Friday, 15 July 2011

Never a dull moment!

Sand Leek. Pete Woodruff.

If I can be excused I'd like to start this post with a commemoration to my good friend and mentor John Leedal. Perhaps its becoming a little too regular that I mention JL on Birdsblog, but just this once again because of my finding the Sand Leek Allium scorodoprasum at Witherslack yesterday after a period of probably 12-15 years since JL and I first found it here, a few days after which it was cut down to which - as I recall - JL 'went to town' on the appropriate authorities responsible for the crime. So as I drove up to the corner yesterday were it was found all those years ago it was quite a nostalgic moment for me as you will appreciate when I saw it there as a memento to JL. I would welcome anyone who thinks my claims are inaccurate about this plants status and distribution which is confined to the North of England and Scotland and not too common. 

With BT we first went to Foulshaw Moss which didn't produce the hoped for Hobby or Osprey. However, I did find to my pleasure a male and juvenile Stonechat which showed distantly and briefly as viewed opposite the parking area here, but despite a thorough and closer search of the area wasn't seen again. Also of note were a few fly-overs of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, the latter of which three females gave good views feeding, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was also seen in flight, good numbers of Swallow were feeding over the moss with House Martin and Swift seen, two Red Deer appeared one of which was a pure white albino and is possibly the same individual we saw here last year. I think we needed to be on the 'hunt' for dragonflies to collect some comprehensive records but one or two Emperor Dragonfly, a 'few' Four-spotted Chaser, and Blue-tailed Damselflies were noted. A brief visit to Latterbarrow gave us c.25 Meadow Brown butterflies and little else posing the serious question....what is the general status of the butterfly in the UK in 2011?....must do some reading up on this. 

Silver-washed Fritillary. Steven Cheshire

A visit to Witherslack gave some recompense for NO butterflies seen at Foulshaw Moss - to the exclusion of a very few 'whites' - when at least 4 Silver-washed Fritillary were seen with a Dark-green Fritillary, 5 Small Skipper, and 2 Comma all noted. Birds were represented by a nice sighting of the very localised Marsh Tit, and three Peregrine Falcon over Whitbarrow were seen initially in some sort of altercation.

A decent and enjoyable day with BT, though the title of the post isn't quite accurate....but reasonably so!

And finally....

Adder. David Cookson.

A couple of non-bird 'Cookson Crackers' with the excellent image of the Adder and....

Fox. David Cookson.

An equally excellent portrait of the Fox, a creature persecuted as much as many other forms of wildlife and more than most. Thanks for these....much appreciated DC 


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Quite a coincidence we should both visit Witherslack this week ! ! Sand leek is a new one on me and great that it is still there. JL must have been looking down on you.It is a wonderful area to visit and a day is simply not long enough. .... Weather not so good next week. Take care.

David Cookson said...

Just the same in the remotest part of Coquetdale. Had I mentioned the adder to a passing shepherd, the verges would have been cut within the hour along with the wildflowers and wildlife.
Sheep are the only concern of these hill-folk everything else is vermin.

Pete Woodruff said...

Two excellent and responses to this post and much appreciated BR/DC.

Brian....yes a coincidence. BT and I struggled as to where to go to on the day, such is the diversity of our area. I just took a look at the forecast for five days and you're right 'not so good', I think I might have said pathetic.

David....I welcome the 'straight to the point' comments you made here to which I'll add/respond not a single word - just this once you understand - in the name of keeping the opposition sweet.