harrisend! 


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. All this walking and your legs are going to look like those in your last pic !!!
Despite your lack of stonechats etc hope you enjoyed your trek over Hawthornthwaite and Harrisend on what was a lovely winter's day.
Enjoy your weekend and take care.

Pete Woodruff said...

Hope you're wrong about the future of my legs but thanks for looking in Brian.

By the way....spring is around the corner and you and I need to be out there when it arrives armed up to our necks with our eyes and optics.