BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Full House....


....or more to the point, an excellent full brood. But first the 'weather whinge'....

At one location yesterday on a fell top whilst out of what little sun was on offer and into the wind, I'd suggest the weather was more reminiscent of the end of April and quite pathetic, how any of the insect eating birds have fed themselves - let alone young - and copped with this appalling summer weather is beyond me, but then, what do I know about insect eating birds and the effects of weather on insects....end of whinge.

Marbled White. Linda Gilhespy 

An excellent butterfly photograph to start the post off and add some much needed colour to it. A unique creature, no other British butterfly has this pattern....Thanks Linda.

It was Plan B again yesterday, Plan A to do three upland searches primarily for Stonechats was cancelled until the weather looked more favourable and I ended up doing just two having first gone to Conder Green where the Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, c.80 Redshank, and 2 Wigeon drakes were all on Conder Pool.  I found only 5 Common Sandpiper in the creeks, and noted up to five House Martin nest active at River Winds.

But here's were my birding really took off and I found 9 Stonechats from the west side of Hawthornthwaite Fell, being a pair with a full brood of five - excellent is the word - and a single male and female. Also of note, a Wheatear, 7 Meadow Pipit, c.16 Sand Martin, a Reed Bunting, and a Buzzard. On the east side of Hawthornthwaite Fell I found myself back to square one with the Stonechats and could find no sign of any up here once again. I noted at least 14 Meadow Pipit, 3 Curlew, 3 Grey Wagtail, and 3 Kestrel.   

My birding now fell flat on its face in the two hours I spent in the Tower Lodge area and by comparison to previous visits here this summer it was as if someone had caused a great explosion or something and every living bird had disappeared en-mass, but wait a minute, just as I was about to get into the car something in flight took my eye, binoculars on my nose end and....its a smart little male Siskin. Well would you believe it, there I was recently shouting my mouth off about not being able to recall the last time I saw Siskin anywhere in our area, and there it is, 'twas like finding my next rarity. Well....when it comes to birds and birding I excite and find satisfaction around almost every corner!

And finally....


Purple Emperor. Steven Cheshire 

Another excellent photograph, this of the Purple Emperor. The upperside of this butterfly is brown with white splashes, but the male gleams deep purple when seen from certain angles. Really appreciate this Steven....Thank You. 

3 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Seems that brood of Stonechats can find the insects easily enough Pete :-)

I get that big silence here sometimes mate, feels like the end of a party, and everyone has gone home with you left standing there ;-)

JRandSue said...

Love these images,stunning shots.
John.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comments Warren, John and Sue.

Of course you are right about the Stonechats having found the insects easily enough Warren, but I reckon the hirundines - for example - and others feeding on flying insects can't possibly have had a 'good time' so far this year in the UK.

Thanks for comments on the credited images John and Sue, I'm sure the authors will appreciate them....I certainly do.