Saturday, 19 May 2012

Pathetic weather....again.

But some excellent birding....again.

Pied Flycatcher. Brian Rafferty.

When BT called for me yesterday morning and suggested he'd like to visit Barbondale for the first time this year I was never likely to say no was I, in any case there was birding on the front line to do up there so off we went.

Barbondale has never failed to impress and reward me and this visit was no exception, for starters there are almost certainly four pair of Pied Flycatcher here this year including the singing male of the two previous visit having found a mate for his efforts. It was also good to find at least one Spotted Flycatcher has found its way here again this year.

Redstart. Brian Rafferty. 

Also of note, the Bull Pot pair of Stonechat seen again, I reckon the only pair present here in the summer of 2012, a pair of Whinchat, 4 Redstart, a single Tree Pipit, possibly the only one here, at least 8 Wheatear, Dipper, Great-spotted Woodpecker, up to 6 Grey Wagtail, a male Reed Bunting, and an unusual count of in excess of 20 Chaffinch was of note, 2 Buzzard, and a Kestrel.  

Whinchat. David Cookson. 

Some interesting behaviour observed here today which appeared to be related to poor weather conditions especially for breeding birds, in that several species - not particularly associated with fast flowing water - were seen to be behaving and feeding reminiscent of a bird definitely associated with fast running water the Grey Wagtail, including Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, and Chaffinch, all spending periods stood on the stones in Barbon Beck before darting off to catch insects on/in the beck. In my view this was seen as opportunism by these birds to find a food source not as freely available as it should be elsewhere on land in mid May, I strongly suspect the emergence of a Mayfly species was taking place here.

As I left Barbondale today I felt convinced that unless the poor weather we are currently experiencing changes soon and for the better, many of the breeding birds we had seen here would be doomed to failure.

Many thanks to BR and DC for images of three of the species seen today at Barbondale. 


We are now in the 21st century, yet there are a good number of 'uncivilised' human beings who still shoot wild birds for the fun of it, and to make matters worse they're allowed to and they ain't all in Malta. I heard an excellent suggestion the other day when someone said the government should ban grouse shooting on every keepered moorland in England until there are 100 breeding pairs of Hen Harriers on them....What a truly excellent idea. 


Warren Baker said...

The weather cheered up a little here today Pete. You're right in what you say though, if it doesn't stay improved it will be a disaster for the Breeding season :-(

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

En España tambien llueve!!!.. :-(

Bonitas imágenes de Papamoscas cerrojillo y Tarabilla norteña.. Enhorabuena y un saludo..

Paul Foster said...

Couldn`t agree more with you Peter about the Hen Harrier.Again the powers that be have left it too late!!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Weather about to pick up Warren, but will it last.

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain....words from a song in a film/musical I believe. Thanks for the kind words about the images on behalf of the photographers, and thanks for looking in again on Birds2blog Ana.

Just a minority that wouldn't agree on this, but too big a minority Paul.