Monday, 10 September 2012

Taking another look....

....but first a pic of the butterfly which made an appearance in our garden on Saturday.

Speckled Wood. Pete Woodruff.

A Speckled Wood was an excellent and welcomed record for our garden - or anywhere else for that matter - given we experienced a cold spring followed by the wettest summer in a hundred years the result of which was a dramatic fall in numbers of some of our most common species of butterflies. The Speckled Wood fell by 65% compared to a survey last year by the Butterfly Conservation Group, the Red Admiral suffered even worse with a fall of 75%.

Stonechat on Harrisend. 

I've taken another look at my record of Stonechats on Harrisend Fell last Thursday when I claimed the sighting of four birds together to have probably been the only breeding record here in 2012. I suppose it is best that I add a little more substance to my claim with evidence and some experience with the Stonechat, and therefore my suggestion that this was a family party as opposed to a small group of migrants still stands, I have no reason to suspect these birds were on migration remembering the date is 6 September. 

With some notes of interest, independent juveniles form groups which roam around, sometimes in association with an un-mated adult including Whinchat which I would very much like to see for myself. It is best to appreciate the Stonechat as a very complex species for many reasons and I've had observations over the years - and other recorders from the North of England - showing flocks of juveniles at the end of the breeding season up to late September as always consisting of moulting juveniles without any adult birds being present. In relation to my sighting last week it is worth noting that the final brood often remains with the parents on territory.

Two of my records found during a search have been of this kind of Stonechat 'flocking/grouping' behaviour though these have been seen in the midst of the breeding season. On Birk Bank 16 July 2005, 10 Stonechats were seen as a male, female and 8 juveniles, and of 27 Stonechats in the Cross of Greet area on 26 June 2006 I watched 10 juveniles independent of any adults for several minutes.

And finally....

Hybrid Falcon Isidro Ortiz  

Two excellent and interesting images of a hybrid Gyr x Saker Falcon. Thank you Isidro....Brilliant.

Please note, at the time of posting the link to Isidro Ortiz appears to be broken....Edited to say it isn't broken now.  


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hello Peter!!! What a beautiful visitor in your garden!!! .. Thank you very much for visiting my blog ..
By the way! .. Excellent falcon.. Greetings..

Andrew said...

I have just had a lovely browse around your blog... found it via young Findlays.

Warren Baker said...

Red Admirals have become more abundant here in the last few weeks than during the whole of last year :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Ana....I enjoy looking in on your blog too.

Andrew....Thanks for your visit to Birds2blog, hope it catches on.

Warren....Interesting comment re Red Admiral in the south.

Thanks again everyone.