BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE HEATHER CLAD. FORMER LANCASHIRE STONECHAT STRONGHOLD. PETE WOODRUFF

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Better Late Than Never....Again.

I gave Heysham a couple of hours up to high tide on Wednesday, to check both outfalls prior to the tide coming in, check the harbour, and watch a ferry coming in to dock, to find nothing of note, but being mobbed repeatedly by a Herring Gull as I got towards the south wall, dive bombing whilst calling it's repeated and loud 'kyow' and distinctive 'gag-ag-ag' and intent on making contact with my head but didn't quite actually do so....a pretty unpleasant experience.


Mediterranean Gull. Stuart Piner.

I eventually found 2 Mediterranean Gull, an adult and 1st summer on Red Nab, and aAtlantic Grey Seal seen between the outfalls. Noted coming back through the nature park, a Chiffchaff, Linnet and Common Blue butterfly.


Stonechat. Paul A Walk On The Wild Side Foster

So....not over-rewarded by my visit to Heysham, I was off up to the fringe of Bowland and over the top of Birk Bank with a decent little variety of birds to be found, not least of which were 9 Stonechat seen as two pairs, and a family of five birds too distant to sex/age but certainly no adult male seen with them, so five juvenile or maybe a female and four. Of particular note were 16 Willow Warbler seen/heard, of which up to ten were in the car park at Rigg Lane and included young being fed, and where a Garden Warbler was singing again as it was 24 May when I was there.

I noted a large number of Carrion Crow in the air over Birk Bank, with a single Raven, at least 7 Swift over, and a hovering Kestrel was the only raptor seen. I found young of Great Tit, Coal Tit, and Long-tailed Tit, and flushed a pair of Red Grouse with two young from the undergrowth, but that wasn't as spectacular as the pair with ten young flushed on 24 May on Clougha.

Other birds in an enjoyable three hours up here, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Wren, 2 Blackcap, 2 Curlew on a wall probably had young, a Mistle Thrush and a single Siskin flying distant away from me towards Gibson Wood and out of view. Though it was cloudy, 3 Four-spotted Chaser were over the bog with more ovipositing seen.

Definitely a better day up the hill than down it, and there had to be another Stonechat pic....didn't there!!   

Thanks to Stuart and Paul for their excellent images, and to Noushka for the Black Tern header, a brilliant bird in a brilliant image. 

2 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Enjoyed some ''up the hill'' species myself last week in Wales pete :-) fantastic !

Pete Woodruff said...

You mean 'up hill species' like your stunning male Whinchat....WOW!!

Good to see you 'back at work' Warren.