Friday, 27 March 2015

Buzzin Up Clougha.

Another decent day weatherwise on Wednesday got me buzzing, and although the Lune Estuary magnet had a strong pull on me again, in the end Clougha was the winner and off I went. 

I managed a 26 species count in the six hours I was away from the motor. Though it was upland birding I can't say that's a good count, never the area to 'get a bag full', though that's a pretty sick pun.

Stonechat Marc Heath  

Hard to believe I've not been on Clougha since 20 June 2014, but good news on Wednesday was of 5 Stonechat found, seen as two pair and a lone male, so possibilities of three pair here in the last week of March with hopefully more to come. Also of note, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the car park, and 4 Jay were in the area of the bog. Also seen before I reached the moor, 5 Robin, 3 Wren, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Great Tit, and a Song Thrush.

Red Grouse. Pete Woodruff.    

At least 16 Red Grouse seen, including the one pictured which was the most confiding one I ever saw, a couple more paces closer and I could have grabbed the bird. Although hard to come by yet on the coast, 3 Wheatear were at least 400m up on Clougha Pike, two seen as a pair with the male chasing the female around, and 16 Meadow Pipit noted. Not a single raptor seen in the entire six hours.

Birk Bank.

Land Management. Pete Woodruff.

This is what I found Birk Bank looking like on Wednesday....a wasteland burnt to the ground by the 'Guardians of the Countryside'.

When Clougha/Birk Bank was in its prime as a stronghold for the Lancashire Stonechat just a few years ago, and I surveyed the area in the images above, I walked through shoulder height bracken and other suitable ground nesting bird habitat. 

Please 'clik the pik' and see the bigger picture of the damage these people do to the uplands in our area and beyond. They can legally continue to do this until 31 March - and into mid-April in some cases - which is beyond the first egg laying date for the Stonechat, a past nest record of which had eggs in it on 13 March. 

If it's wildlife you're looking for - and in particular the Stonechat - you can delete Birk Bank from your list....I've deleted it from mine.


Warren Baker said...

Habitat features on my blog today too Pete, its all so depressing at the moment !

Gary Jones said...

We were up on Conwy Mountain was Stonechat heaven, saw at least 5 different pairs, only had 300 lens with me, needless to say going back with the big lens!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Warren....Not good, more to the point terrible.

Gary....Excellent Gary, thanks for the photographs, much appreciated.

Paul Foster said...

Nice to hear of one of your favourite birds being present Peter,I know how much they mean to you1

Land management....they could,t manage their own back garden!!!

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. A super day out on Clougha for you with the stonechats and red grouse.The grouse seem to like posing on top of that boundary wall. I will have to be hiking up there soon.Take care.