Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Pilgrimage.

Good sunny, warm calm weather, an excellent location, and hopefully choice had to be my spring pilgrimage to Barbondale on Tuesday.

Marc Heath Wildlife Photography: Woodland Birds &emdash; Cuckoo - Reculver
Cuckoo Marc Heath 

A few minutes here and my first bird was the Cuckoo which was distant at first but came nearer as the day progressed, though despite my efforts I never did see this bird. 

Whinchat Brian Rafferty 

Only a few minutes later and I could here a singing Whinchat, and a few more minutes after I saw what could have been a second bird, but too little time and distance between the sightings to be sure of two birds....the day was looking like being a good one.

A male and female Pied Flycatcher have returned to Barbondale, though they appeared to be unconnected and some considerable distance apart, the male was in full song. 

Female Redstart Simon Hawtin 

I had an excellent seven hours in the area including the brilliant ancient woodland, a walk up the Bull Pot track, and a wander a couple of miles to the east. Twenty two species were noted and included, five Redstart, two of which were females, 7 Wheatear, 2 Tree Pipit, 17 Meadow Pipit, 4 Reed Bunting, and a Grey Wagtaila Raven and 2 Buzzard were overhead. I also unfortunately flushed a Tawny Owl from its daytime roost in the area I had seen the bird last year.

I also noted only a 'few' Willow Warbler heard/seen in an area I expected to be overrun with them. Of particular note I found no Stonechat, and saw no Dipper or Common Sandpiper, though the latter seems to have been absent from here for a few years now according to my records, it was too early for the Spotted Flycatcher.

The numbers at Barbondale will increase over the coming days/weeks, but from the start on Tuesday I was inspired to think my day was going to be a good day....and it was.

Thanks to Marc/Brian/Simon for the excellent photographs for this post. 


Noushka said...

Hello Pet,
WOW, that Cuckoo photo from Marc Heath is really stunning!
That is species I can never get close to.... :(
Keep well and happy birding!

Noushka said...

I meant Pete.... sorry my fingers don't follow my brain... LOL!

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Barbondale rarely disappoints and pleased you enjoyed your pilgrimage.Still early days for that part of the world but you had a good day.Hopefully many more to come.May even bump into you up there one day. Take care.

Pete Woodruff said...

Noushka....Yes, always excellent images from Marc.

Brian....Hope to see you hopefully soon. Perhaps we should make arrangements.

Thanks to both for your visit to Birds2blog.