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.  


Marc Heath said...

A nice trip Pete. Wouldn't mind seeing a Red Grouse again, been about 15 years since the last!!

Adam said...

cool grouse

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Pete!!!..Fantastic images. . Nice scenary and beautiful birds .. Congratulations .. :-)))

Warren Baker said...

Stunning view of the heather Pete.

Black Darter, I wouldn't mind finding that on my patch :-)

Martin Jump said...

Never seen Clougha so colourful,one day hopefully Peter.