Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Breath Of Bowland.

Back for a breath of Bowland on Wednesday, the day was cloudy and a little dull at times, but calm and mild made it pleasant enough.

I had decided to give Hawthornthwaite Fell a little time, and was rewarded by finding a pair of Stonechat, primarily the reason I went up there. Reasonably obvious this was the pair I saw twice this year, on 23 June, and 4 September when they had a young bird accompanying them, the only pair I found on here this year. Also of note here, 13 Red Grouse, and 16 Meadow Pipit chasing off a Kestrel.

I estimated at least 100 Fieldfare in the Cam Brow/Fellside Farm area on my way to spend three hours between Marshaw and Tower Lodge, where I noted just 14 birds of 9 species. I've done notes before on Birds2blog about the scarcity of common birds in an area like - and as good as - this so won't repeat myself again this time.

Dipper David Cookson

Two Dipper were seen flying down the Marshaw Wyre, one in pursuit of the other, a Grey Wagtail was on here too, as was a Grey Heron quietly staring into the water for a meal. Up the track from Tower Lodge, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, and a Jay, a single Blue Tit, Coal Tit, and Great Tit were the only three I saw.

Goldcrest David Cookson

I had an excellent count of 6 Goldcrest flitting through the branches above Tower Lodge. 

A quick look over Blea Tarn Reservoir above Lancaster had me find 2 Pochard drakes, with Mallard and Tufted Duck present.

The Meadow Pipit.

Many of the Meadow Pipits from Britain winter in Iberia, birds from Iceland and Scandinavia also pass through Britain in the autumn, but I was taken by surprise when I saw 16 Meadow Pipit chasing a kestrel above Hawthornthwaite Fell today. Passage of the Meadow Pipit is usually over by mid-October, and any birds I see by November are regarded as wintering birds, very few of which remain in the uplands during the winter months, so what were these birds doing here on Wednesday. I was in touch with Bryan Yorke who himself has noted what he has referred to as late passage Meadow Pipits and is wondering what is going on, he was still recording them on Thursday when 111 went over his visible migration watch-point on Hutton Roof. I was grateful to Bryan for passing on to me his record of a pair of Stonechat on Dalton Crags, hopefully set to winter there.


Fly Agaric. Pete Woodruff.

I found this aged fungi Amanita muscaria at the base of a Pine at Marshaw. The Fly Agaric is poisonous and contains small amounts of muscarine which causes sweat-induced poisoning that may be severe in some cases, though rarely fatal it's definitely not a good idea to eat this fungi.

Thanks to DC for the much appreciated and excellent Dipper and Goldcrest, and to PT for the Fieldfare header. 

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

The Mipits are hanging around here a bit later than normal Pete, even being joined by others.