Thursday, 6 September 2012

To the hills.

This won't take long - though the survey did - and I didn't use much ink and paper either. And look....a post with no blue or red highlights! 

I was off into the hills on Tuesday, up Clougha and Birk Bank to be precise, for the first time for more than five months on 26 March. I spent the customary five hours and walked about eight miles during which time and distance I searched intensely for the Stonechat to no avail. 

OK, so we know the Stonechat on Clougha, Birk Bank - and many other upland locations I'm acquainted with - met its end following the second successive harsh winter. But a pair wintering on Clougha in March brought some hope, though I would suggest the summer which followed dashed any hope for many ground nesting birds like the Stonechat and was pretty well equal to the harsh winter they had just endured and survived. So it won't take long to write up my Stonechat report for 2012....or today's records either.

You can't help but wonder what a days birding in an area like this would have been two or three hundred years ago, what species and what numbers of birds would you have encountered. Today I recorded just eleven species which probably didn't total more than 100 birds in the five hours including the 'painfully obvious' top four on the list which I was certain to see and on this ocassion had no intention of counting.

The list....

Carrion Crows
Great Tit
2 Wren
4 Wheatear 
2 Raven
10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls overhead on thermals 
21 Red Grouse

Out of the history book....

Savi's Warbler. John Leedal.

I was looking through my stock of JL's old pics once again and came across this one of the Savi's Warbler at Leighton Moss in 1991. John took this from the Jackson Hide and I remember the day like it was yesterday. The picture isn't the best one in the world, but a Savi's Warbler nevertheless. The bird has an amazing song very much like that of the Grasshopper Warbler as can be heard in this recording....

Kentish Plover. John Leedal.

And this one of 'the other' Kentish Plover. This bird returned to Rossall Point at Fleetwood for about six consecutive winters, and is the very same individual I found on the groyne at Teal Bay on 19 November 1994 and was found back at Rossall Point later the same day....Halcyon 'Birding' Days. 

American Golden Plover. Copy Permitted. 

An American Golden Plover was found at Cockersands yesterday 5 September and was seen again today....I think there may be more about this on Birds2blog later.


Warren Baker said...

Its so frustrating aint it pete! A pair of Stonechat overcome the winter, only to be dashed by the Summer.
Oh ! and I always think about how many birds must have been around 100 years ago, makes todays numbers look puny :-)

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful cover image.. A hug

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. No stonechats but you certainly got plenty of exercise and fresh air !! Clougha is a great place to be ..let's hope the stonechats return to this lovely part of Bowland.