Saturday, 21 July 2012

Plover Scar.... going to the dogs!

Crossbills, Stonechats, and a couple of reptiles.

Plover Scar. Pete Woodruff.

I was at Cockersands on Thursday and apart from enjoying myself doing what I like to do most, it was quite a nice day compared to what the summer months have been so far this year. I met and had an interesting conversation here with someone - a local who visits on a daily basis which is even much more regular than me - who told me he had noted an increase in people taking it upon themselves to wander out on to Plover Scar, in particular those accompanied by dogs. At this point I'd like to highlight the 'in it for the business woman' who is nearly always accompanied by up to 18 of these 'other peoples' animals all off the lead when I see her here at Cockersands.

Our conversation went along the lines that neither of us had any objections - business woman aside - to people or their dogs, but perhaps we should pursue some way of drawing attention to the fact that Plover Scar is the haunt of many birds, sometimes in their several hundreds, and that its not a good idea to wander off onto the scar to cause unnecessary disturbance to these birds. In this regard this person told me he had thought of contacting 'a society' with a view that they may agree a sign to this effect could perhaps be erected by them, what a thoughtful and very good idea I agreed, but with the society he named we won't hold our breath, but we have an issue here about people, dogs, and places like Plover Scar which I think needs to be addressed.... we'll see!  

Crossbill.Richard Bailey.

Richard sent me an e-mail the other day to tell me about his visit a couple of miles SW of Kendal to Helsington Barrows a week ago where he found 20 Crossbills, in his message he attached some photographs he took and a smart red male is shown above. 

The Crossbill populations of Fennoscandia and Russia occasionally erupts southward and westward, and the largest and most widespread of these took place from mid-June in 1997 and the best count of these birds within our recording area was in the Marshaw-Tower Lodge area when 130 were seen on 27 June, I've also seen Crossbills in this area a couple of months ago on 16 and 25 May.  

View from Scout Scar. Unknown.

Richard also filled me in with the news he'd seen two pairs of Stonechat on Scout Scar, both pairs had two young, so at least I'm hearing about some isolated breeding success with the Stonechat thanks to birders who kindly pass this on to me....Thanks for this Richard and  for e-mailing it all to me, it is much appreciated.

And the reptiles....

Adder David Cookson    

Another one of those 'Cookies Crackers' this one of the Adder....thanks DC.

Ocellated Lizzard Ana Minguez 

The Ocellated Lizzard isn't a creature you're going to see soon, unless you live or are maybe going to go to Spain on holiday sometime. It's the largest member of it's family, an adult can grow to at least 60cm and can sometimes reach 90cm. It is found in various wild and cultivated habitats from sea level up to 2,100 metres in southern Spain, the female can lay up to 22 eggs in June/July. Thanks for the image AM much appreciated.  

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