Thursday, 29 March 2012

Back to Clougha 2.

On Sunday I promised myself a visit to Clougha and managed to keep the promise on Monday. I received some encouraging news on Sunday evening of a pair of Stonechats on Clougha which made me keener than ever to get myself back up there to find out what the situation was and hopefully to find more than the one pair reported to me.  

Brown Hare David Cookson 

My last visit to Clougha was back in August last year when I gave up on the Stonechats - here and elsewhere - which had suffered at the hands of two successive harsh winter periods. This visit on Monday was to prove a disappointment in that there was indeed just one pair of Stonechat despite a five hour trawl, and on enquiring about those reported to me they were the very same pair seen the day before.  

A Brown Hare was soon seen as I left the car park on Rigg Lane, not sure I ever saw one here before. When I reached my highest point I saw a male Wheatear, not a bird to mess around the Wheatear and this one was already at 400m above sea level, at least 50 Meadow Pipit were either on territory or lingering here, and I counted up to 27 Red Grouse, 3 Mistle Thrush, and although I saw not a single one I heard at least 14 Wren, butterflies seen were 4 Small Tortoiseshell and a single Peacock.

Red Grouse Brian Rafferty

I also managed a visit to Harrisend where I found just 3 Stonechats, interestingly these were seen as a pair with a male hanging around just 50m away....unusual. I counted just 8 Meadow Pipit here, with 4 Red Grouse, a Buzzard was soaring high over Tarnbrook, and I heard a distant Green Woodpecker 'yaffle' four times. I didn't strictly count Peacock butterflies but must have seen at least 20.

Peregrine Falcon Tony Duckett 

With suppression becoming more and more a necessity - especially during the breeding season and in the case of raptors in the Bowland Fells - I think its time I played my part and for this reason I'm no longer prepared to report details about my sightings other than in today's case I had excellent views of a Peregrine Falcon at close quarters. The one in the pic above is about as dramatic as they come of a Peregrine Falcon patrolling the skies.

This one of the Kestrel is excellent photographically and gives the feeling of a bird on its last hunt of the day in fading light....or starve until the morning.

A Swift passed through Portland Bill today, possibly the first ever March Swift here, and earlier in the week an early House Martin was in Kendal, Cumbria.

It was good to be back on Clougha again on Monday. Thanks to everyone who keeps me posted re the Stonechats, and to DC/BR/TD/CT for today's excellent photographs....much appreciated.    


Rohrerbot said...

Holy Mother of Pearls....these are some great shots! Love the Peregrine Falcon! And the rabbit is excellent!

Martin Jump said...

The lack of stonechats is a disappointment Pete,but it still seems you had a great day out I will have a good look round and will be in touch if I see any more.

Warren Baker said...

The Stonechats have to start from somewhere Pete, this year wil be the low point, its all upwards from here :-)

Pete Woodruff said...


Holy Mother of Pearls is a brand new one on me and I'm intrigued by it....the other pic you admired is of a Brown Hare.


Thanks for records past and future, they are much appreciated.


Yes uphill and I'll be watching all the way.

Thanks all for your interest and comments in Birds2blog.