Sunday, 24 March 2013

Wheatear, Wheatear....

....where ar't thou Wheatear.

Clougha Pike. Pete Woodruff.

This was the view of the beautiful Clougha Pike from our bedroom window today and the weather looks set to continue into next week and possibly throughout it to make the month of March the coldest for 50 years. Unlike my Arctic-like adventure last Thursday I'm not likely to be too keen to repeat it tomorrow....but who knows!

Wheatear Marc Heath  

I'll be fortunate to find a Wheatear this week let alone tomorrow - if I go - at Cockersands or anywhere else. This unfortunate individual which Marc found yesterday in Kent may well struggle to continue its journey in the UK, the combination of a Wheatear and snow doesn't look good. My past two years for first Wheatear were 17 March 2011 at Cockersands, and one on Clougha 26 March 2012. Thanks for the image Marc. 

The Wheatear is usually the first of the migratory summer residents to appear in the UK and frequently arrives during the first week of March - but not in 2013 in Lancashire - and is a bird which fascinates me, not least because it can be in the UK for a minimum of seven and often eight months. In the spring of 2011 a Wheatear first arrived in Lancashire on 13 March, and the last to be seen was as late as 27 November eight and a half months later.

Iv'e done no search for modern day ringing of Wheatear, but two interesting ring recoveries referred to by Oakes  are of a bird ringed on the coast at St Anne's mid-June 1915, was found near the nesting locality a year later in May 1916, and another ringed at the nest near Sabden - a village in the Whalley Parish, Lancashire - late June 1948 and was recovered two months later in France, obviously an early migration for this bird.  

More on their way....

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher. David Cookson.

Here's a bird I can't wait to get my eyes on, the Pied Flycatcher, and I'm going to be really interested to see if they take up territory in Bowland again this year, particularly a pair I found breeding beyond Trough Bridge in 2011, though they didn't return in 2012. 

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotter Flycatcher. David Cookson.

And the brilliant Spotted Flycatcher, also on territory again in Bowland 2013 to have the Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge area the most productive for the species in the LDBWS recording area. Thanks to David Cookson for the Pied/Spotted Flycatcher.


Adam said...

great birds

Gary Jones said...

I bet this 'Spring weather' is confusing the hell out of all the migrants as they arrive!! I'd be back off to the warm if it were me lol!!

Warren Baker said...

No problems at all posting comments Pete, as you can see.
As for the Migrants - bring 'em on!

Pete Woodruff said...

Adam....Thanks once again.

Gary....Its virtually all on hold, and if your'e going - or have been up - the mountains these past weeks, I'd sooner you than me. Good to hear from you Gary.

Warren....Thanks for the comments info. As for the migrants, we'll just have to wait.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. What a super view from your bedroom window !!
I think there was a wheatear at Rossall last week..but don't quote me. Winter just goes on and so we must keep dreaming of the pied flys etc to come. Take care