Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Rewarding Return.

Looking East. Pete Woodruff. 

I paid a return visit to Barbondale today, a place that oozes with the beauty of the English countryside with its ancient wet woodland, and - even more importantly for me - is an excellent birding location in its own right. I always did maintain that return visits anywhere often payed dividends and today proved that point perfectly. With some field-craft, some patient standing about, and three hours to do it in I found 10 Pied Flycatchers, an all time record and excellent reward. I was also rewarded by seeing the 1st summer 'brown' male - previously recorded this month - feeding the female, some PF behaviour I've not witnessed before. 

Looking West. Pete Woodruff. 

I also found my first Spotted Flycatcher here today, and after two previous unsuccessful visits found a female Whinchat, noted 5 Tree Pipit, just 4 Redstart two of which were female, 2 Wheatear, 2 Dipper, a Reed Bunting, Grey Wagtail, and a Buzzard.

Barbon Beck. Pete Woodruff.

I've not finished with this place and will be back for more, I never settle for just the one visit to Barbondale and to be honest there's a distinct possibility of twelve Pied Flycatchers here this year as today I may have overdone it on the caution for duplicate counting and reckon two males I saw were unconnected to the ten recorded....we'll see! 

Birk Bank Cotton Grass. Pete Woodruff.

The Cotton Grass on Birk Bank bog is beginning to look good though most of my photography leaves much to be desired and this attempt doesn't do the scene justice I'm afraid.

I decided to give the top of Birk Bank a look over but was left disappointed with the best bird being a Woodcock which heard me coming and flushed from a distance, 2 Red Grouse noted, and a young Mistle Thrush seen at a distance, a Brown Hare was also of note. In Crag Wood a Blackcap heard in song, and on Rigg Lane a Garden Warbler gave me decent views, and a Buzzard over.

I've left my whinge until the end....The weather today was pathetic with lots of cloud and a cold westerly with gusts in excess of 40 miles per hour at times....'More like March than May'. 

National News.

In Ayrshire up to 1,000 Long-tailed Skuas past Saltcoats Harbour again today.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Very well done on finding 10 PF's at Barbondale. This is your reward for all the hard work you and JW put in at the site in providing accommodation for these lovely birds. You did well considering the current lousy weather.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes Brian, the weather is a concern for these birds with reports I've had of lost broods presumed to be weather related. As I commented in the post....more like March than May when I was up there for the second consecutive visit.