Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Down but not out!

Still down on my birding but definitely not out.

I have been determined to get to Barbondale before April was out for a few weeks now and just managed to do so by getting there yesterday on the last day of the month. It was a fine sunny day but the cold wind took the edge off it.

I found it hard to decide which of two species should top the list of my records but in the end it had to be the three Stonechats I found which were the icing on the cake on an otherwise dull day for results. It's obvious lots of birds haven't yet arrived on territory and were a bit thin here today, however, three Pied Flycatchers were not to be 'sniffed at' seen as a pair and lone singing male which is precisely how I found the three Stonechats to be, though singing male Stonechats are hard to come by and this one was no exception.  

Pied Flycatcher. Male
Pied Flycatcher. Brian Rafferty.

On the four hour visit I found just 21 species most notable of which were two Redstarts both male, heard a single Tree Pipit, 8 Wheatear, a Nuthatch, Reed Bunting, Buzzard, a 'good number' of Willow Warbler, and saw 12 Swallows through. Hopefully things at Barbondale - and elsewhere - will pick up in the coming days. On the way here I saw a Badger as a  road casualty at Kirkby Lonsdale....very sad.

Redstart Male
 Redstart. Brian Rafferty.

I now had the choice of several places to continue my long awaited 'away day' and decided to take a look down the River Wenning and up the River Lune from Hornby. An interesting visit if only to eventually see at least 80 'hirundines' in the air above, at least 30 of which were Swifts together with estimates of 20 House Martin and 30 Swallow. Other birds of note, two Little Ringed Plover were on a flood in the field by the confluence, 3 Common Sandpiper, a pair of Goosander, Skylark, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, and a Raven overhead, Sand Martin numbers appeared to be in significantly low number.

Summer visitors have still to arrive yet and several records seen today of - for example - Whinchats in the country/county appear to indicate this is now happening.

Many thanks to BR for the excellent photographs posted in haste along with everything else on a computer in Lancaster Library as mine is currently down....I'm beginning to think an evil spirit has taken over my life....OH DEAR !!  


kirstallcreatures said...

Looks like you enjoyed a good away day, Brians pics of the Redstart and Pied Flycatcher are super. Technology - when it doesn't work its a blighter,well done for your persistence. Linda

Warren Baker said...

Ah.........Some species there I would dearly love to encounter here one day :-)

news said...

Hi Pete. Glad you enjoyed your day out saw some good birds as you know I am now out of hospital but still feeling very weak & tire easily see you soon JWB.

Pete Woodruff said...

In the library again Linda, thanks for looking in and also appreciating my persistence.

Sorry I've not got round to looking in on 'Pittswood' Warren....will I ever get back to normal!

Be round to see you when you are up to it John, hope you continue to improve now you are back home.