Yes its another of those through the windscreen 'sit in your car and sulk' pictures whilst hoping this lot will pass over. I just got back to the motor before it came falling from the sky following an excellent return visit to Barbondale to see if there was anything to add to the last one on 28 April, but it was more like 12 March than May, but despite this I just had this compulsive feeling I needed to get back here and check out the bird-life.
The birds were keeping their heads down in a cloudy and pretty stiff cold wind and I found just one male Redstart today despite my 2.5 hours visit, also one Tree Pipit which actually gave excellent views as it flew up to parachute back down several times and landing on a fencepost just a few metres away. The excellent news from here was that I found three pairs of Pied Flycatcher, an all time personal record in my 120 years coming here....yes 120 years! I'm not well up on the history of Barbondale, but in my experience this is not - and never has been - a Pied Flycatcher stronghold. Also noted, a Green Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Kestrel, and a Coal Tit. OK, now this is not impressive stuff for Barbondale, but obviously if the weather had been as it should have been on a beautiful 12 May morning the picture would have been much different.
The PF's aside, my best encounter was, as I stood motionless I must have looked like a tree to a Tawny Owl which flew at low level directly towards me and landed on the branch of a tree not 12 ft above my head, it flew off again about two minutes later....MAGIC!
Dotterel. David Cookson
The Dotterel are still being seen on a protracted passage period in our area with a female found on the top of Whit Moor yesterday, and....
Wheatear. Geoff Gradwell
Lots of Wheatear are now on territory in our area.