Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Bowland Circular.

So off I went with BT Friday morning, on his suggestion into Bowland. Reports of House Martin numbers being down had him wanting to try and see where some of them might be, and to some degree we wasn't to be disappointed.

Merlin Simon Hawtin 

First call was to pull into the car park at Jubilee Tower to be treated to one of those raptor spectaculars when a Merlin whizzed past and soon picked out a Meadow Pipit in the air followed by exocet missile precision lasting barely 60 seconds in which time the MP outmanoeuvred the Merlin but eventually lost the battle for survival, a pretty good start to the day....'right place, right time'....but not for the MP. Thanks for the image Simon, it clearly shows what you get when a Merlin flies overhead at this height doing c.60mph....a Mistle Thrush flying at a speed it isn't capable of, and with odd pointed wings!

Down Abbeystead Lane c.12 Curlew included one with a young bird, also good number of Lapwing with young, and Oystercatcher also around. At Christ Church near Abbeystead produced another year for the Spotted Flycatcher here, 3 Willow Warbler included a young bird, with a juvenile Robin, Chaffinch, a Greenfinch, and Wren noted. Our first House Martin record of the day was here, with a nest at the church and one at the vicarage. The second record was an active House Martin nest at a house in Abbeystead, and at Stoops Bridge a Buzzard was overhead.

At Marshaw, 3 Common Sandpiper seen, one a young bird, a Spotted Flycatcher, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, and a Wren to note. A brief visit to Tower Lodge saw a Swallow seen leaving from under the gutter, and a Coal Tit feeding a young one.

House Martin in flight
House Martin Astland Photography

The pleasant surprise came at Sykes Farm. When I got out of the car to count I was more than a little amazed to find 40 House Martin nests, eventually BT recorded 13 of them active, almost impossible to count numbers of birds back and forth, but certainly 30 at least. Two Grey Wagtail seen whilst in this area. 

Stonechat Brian Rafferty

Whilst BT took a look around the Cross of Greet Bridge area I walked up to White Greet to see 4 Stonechat being a female and three young....well Alleluia Amen to that. Also noted, a single Wheatear, 4 Meadow Pipit, and my best butterfly sighting of 2013 being 5 Small Heath....well Alleluia Amen to that too! 

Passing through Lowgill 2 Buzzard were overhead, the last two birds from a decent day including the weather by way of a change....And back to Lancaster having gone full circle.

Thanks for the House Martin image Peter and Susan, and thanks for the Stonechat too Brian.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete.Alleluia..Alleluia. Your prayers were answered with the stonechats from Bowland.Glad I could help out with the image. Sounds like you had an excellent day's birding with BT.I too must visit the church for the spot flys etc.We are so lucky with a wonderful area like Bowland on our doorstep. Take care.

Pete Marsh said...

Hi Pete
Thanks to Brian and yourself for helping with the LDBWS House Martin survey. Has Brian all the details as your post implies?

I wondered if you could also please indicate any places you checked where you might have expected them on past form but were negative this time?



Adam said...

cute little bird

Warren Baker said...

I'm so looking forward to my first patch 60mph, pointy winged, Mistle Thrush pete :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Brian....Thought of you when I found the Spotted Flycatcher at Christ Church.

Pete....Have e-mailed you about this.

Adam....Thanks for looking in and comments.

Warren....Good luck with the 60mph pointed winged Mistle Thrush!!