Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Clougha/Birk Bank.

I was on Clougha over two hours yesterday before I found a family party of Stonechat at around 300m, seen as a male, female, and two juvenile. Something of a disappointment as I had seen five Stonechat up here on my last visit on 25 March, they were seen as two pair and a lone male, all of which were at different locations to this group today. However, it was good to see evidence of breeding here again.

Also seen here today was another good count of 38 Meadow Pipit, 7 Willow Warbler were all heard save one seen, a singing male Blackcap was also only heard, 2 Linnet seen, I found only 2 Red Grouse today, and 3 Raven were in the air. Raptors were represented by 2 Buzzard and a Kestrel

A Cuckoo was excellent on the east side of Ottergear Bridge, I was initially attracted to it by hearing it calling it's 'gowk' call as something I've not heard before, both sexes of the Cuckoo utter this harsh repeated call in excitement.
An interesting sight was that of c.6 House Martin and 4 Swift high overhead at 400m flying south as if purposefully on migration, then wheeling around for some time. Some more obvious behaviour of 'hyrundines' later off Rigg Lane, was up to 100 Swallow/Swift/House Martin overhead attracted to insects, the result of a tractor cutting a grass field.

Four-spotted Chaser. Warren Baker @ Pittswood Patch

Non birds were up to 6 Four-spotted Chaser over Birk Bank bog, and a nice Small Copper butterfly on the top of Birk Bank.

The Painted Lady.

The UK is bracing itself for an influx of Painted Lady butterflies with the potential for millions of them coming in from southern Europe. The last mass migration of these beauties was in 2009 when an estimated 11 million of them descended widely across the UK, and when I myself counted 149 on Clougha/Birk Bank in a survey on 30 May.....Eyes up and look in!!


Findlay Wilde said...

I still haven't seen a dragonfly yet this year, so I think that is my mission for this weekend.

Warren Baker said...

Plenty of Stonechat in Wales Pete, I'll post a few images of them soon :-) I look forward to the PL invasion!

Pete Woodruff said...

These were my first Findlay.

Thanks for keeping up with Birds2blog, I appreciate it.

Good to hear about the Welsh Stonechats, look forward to seeing the images Warren.

Paul Foster said...

Hope you're right about the PL peter,I well remember the the last invasion....most welcome!!!

Ps keep up the blog reports, always enjoy your daily travels!!

Pete Woodruff said...

The longest butterfly migration in the world, almost twice as long as that of the Monarch butterfly.

Thank you for the kind remark about Birds2blog Paul, it did wonders for me.

Richard Pegler said...

A female Four-spotted Chaser was my first dragonfly of the year last Thursday, Pete. I was really excited by it. It was only a week prior to that that I saw my first damselfly of the year!

Yesterday, a local birder (county recorder) was commenting to me about the worrying lack of Willow Warbler locally this year. I admit that I hadn't noticed, but I'll be keeping my eyes open now.

Best wishes - - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

I've not not noted anything to indicate any lack Of Willow Warbler myself, and not seen any mention elsewhere regarding what you say about the comments from your local recorder which is interesting.

Thanks for this Richard.

Brian Rafferty said...

Nice to see stonechats on Clougha and Cuckoo in the area.I am also looking forward to the predicted invasion of Painted Lady.Good to read of your excursions into Bowland.Keep up the good work Pete.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, Stonechats and Cuckoo on Clougha/Birk Bank, numbers of Spotted Flycatcher in the Tower Lodge area of Bowland, and millions of Painted Lady hopefully on their way to the UK.

Things are looking good.

Thanks Brian.