Sunday, 6 September 2015

To The Hills.

With a visit to Harrisend well overdue - the last one on 23 June - I decided to get myself up there on Friday.

Stonechat. Howard Stockdale.

As it turned out a good decision, in three hours skirting the fell I found 8 Stonechat, they were seen as two pairs both with two young showing, possibly more young at both sightings given time observing them, but an excellent result. 

Also, of the other nine species seen, raptors were represented by 6 Buzzard and a lone Kestrel, game birds, 11 Red Grouse, and the others, 7 Meadow Pipit, 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren, a Robin, Blue Tit, and a lone Swallow over.

Butterflies on Harrisend, a Painted Lady, 7 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Peacock, and 2 Small Copper

Heather On Hawthornthwaite. Pete Woodruff.

The Heather was looking good on the fells too...'clik the pik' it looks even better. 

On Hawthornthwaite I found a pair of Stonechat with one young seen, and although I spent just one hour here I saw 7 Red Grouse, 2 Meadow Pipit, and a hovering KestrelAs I approached Marshaw c.40 Goldfinch exploded off the thistles.

Although I've made only two visits to Harrisend and Hawthornthwaite Fells during the breeding season this year, I'm confident that only two pairs have bred on Harrisend, and one pair on Hawthornthwaite in the areas covered in 2015. Next year I must get back into the routine of regular coverage of the fells to survey the Stonechats which I've neglected since they disappeared during the severe winter weather of 2009-10 which took it's toll on these upland birds, and in the case of Clougha/Birk Bank have to date made little or no significant return.

Thanks to Richard for the header image of Black-throated Divers, and to Howard for yet another excellent shot of the Stonechat gem.