BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Short List....Again!

The list I created on Wednesday was a short list on a Conder/C'sands two in a row double....I never tire of it!



Something of a coincidence today at Cockersands, when I glimpsed three waders fly into a freshly cut field to join in excess of 400 Black-headed Gull (BHG)....unidentified but I immediately thought Ruff. Galloping off to get nearer to the field and closer views, I soon discovered the threesome were indeed Ruff, all juveniles, a male and two female, the coincidence being, 2 years ago - almost to the day - on 26 August 2011 I saw 14 Ruff in a freshly cut field at Norbreck Farm on Hillam Lane and again with a huge number of BHG's....anything significant about freshly cut fields at the end of August, BHG's, and Ruff!

Also on today's short list at Cockersands, 3 Curlew Sandpiper again with at least the same ratio of Dunlin and Ringed Plover as Tuesday, a Peregrine Falcon came on the scene with the inevitable mass panic, then the bird gave me excellent views when it went to perch on the railings round the lighthouse....


Wheatear David Cookson

....also 2 Wheatear and 2 Stock Dove were to note. 

At Conder Green on a briefer visit than the norm and void of a wander, 2 adult Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank in the creeks. On Conder Pool, 5 Snipe, 4 Little Grebe, the now familiar and well established 2 Wigeon, a count of 104 Lapwing, and I wonder....has the Goldeneye finally departed from here.

Thanks for the Ruff and Wheatear Antonio and David.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

On The Increase....Well Slightly!

Some slight increase in 'local' bird numbers yesterday on my rounds, and with an apparent influx of Curlew Sandpiper into our area. At Conder Green there are now 4 Little Grebe on Conder Pool, four didn't arrive until 3 September last year, 2 Spotted Redshank were in the creeks, in 2012 here had been two here since 3 July with three seen ten days later on 19 July. Also noted on the pool, a Greenshank, 6 Snipe, and a Common Sandpiper, with 14 Teal notable in the creeks. On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock - where the gull count didn't reach three figures - a smart adult Mediterranean Gull was one of the first birds I picked out, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, with estimates of 2,500 Lapwing, 450 Redshank, 45 Golden Plover, and a mere 2 Dunlin. A Goosander was also of note, and I picked up a distant Peregrine Falcon which had sent several hundred Lapwing into the air in panic over Stodday/Aldcliffe, probably the same bird which had had the same effect on the waders at Glasson Dock just a few minutes earlier but which I did'nt pick up at the time.

Another increase was in migrants at Cockersand where I found 3 Curlew Sandpiper juvenile just SW of the Lighthouse Cottage with c.150 Dunlin and a similar number of Ringed Plover, a single Turnstone, Sanderling, a Wheatear, and a Goosander off Plover Scar. And yes....I ran out of time again.

On another excellent day for butterflies I saw just eight in the six hours I was out, being 2 Common Blue and 6 Small Tortoiseshell....this is serious.

Coming soon....


Whooper Swan. Gary Jones. Portraits Of Nature 

Hard to believe, but the Whooper Swans are coming, and even harder to believe, if its going to be an 'early bird' it could be in our area next week, though my first record wasn't until 4 October last year when I saw seven off Pilling Lane Ends, though I did find a Whooper Swan on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock on Tuesday 21 August, it was seen regularly after that until it presumably joined the relatives when they arrived later in the year. GJ's photograph has been featured on Birds2blog before, but I have no hesitance in posting it again....'cos its brilliant. Thanks Gary.

Going soon.... 


Swallow Martin Jump 

The Swallows will soon be departing and in the main will be gone by the end of September, though one was seen at Leighton Moss in 2011 until 30 November, you have to wonder if a bird so late in the UK ever got back to its winter quarters in Africa. Thanks for the brilliant image of your Swallow Martin. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Migration....

....life on the edge.

Wader Flock 1
A Wader Mass Brian Rafferty

Not the subject of the post, but a mass of waders in flight to black out the skies like this is a sight to blow your socks off - you really do have to 'clik the pik' this time for the full effect - and this would be just a fragment of the birds in BR's view when he took this image.

The status of the Sanderling in Lancashire is of an abundant passage migrant and common winter visitor, not so in our recording area in the north where it is seen as a spring passage migrant, much rarer in the autumn, and a very rare winter visitor.  

Having found eight Sanderling on Plover Scar at Cockersands on Thursday last week, I spent some time checking through c.600 other waders on here at the time, but also pondered especially on the Sanderling and the migration they were undertaking, though some winter in the UK. I never fail to be fascinated at the epic journeys some birds make on migration, whilst wondering why they do it and with all the hazards involved too.

In order for a bird to travel successfully between two places on migration it must first make preparations by storing fat as fuel for the journey ahead. It then has to choose the right time of year and weather conditions for its departure. On lengthy flights it needs to stop to refuel, in a young bird this is going to be at a site it has never seen before, in which case the likelyhood is that it holds food nothing like the food it found around its birthplace. I found myself wondering, when these birds reach the end of their epic journey, how do they know they've arrived at the destination they set out to get to in the first place.


Eleonora's Falcon Martin Lofgren 

Many migrant birds can be blown off course by winds and storms, whatever navigational systems it may have in place will be lost in situations like this, it can run out of fuel when over the sea, it may find a refuelling site devoid of food, or it may be attacked by a bird of prey like the Eleonora's Falcon which makes its living out of migrant birds particularly song birds.

Amazing isn't it, that millions of birds migrate successfully over vast distances year on year. I can't watch birds like the Sanderling which I found at Cockersands and then just simply move on, these birds are migrating and I have to ponder, where have they come from, where are they going, and why....its all a part of the interest I have for the birds I see.

Thanks to Brian and Martin for the waders and the falcon, much appreciated. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Decent Birding!

It doesn't take much to make a birding day for me 'a decent birding day' and Thursday was a good example, the weather was perfect and there was some nice sightings with evidence of movement....and it doesn't have to be a Siberian Rubythroat for me! 

Snipe
Snipe Astland Photography  


Five Snipe gave me excellent views on Conder Pool where I noted 4 Cormorant as a bit of a peak count on here for me, all in the 'drying out' mode. Also 3 Little Grebe, the number of which will no doubt build up on the pool over the autumn/winter months probably into a double figure. I noted a good number of Swallow - probably up to 100 - and a few House Martin hawking in the area today, 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Teal were in the creeks, and the Spotted Redshank was downstream from the old railway bridge almost at the Conder mouth.


Kingfisher Ana Minguez 


Upstream from the road bridge I found my first Kingfisher at Conder Green since 18 December 2012 when I saw two birds here.


On the Lune Estuary I found 2 Mediterranean Gull, and estimated 220 Golden Plover, the Lapwing and Redshank were too distant and too spread out to fire up any enthusiasm to do a count, 9 Greylag went drifting by on the falling tide, and a Little Egret seen.  


Sanderling Martin Lofgren 

At Cockersands, Plover Scar came good at high tide if only because a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 8 Sanderling were present there, amongst an estimate of 350 Dunlin and 250 Ringed Plover. Along the headland, 4 Wheatear and 25 Linnet, with just 3 Tree Sparrow seen around Bank Houses.



Common Blue Warren Baker

The large number of 'whites' aside, I saw  just fifteen butterflies in six  hours on a  perfect day for them....5 Wall Brown, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Common Blue, and 2 Peacock....

A DECENT DAYS BIRDING. 

Thanks to Peter and Susan/Ana/Martin/Warren for their respective photographs, all as excellent as ever, even more excellent with a 'clik the pik'.

Wasp nests destroyed.

Same day often possible 7 day/week All work fully guaranteed.

This ad was in my sidebar yesterday under 'Get This'. Though I'm prepared to accept there are cases where this destruction is necessary, I'd suggest in the vast majority of cases this guy is making £45 out of people with an unjustifiable dislike for Wasps and for no other reason.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Invasion!

With an appointment to keep in Lancaster at 1.00pm on Wednesday, always keen for a little birding, I thought if I took my binoculars with me I could follow on with a walk by the River Lune along the quay, on to Freeman's Pools and a little invasion into the parish of Aldcliffe. Nothing too serious, just a walk through, with little time on my hands for lingering or digging into hidden corners....so off I went.

Green Sandpiper Antonio Puigg 


It was good to find 3 Green Sandpiper, two in a channel towards the wildfowlers pools - where I noted 4 Little Egret and 7 Black-tailed Godwit - and one resting with its head tucked in on the flood where I also saw 2 Little Ringed Plover. A minimum of 550 Canada Geese were on Aldcliffe Marsh, and walking the path I counted 15 Goldfinch and a Peacock butterfly which fought against a stiff breeze. Thank you for the Green Sandpiper Antonio.

And finally....a couple of butterflies I reckon I might otherwise never see for real.



Silver-spotted Skipper Marc Heath 

This Silver-spotted Skipper is relatively-local and restricted to closely-grazed chalk downland sites in southern England. Its former range extended from Somerset in the west to isolated colonies in the north as far as Cumbria and Yorkshire. Its range contracted in the 20th century due to a reduction in grazing stock as well as the onset of myxomatosis which severely affected rabbit populations. Recent years have been more promising and this is one of the few species that is increasing its range. Thanks for these images Marc.



Spotted Fritillary Noushka Dufort

And the Spotted Fritillary, an interesting creature in that a single specimen was caught near Dumfries in Scotland in June 1866, it was believed to have been an introduction, and no more specimens were seen until a 120 years later in 1986 when several individuals were seen flying in Fobbing Marshes in Essex, these were also believed to have been introduced. Thanks for these images Noushka.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Oh Please....Not The Hen Harrier Again!

A recent history about the Hen Harrier in the North of England. 


Hen Harrier. Gordon Langsbury.


As a breeding bird in the North of England the Hen Harrier (HH) is now extinct, not any easy claim to make if only because a report I read recently claimed 7 nests were started in 2011 out of which only four were successful and 12 young were fledged. Further reading of the history books would find you seeing reports of....'several pairs that breed - or attempt to breed - on the Bowland Fells each year, but few successfully rear young'.

Up to the 18th century the HH was a regular breeder on the Lancashire Moors, but grouse shooting became a popular sport by the middle of the 19th century, the result of which a heavy persecution campaign was launched on these moors to rid the areas of 'things' that got in the way of what was to become - and is today - a lucrative business, and the HH being a ground nesting bird - fearless in defence of their nests and young - were easily destroyed.

Just into the 20th century the HH had become almost extinct in England, Wales, and mainland Scotland, but continued to breed in the Orkneys and Outer Hebrides. It is thought probable that the HH re-colonised Scotland during the war of 1939-45 when heather moors were less intensely keepered. The first evidence of the return of the HH to Bowland was of a nest discovered with young in 1969....the first one in 107 years.

Tragic then isn't it that, in spite of the Wildlife and Countryside act of 1981 - in the case of the HH an act seen by some as no more than a huge joke - which is supposed to protect the wildlife it was introduced for, the HH has been brought to extinction in Bowland and the North of England 44 years after the discovery of their return here in 1969.

Oh Please....Not The Hen Harrier Again!....Why not!

The M and S Issue gathers pace, quote....'I'm afraid I am unable to give you specific details about our suppliers as this is commercially sensitive information'....unquote. 

I'D SOONER BE BIRDING !       

Monday, 19 August 2013

The New Post.

Apologies for the title....the 'thinking up a title' part of my brain has apparently seized up.


Pectoral Sandpiper Marc Heath 


The Pectoral Sandpiper has no connection with this post, but this is an excellent image of the most numerous Nearctic wader on this side of the Atlantic. Thanks Marc, I wish I could have a run similar to the one you are having at the moment....great stuff and hope it continues. 'Clik the pik' its another WOW!

At Conder Green today in addition to the 'regulars' a second adult has arrived on Conder Pool to make the count 3 Little Grebe, 3 Snipe, and 3 Greenshank seen today. The regulars seen on the pool, a Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Goldeneye, 2 Wigeon, and 2 Teal. A Grey Wagtail was on the Conder below the road bridge.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, I found 3 Mediterranean Gull all adult of which one retains its fading black hood, interesting in that another close by was in full winter plumage showing the variability of two moulting birds of the same species around mid-August. Wader estimates were, 2,000 Lapwing, 500 Redshank, and 75 Curlew, with notably not a single Dunlin in sight. 


Tree Sparrow Simon Hawtin  

At Cockersands, more wader estimates on and around Plover Scar, 550 Dunlin, 250 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstone, and a 'few' Whimbrel and Golden Plover noted, 22 Eider were off the scar. A sally round brought about an excellent count of in excess of 90 Tree Sparrow at Abbey Farm, a Wheatear was on the Cockersand Abbey ruins, a solitary Black-tailed Godwit went over south, and a long dead large adult Seal was on the shingle below the abbey.

Wall Brown. Pete Woodruff.  

Also in the farmyard at Abbey Farm I found my first two Wall Brown butterflies of the year.

Thanks to Simon Hawtin for the Tree Sparrow image. I can find very few photographs of the Tree Sparrow for some reason or other.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Dear Sir!

Hen Harrier. Copy Permitted.


You may be interested in a reply I received from a Mr Duxbury of the Executive Office at Marks and Spencer regarding the introduction of Red Grouse sales at two of their stores in London.

You will note not a word about precisely who/where the Red Grouse are being sourced from, nor any mention that Marks and Spencer are aware of the Hen Harrier issue therefore not a word about whether or not they are taking steps to be assured that the grouse are not supplied as a result of the eradication of raptors off the moors, and that Marks and Spencer are in full control of the facts behind the Red Grouse being 'protected from the raptors on the moors through persecution'.



The North Yorkshire Moors....one of the worst raptor persecution areas in the whole of the UK.

The bold highlights in this e-mail are mine, the message is otherwise unedited and is copied directly from my inbox.

Chairman at Marks and Spencer. 11.12am Friday 16 August 2013.  

Dear Mr Woodruff

Thank you for emailing Steve Rowe to share your concerns about the introduction of grouse into some of our stores. As a member of his personal team, I'm replying on his behalf.

We have the highest standards of animal welfare and only source from suppliers we know and trust. Our game range is sourced from well-managed estates across the UK stretching from Nottinghamshire to the Scottish borders, with the majority of product coming from Yorkshire and Northumberland.

Game is one of the most animal welfare friendly meats you can eat as it is totally free range – the birds live totally in the wild and in their natural habitats. It is also a very sustainable option and good estate management and conservation intended for game shooting actually stops deforestation, and encourages the protection of the countryside.

I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with us to raise your concerns about the sale of grouse in our stores. I hope my email has helped to reassure you of how seriously we take our commitments to the environment and ethical sourcing.

Kind Regards

Stephen Duxbury, Executive Office.


I'm making no comments about this e-mail other than....its weakness is quite unbelievable - obviously planned that way - and addresses not one single issue put to M and S in my e-mail to them.

You may also like to read this which is belated on my part, but I did a little of what was suggested in this post by Alan Tilmouth 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Late Again!

A little late with the news again....but its getting to be regular it seems.


Reed Warbler Phillip Tomkinson 


The first bird I found on Wednesday at Conder Green was a Reed Warbler, appropriately in the reeds upstream from the road bridge. I had seen a bird from the road which flew into the reeds and with some persistence eventually had excellent views of this bird which has the habit of lurking amongst the vegetation and is often difficult to locate. All part of the plan to look in on this area at Conder Green and I've heard Sedge Warbler here a couple of times during the summer months but this Reed Warbler took me by surprise.

Conder Pool was quite lively with up to 550 Lapwing and 45 Redshank, obviously left overs from the high tide roost. Also noted on the pool, the 2 Little Grebe and Goldeneye, a Little Egretand 3 Snipe which gave excellent views probing the muddy edges. The Spotted Redshank and 5 Common Sandpiper were in the creeks and another Little Egret was in the Conder channel towards the estuary and the only bird in sight on this stretch of the river.


Black-headed Gull Martin Lofgren

The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock held small insignificant numbers of waders, but I spent most of my time here sifting through probably 400 mostly Black-headed Gull to find 2 Mediterranean Gull, a Little Egret was below Waterloo Cottage.


Black-tailed Godwit Martin Jump

At Cockersands, there was a tense time whilst a 'Mrs Hound' and a small army of half a dozen uncontrolled mutts paraded the length of Plover Scar and surrounding area, but I had a good opportunity to check the waders from Crook Cottage to Plover Scar on the incoming tide to estimate minimums of 750 Dunlin, 450 Ringed Plover, 120 Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, and a Whimbrel, 14 Eider were off Plover Scar. I had no time for a 'walkabout' today but noted a Kestrel as I left.

And finally....




If you have an interest in dragonflies you may like THIS  

Thanks to PT/ML/MJ for the excellent images in this post....'clik the pik' to see just how excellent they really are.  

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Anniversary....

....and something a bit more serious.

It wasn't until I got on to the coastal path over the old railway bridge at Conder Green yesterday that I suddenly realised the date was 14 August and it was exactly 10 years ago to the day since the White-winged Black Tern was found quartering the marsh here on 14 August 2003.

White-winged Black Tern ARKive 

The bird was a superb moulting adult which went on to frequent the salt-marsh between Conder Green and Glasson Dock for ten days until last seen on 24 August, it also graced Conder Pool on more than one occasion to add its name to the good selection of excellent records on this brilliant little pool which was in its infancy when this stunner appeared on there. During its stay this bird went on to be observed as being particularly adept at catching butterflies, in the main being Small Tortoiseshell but with other flying insects too.

The White-winged Black Tern breeds in Eastern Europe, eastwards to China, it winters in Africa and in the Far East, through Indonesia to northern Australia. 

But now it gets serious....



Marks and Spencer are launching the sale of whole Red Grouse at two trial stores in London, the first high street retailer to do so. So here the question is....how will Marks and Spencer assure their customers that their Red Grouse have been responsibly sourced from grouse moors that are not poisoning, shooting, and trapping protected species such as the Hen Harrier, Red Kite, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Goshawk, and lots of other wildlife which get in the way of this 'sporting industry'.



You might like to read THIS noting one of the moors the grouse are to be sourced from are the North Yorkshire Moors which happens to be one of the worst hotspots for raptor persecution in the country. You may also like to get in touch with M and S about this issue....I did.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Oh No Not Conder Green Again!

Yes Conder Green once again and I can't think of a single reason why not.


Little Ringed Plover Antonio Puigg

It was an even better idea I went there again on Monday as I had excellent views of all three juvenile Little Ringed Plover for the first time in four visits since I first saw them on 31 July. I did see a report of an adult and two juveniles on Conder Pool on Monday too....Mmmmm!

Also noted on the pool which was pretty quiet, the 2 Little Grebe being an adult and juvenile, 2 Teal, and the long stay Goldeneye drake. Interesting that I found no Wigeon on here today. On the circuit, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank were both lurking in the creeks, with 4 Common Sandpiper seen. Down the Conder channel towards the estuary, up to 200 Redshank and 4 Dunlin with a Little Egret on the marsh. 

At Cockersands I staked out to watch the last hour of the tide coming in, Plover Scar collected a roost of 6 Whimbrel, a solitary Sanderling and Turnstone, and an almost impossible to count c.40 Dunlin and similar Ringed Plover. A Wheatear put in an appearance, and 8 Tree Sparrow were round Abbey Farm. Thanks for the brilliant portrait of the Little Ringed Plover Antonio.

And finally....some hawk-moth interest.


Lime Hawk-moth Caterpillar Ray Purser 


KT had the good fortune to come across a Lime Hawk-moth caterpillar in Sainsburys car park on Monday, not a major event in the moth world but a nice local find all the same. Thanks to Ray Purser for the image of the caterpillar at 2 weeks.


Lime Hawk-moth Ian Kimber 

Although there are records of the Lime Hawk-moth back to 1893, it was not until the early 1990's that it started its main expansion to the present distribution. It is however a rather erratic moth in its appearances and is probably best described as locally common....I've yet to see my first.

Thanks to Ian Kimber for the image of this brilliant moth, and to Stephen Palmer at Lancashire Moths for communicating with me, much appreciated on both counts. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Running Late.

Like the last time I went to London on the train it was running late, and this is an account of my birding day last Thursday....running late.

Back to the grindstone as it were, and I was back to Conder Green on Thursday following my trek up Clougha Pike and over Birk Bank the previous day which had to be worth the effort and a success if only to find the pair of Stonechat and a Painted Lady up there.


With nothing 'new' at Conder Green, a Little Egret was the first in view once more on Conder Pool, with the resident 2 Little Grebe, 2 Wigeon, the Goldeneye, and 2 Teal. Also noted were 47 Redshank and 35 Lapwing, with a Common Sandpiper in what was left of the creeks above water at near high tide.  

Peregrine Falcon Martin Jump 

On arrival at Glasson Dock to view the Lune Estuary a Peregrine Falcon soon came on the scene and put up every bird on the estuary here en masse, but I think this bird just wanted to cause upset as it soon disappeared off the scene. Your image is brilliant Martin....Thank You.

I found 3 Mediterranean Gull amongst the large congregation of gulls, two adult and a 2nd winter. Also Tuesdays Ruff still here with up to 2,000 Redshank and up to 3,000 Dunlin, only 8 Golden Plover here today with 3 Little Egret seen. Interestingly only a small remnant of the huge 5,000 Lapwing count on Tuesday, and very few Curlew seen.      

Common Blue Warren Baker  


On Plover Scar at high tide Cockersands, 19 Whimbrel, 17 Ringed Plover, and 13 Dunlin. A walk along the headland produced a Wheatear and 7 Linnet. Butterflies were 6 Common Blue, 5 Peacock, and a Red Admiral. Thanks for the excellent Common Blue Warren.

And finally....

Sparrowhawk/Starling Christian Thompson  


Yet another image I've labelled 'excellent'. The writing round this photograph describes it as....'a Sparrowhawk attempting to prey on a waterfall of Starlings'....I'm impressed Christian....Thank You.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Lets Celebrate!

Like the new royal baby George, if you haven't heard about this yet, I reckon you've just landed here from Mars. 
Hen Harrier. Image Andy Hay.

It's something of an irony that Andy Hays image is that of a male Hen Harrier carrying nesting material.

I'm about to break one of the Golden Rules I made on the day I started Birds2blog in November 2008, one was to avoid controversy, another was bad language, and there are more. So the warning is....if you're easily offended by so called foul language then I think you should leave or perhaps shouldn't be here in the first place. The truth is....

'The Hen Harrier In England Is Fucked'.

Instead of being offended by language, try getting offended by the news that not one single successful Hen Harrier has nested in England this year. That should be worthy of your being offended and outraged much more than the one word I used in my post above. 

I won't make any comments about the RSPB regarding the Hen Harrier issue....not this time. But rather, I think their press release is as good as any other press release on the subject and you can read it HERE

Two words are - in my personal opinion - the best course for at least trying to control the continuing slaughter of birds of prey....vicarious liability. But meanwhile, decades of relentless persecution of the Hen Harrier and other birds of prey have paid off with the goal being reached. Celebrations will be the order of the day amongst the 'Guardians of the Countryside' and this really is.... 

THE END.  

Friday, 9 August 2013

Back Up The Hill!

Clougha. Pete Woodruff.

I don't think the heather on Clougha ever looked as good as it did the day I took this photograph in August 2006, although very nice - it looks even nicer with a 'clik the pik' - it certainly didn't look as good on Wednesday. I reckoned it was time to pay another visit here, only my second this year....I never thought I'd ever say that in the days when I came here at least once a month for over 10 years.


Stonechat. John Darbyshire.

I was on Clougha over an hour before I found a pair of Stonechat. I wasn't too surprised at finding these two birds as they were in the very area I had seen them before on 26 March 2012, and again on 2 May this year, the only two visits I've made here in that period. Pretty certain that these two birds had wintered here in 2011/12, hopefully bred here that summer, wintered here again in 2012/13, and have hopefully bred again this year, the only pair of Stonechat on Clougha then, and still the only pair today. They were both scolding me the length of my time with them, moving around for a distance of something like 100m, I never did find out precisely why they were so annoyed at my presence though I did have to wonder young/nest, more than a little disappointing not to have seen either.


Black Darter. Pete Woodruff.

To follow the excitement of the Stonechat the next best thing of the day was the fly past of a Painted Lady, my second this year with one at Cockersands 22 July. Other butterflies seen were 27 Peacock, 6 Small Tortoiseshell, my first Small Copper. A couple of Black Darter were over Birk Bank bog, and well into a four figure of 'mini moths' were seen from the Clougha track.


Red Grouse. Bowland
Red Grouse Brian Rafferty

In the six hours I was here I saw just 12 bird species, notable was just one raptor, a Kestrel hovering high over the trig point on the summit. Also in the black book, a Wheatear, 13 Red Grouse, 2 Wren one of which was feeding a young bird, 3 Meadow Pipit, and a Willow Warbler.

Thanks for your 'Scottish' Stonechat John, and for the Red Grouse Brian, both very much appreciated.