Sunday, 22 June 2014

To The Hills....What Again!

On Friday I locked up the motor at Quernmore Village crossroads and returned 5.5 hours later having done my six miles birding hike on Clougha and Birk Bank. 

Despite lots of records being kindly sent in to me that the Stonechat is being found here there and sounds like everywhere, I've concluded that they have not yet returned to what was formerly a stronghold in our recording area in North Lancashire, and found not a single bird again today. Pretty sad that with regard to the Stonechat at least, there will be no purpose in my going up Clougha and Birk Bank for yet another year.

Walking up Rigg Lane on the way to Clougha, I spotted a Curlew stood on a wall and immediately thought there might be a young bird around, sure enough there was a well grown young Curlew, a pleasant sight. Later I collected another excellent record of 8 Red Grouse which were seen as a pair with two young, three young apparently unaccompanied, and later a lone adult, a juvenile Robin completed a trio of young birds seen on the day.

Another two interesting sightings were those of c.200 'corvids' in the air over Birk Bank, predominantly Rook but with Carrion Crow, and at least 20 Mistle Thrush also over and on Birk Bank, both these flocks were seen as post-breeding assemblies. Also to note, 16 Meadow Pipit, 3 Swift were over Clougha summit, 2 Kestrel, with a Willow Warbler and Blackcap in the car park.

Butterflies and Dragonflies. 

Small Copper Warren Baker 

I saw one Small Copper and 5 Small Heath butterflies today. Thank you for the pictures Warren.

Birk Bank Cotton-grass.Pete Woodruff.

The bog below Birk Bank was covered in Cotton-grass, possibly the best show I've ever seen here, and with the sun now at full strength I paid a return visit 4.5 hours after I had passed by on the way to Clougha, and found some dragonflies which were never came close, whizzing around, and were intent on never settling, all to make life difficult for me though I noted they all appeared to be of the same species.

Marc Heath Wildlife Photography: Chasers &emdash; Four Spotted Chaser - Highstead 
Four-spotted Chaser Marc Heath  

I took what notes I could in the circumstances, later studied the reference book, and - void of any chance of me seeing the spots - decided they were at least 20 Four-spotted Chasers. Thank you for the picture Marc.  


Warren Baker said...

Good to see you getting into the butterflies and dragonflies Pete :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Good to see you here again Warren, and back on your own patch too.