Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Big Dip....

....twitching jargon for not seeing a bird you travelled 200 miles on yer bike to see only to find its done a runner when you got there never to be seen again....crippling! But I wasn't on a twitch yesterday when I went uplands again primarily to check out the Stonechat scene at a couple of areas in the Forest of Bowland to find out if they'd made a comeback yet. But hear this....

I read in a report I was kindly forwarded - but am not at liberty to publish on here - re the Stonechats in areas of the Forest of Bowland in 2012....'but with pairs in all the main valleys and side valleys appearing to do well with fledglings being noted in May'....This surprised and amazed me.

Stonechat Marc Heath  

Given that I have already checked Clougha/Birk Bank and Barbondale, and yesterday Harrisend and Hawthornthwaite with some serious time and effort totalling 15 hours over three birding days searching for Stonechats to find just one pair on Clougha Thursday 2 May. Having seen the above report for 2012, the conclusion seems to be....that it appears the Stonechats have made their comeback in most areas other than those I choose to cover in the uplands of the Forest of Bowland, one of which was the LDBWS stronghold for the species and which has now reverted back to the pre 1999 status of the Stonechat. 

The six hours spent yesterday on Harrisend and Hawthornthwaite was - to say the least - a disappointing days birding for me....I worry about the lack of birdlife on the uplands of the Forest of Bowland. That said, I think we all know the species of birds we're never likely to see very much of up there ever again, but we won't go down that road again just now. But over the period mentioned above in which I've been observing upland birds, it isn't just the raptors 'missing' on our moorlands but other bird species/numbers too, and my records below clearly show this. 

Red Grouse

On Harrisend, I noted at least 20 Meadow Pipit, 7 Curlew, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Wren, 2 Linnet, a Reed Bunting, and a Red Grouse. And on Hawthornthwaite, 10 Meadow Pipit, 4 Lapwing, a Red Grouse, Wren, and a Kestrel which was the only raptor I saw the whole day. On the east side of Hawthornthwaite from Marshaw, 9 Meadow Pipit, 7 Red Grouse, 6 Sand Martin2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipea Wheatear, and a Mistle Thrush.    

And finally....

Little Owl Richard Pegler  

Another of those 'can't resist this one' images of the Little Owl. This tree which dwarf's the bird is in Leicestershire but I know for a fact this is a huge old Oak tree. Excellent Richard and thanks for sharing it. Also thanks to Marc for the Stonechat, and Peter and Susan for the Red Grouse.   


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Monocultures are no good for birds (or biodiversity in general) be they wheat, oil seed rape, rye grass, Sitka Spruce...or heather

I want our dwarf upland scrub back please...



Warren Baker said...

Reckon a Large Oak is rarer than a Little Owl Pete!

Pete Woodruff said...

DaveyMan....Well said and much appreciated.

Warren....Definitely the large Oak.