Saturday, 8 June 2013


I was at the top of Cross of Greet yesterday morning at 9.00am and legged it at a 'stop-start' snails pace with some detours down to Greet Bridge to cover a section of the bottom half of Bloe Greet and returned by the same route to arrive back at the motor six hours later at 3.00pm. 

With an hour of free time left, on the way back to Lancaster I called in at Bull Beck to take a look upstream on the River Lune to find 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, uncounted Sand Martin, and a young Robin.

A Bit Of Class In Bowland. Pete Woodruff. 

Some nice machines passed me in the afternoon in the Cross of Greet area when about 12 vintage motors like this one were heading towards Slaidburn. Only around 30 cars drove over this brilliant remote pass in the entire six hours I spent in this area of outstanding natural beauty.

I counted an absolute minimum of 50 Meadow Pipit, an abundant species which outnumbers all other upland birds several times over. Conversely I saw just 5 Wheatear compared to good double figure numbers in previous years here, 2 Reed Bunting, and 5 Black-headed Gull were noted heading towards Stocks Reservoir. At and around Bloe Greet, 4 Whinchat, a solitary male Stonechat, and the rewarding sight of 2 Cuckoo which passed me in flight, about two hours later I heard one of them - or a third bird - calling from the old quarry. At the plantation, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 3 Robin noted. I was also rewarded by the brief view of an Adder, a young individual which disappeared in a matter of seconds at the same speed it had appeared before me.

Curlew Brian Rafferty  

A pair of Curlew were flying around calling and agitated all the time I was on Bloe Greet, presumably with young like the one in BR's brilliant image for which I am grateful.

The Young River Hodder. Pete Woodruff.

The abundant clear running waters of the River Hodder and its tributaries were just what the thirsty towns along the Fylde coast were in need of a century ago, and these emote uplands were eyed up by the city fathers of Blackpool for something other than their natural beauty, and this land was among nearly 3,750 hectares of water-gathering land bought up by the then Fylde Water Board to create the nearby Stocks Reservoir. Some 105 million litres of Stocks water goes cascading through pipes to places like Blackpool and Fleetwood every day.

Not a thousand birds seen again today, but in this stunning area which - along with the birds I did see - took my breath away once more.


Warren Baker said...

Looks like a great unspoilt place Pete -unlike Kent! What is a 'Greet' by the way?

Pete Woodruff said...

Answered in an e-mail I sent you Warren, too long for a reply here but very interesting. A brilliant upland area.

Adam said...

such a cute baby bird

Sharon Whitley said...

sounds like a good day's birding Pete

Noushka said...

Sorry, I was away for a few days!
Thanks for visiting my blog, Pete!
Lovely posts I just checked with an interesting choice of pics to suit your sightings!
Ana's swallow pictures are absolutely stunning, I agree!
Cheers and enjoy your Sunday!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Good morning Pete .. What a nice car to explore the beautiful landscapes of Lancaster .. ha .. Great pictures .. Greetings from rainy Madrid ..

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. What a greet day you had in this wonderful part of Bowland.Pleased you managed a stonechat and the whinchats seem to like Bloe Greet. What a super shot of the vintage motor,it looks perfect on this remote road.Pleased I could help with the curlew,one of my better efforts. Take care.