Thursday, 3 March 2011

No surprises.... amazement's...and no Stonechats. Now this is serious so listen up please.

Red Grouse. Pete Woodruff.

I parked my car in Quernmore at the crossroads near what is known locally as the Temperance Hotel which  - in the days of yesteryear - had a connection with Methodists and the scourge of alcohol....but this is Birds2blog not History2blog so here endeth the first lesson. I got back to my car over five hours later having walked down Rigg Lane, up Clougha Pike, and across the top of Birk Bank. During this long crawl I collected no more than 10 species and - discounting Red Grouse - counted no more than 21 birds in a 'no stone unturned' survey of upland birds.....thats 21 birds in five hours, riveting stuff upland birding in March in the 21st century. its only 3 March, though at times the day could have fooled you into thinking it was almost May with not a breath of wind and wall to wall sun, but as I walked along Rigg Lane I had equal amounts of warm sun on my neck, and a nip of cold in my hands, but all in all a beautiful day and I could think of nowhere better than to be up Clougha/Birk Bank for a few hours serious birding. But the records which follow are 'grim' March or not.

As I walked along Rigg Lane it was good to hear a Song Thrush in full voice, at least 6 Blue Tits were in pursuit of one another, also 2 Robin, a Dipper flew over the road, gained height, and flew over two fields then back over the road again before disappearing from view, the highest and longest flight I ever saw before by a Dipper, a Curlew was also overhead, the first for me this year having found its way to the fringes of the Forest of Bowland.

The next four hours through the gate from the car park on Rigg Lane produced an enjoyable silence and calm whilst almost void of bird-life, at the end of which I had encountered an almost unbelievable 5 species and 25 birds with 2 Chaffinch, 15 Red Grouse, 5 Wood Pigeon over, 2 Buzzard, and a Kestrel....what more is there to say!

KT reported 7 Raven over Bowerham in Lancaster via a text message to me....hows that for a dedicated birders wife, and yesterday I saw a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.

Clougha Geology. Pete Woodruff.

Clougha has some very interesting geological features, I must read up on the history of this area some day.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Glad you enjoyed what must be one of your favourite walks through some of Bowland's best scenery. The weather was ideal it is just a pity the birds didn't live up to expectations.
It has been a long and very cold winter and I think possibly a little early for most birds returning to the uplands. Nice to hear about the Small Tort and of course you wife's birding skills.Don't give up just yet on the stonechats they may just surprise you !!!

Warren Baker said...

Blimey, I thought it was quiet here Pete! It'll all change in a few weeks :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

'Twas great to be up there Brian and always looking for that surprise the birds often spring upon us.

'It'll all change in a few weeks'....sure will Warren, can't wait.