Sunday, 13 July 2014


Yet another compromise was needed again on Friday in the Woodruff household. As there was to be absolutely nothing on this earth that was going to get in the way of my planned birding in Bowland. But a request was put to me for the use of the motor, it was either yes....but you have to take me to Marshaw and collect me at 5.00pm to come home, or no....I'm off to do some serious birding today, you'll have to have the motor some other time....the former offer was accepted and away we went.

Spotted Flycatcher Country. Pete Woodruff.

A most enjoyable seven hour birding wander, with some considerable legwork, standing around staring at and looking into trees, and checking the Marshaw Wyre in the Marshaw-Tower Lodge-Trough Bridge area which ended with 27 species found.

Dipper Martin Jump

I was pleased to find 5 Spotted Flycatcher, including a young bird being fed around the area of the nest I found 13 June. Good counts of 11 Mistle Thrush, 9 Grey Wagtail, 7 Nuthatch, 5 Treecreeper, 4 Kestrel, and a Great-spotted Woodpecker. Young birds were represented by a Goldcrest and 3 Coal Tit. I saw just 2 Willow Warbler, and it took me 4.5 hours to find 2 Dipper on the Marshaw Wyre. Six Red Grouse were on the moor edge above Trough Bridge. 

I was back at my transport pick-up point by the cattle grid near Marshaw Farm where there appears to be a decent House Martin colony. But the plan was to give the east side of Hawthornthwaite a couple of hours which turned out to be a good idea as it actually rewarded me with a Grand Finale.

Stonechat Ana Minguez  

Having counted at least 20 Meadow Pipit and 7 Red Grouse up to arriving at the shooting lodge where my day was well made up by the sight of a pair of Stonechat and at least five young.

Butterflies seen on the day were, 3 Meadow Brown and 2 Small Heath....where are all the butterflies. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was the only dragonfly seen.

Redstarts and Stonechats.

Of note, I found no Redstart again as I hadn't on 13 June. Other than a Fylde birder who has seen them here, I don't recall seeing any other reports of Redstart in this area this year.

I recorded today's Stonechats on Hawthornthwaite as 'at least five young'. I never succeeded with an accurate count, the birds were very mobile, never seen together, and often disappeared from view. Though the majority of clutch size is five, there was a distinct possibility of a family party of eight here today.

Clutches of seven are extremely rare in Stonechats, but interestingly a female holds the record in England and possibly Europe, when she laid a collective total of 19 eggs in one breeding season in 1994 with clutches of 6/7/6, all three nests were successful

Thanks to Martin for the young dipper being fed by the parent bird, and to Ana for the male and female Stonechats....Excellent and much appreciated.


Warren Baker said...

27 Species seems low compared to my patch pete, but your list contains much more interest :-) Great to see the Spot fly's breeding well this year, and those Stonechats, one of which I am desperately hoping will stop off here this Autumn !

Findlay Wilde said...

What a fantastic walk and really good news on the Stonechats. The Redstart at my Grandma's was back again this year but nested in a new place. It used to nest in a hole in the garage.

Pete Woodruff said...

Warren....Definitely low compared to lots of patches. But something I omitted in the post but certainly intended to add was the fact that this is upland birding in Bowland, and in the area I was in on Friday produced only a few species I had hoped to record but didn't, in any event I'd have been lucky to get much beyond 30 on the day.

Findlay....Yes the Stonechat record on Friday was the best end to the day I could have wished for on a personal level.

Thanks to both for looking in, your interest, and your comments are all appreciated.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Stonechat...:-))) It is a very elegant and delicate bird .. Cheers!!!