Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Why am I doing this!

I could have gone for another title for today's post but went for the one above. I could have chosen 'Four days later' since it was only last Friday since I last met up with JW at Barbondale to check out the Pied Flycatchers there and I was to meet him again today in the afternoon.

What I did to get in some birding in the morning was to visit Conder Green, Glasson Dock, and Cockersands where - when I got there and heading off along the headland - I had already developed one of my 'Why am I doing this' modes. Well after all it is mid-June and I reckon theres only me that would give these areas a look in at this time of the year as the birds are all away on their holidays....aren't they?

House Martin Phil Slade

At Conder Green, Conder Pool took only a few seconds for me to find it to be just that....a pool, though I noted 28 Redshank in the they were back off their holidays! At Glasson Dock, more 'just water' on the Lune Estuary, but I noted 3 House Martin struggling to collect mud in the car park, how unfortunate these birds hadn't discovered thousands of tons of it on the River Lune just over the road. 

At Cockersands void of any enthusiasm I walked to Plover Scar to find it a stony desert, but noted 2 Shelduck with a creche of c.15 young, saw 3 Skylark and 2 Tree Sparrow, it was also good to find at least 12 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies along the path here.

I was at Barbondale with an hour to spare before JW would arrive and went up the Bull Pot track to find the Stonechats have bred here, but the gamekeepers assistant came on the scene and we struck up a conversation to distract me from the task of getting some figures on the breeding success, but I saw three birds including the male, so a distant pair and one juvenile, or a male and two juveniles. The gamekeepers assistant was a nice man....I just don't like what they do to buy their bread and milk, but I didn't let him know that....I never do, but I'll 'snap' one day and will. 

Taking into account the poor/terrible weather the Pied Flycatchers have succeeded in getting all their offspring heading towards fledging with just one fatality, a runt found on the last visit was dead on this one. I had otherwise little time to observe anything else save 3 Redstart, 7 Wheatear, and 4 Reed Bunting, the males being the Stonechat lookalike at a distance.

Small Heath Steven Cheshire

A Small Heath at Barbondale was the only butterfly of the day the Cockersands ST aside....our butterflies are in trouble, common species like the Small Tortoiseshell are now becoming increasingly uncommon. 

And on the subject of butterflies....

Heath Fritillary Marc Heath

How about this brilliant image of the Heath Fritillary, probably the best lager macro photograph in the world. Thanks for this Marc....excellent.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Not had a Small Tort here since April Pete, its disastrous for flutters this year :-(