Sunday, 5 June 2016

Another Bowland Safari.

On Friday I was off to Bowland again to walk up the Langden Valley and return via the top track by Holdren Castle.

Langden Valley viewed from Holdren Castle. Pete Woodruff. 

Well worth the effort for me, if only that I found a pair of Stonechat and three young, not the number I was hoping for to be found up here, but thankful for small mercies. A Common Sandpiper was on Langden Brook, as were 5 Grey Wagtail, with Oystercatcher breeding including a pair with a well grown young, House Martins were hawking over and around the brook. Other birds noted, 6 Wren, 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Curlew, BlackcapGoldcrestDunnock, and a kestrel the only raptor seen.

Grey Wagtail Brian Rafferty  

Three hours on the Hareden track was equally rewarded, again if only that I found 4 Stonechat up here, seen as a pair with a single young, and a lone male, probably with the female on the nest. The days tally totalled 11 Grey Wagtail seen, with six on Hareden Brook to add to the Langden five. In the Hareden Farm and surrounding area, a few House Martin around the farm, 2 Blackcap, 2 Blackbird, Goldfinch, and Wren. Once on the moor, I found only a total of 7 Meadow Pipit on the day with just two up Hareden, also a stunning male Lesser Redpoll took me by surprise as it landed on a fence post ahead of me. I saw 2 Curlew and later 2 Buzzard soaring overhead as I reached the limit of my walk, on my way back
 a Dipper seen on the brook. Four Small Heath on Hareden were the only butterflies seen all day. 

Green Tiger Beetle. Pete Woodruff.

The Green Tiger Beetle is a common ground beetle of moorland which I usually find up here in bright sunny conditions during the summer. It's a fast and agile hunter, running across the ground to catch its invertebrate prey, it is well equipped to tackle its prey with a ferocious set of jaws - not visible in my pic - and long legs that give it an impressive turn of speed to be one of our fastest insects, they also have the advantage of being able to fly. 

Thanks to Richard and to Brian for their excellent Yellow and Grey Wagtail images, much appreciated.


Noushka said...

Thanks for your visit, Pete, always a pleasure to read you :)
The Green tiger beetle doesn't look like much but when you see the jaws up close, all of a sudden you feel sorry for its prey!!! LOL! We've got them here too, I think they are quite pretty!
Keep well and enjoy your sunday :)

Paul Foster said...

Hell of a track Peter,you really are dedicated.

Great to hear of the Stonechat with young,lets hope they make a good comeback upon the fells!!

Marc Heath said...

Never knowingly seen a Green Tiger Beetle. I will have to keep my eyes open for them. Keep up the good work matey.

Pete Woodruff said...

Noushka....Thank you for your visit too. I'll be in touch.

Paul....Yes strenuous, but the enjoyment overrides it all. The Stonechat isn't doing all that well according to my observations despite five years on, but like you, lets hope.

Marc....I love the GTB, it's a brilliant little brute.