Monday, 24 October 2016

Chat's And Fare's.

Stonechat Marc Heath  

The weather was too good to miss an opportunity on Saturday, and there was no way I could have resisted the temptation to get up Birk Bank for a circuit which turned out to be a brilliant idea 'cos I eventually found 6 Stonechat on the top, three of which were male and all six looking set to winter here, a future visit will hopefully confirm this.

Fieldfare. Martin Lofgren @ Wild Bird Gallery

After seeing at least 250 Fieldfare in the air just minutes after I left the car park on Rigg Lane, in the four hours I was in the area, I was regularly seeing flocks, some quite large, but impossible to know the total number in the area, but if not the initial marauding 250, several hundred were seen.

As I walked along the board-walk, I caught a glimpse of a dragonfly over the bog, Black Darter, one of two other dragonflies - the Common Darter and Migrant Hawker - which can be seen on the wing until the first frosts.

Having noted every bird seen over the four hours, 3 Wren, 2 Robin, 2 Coal Tit, a Mistle Thrush, and a 'few' corvids, the tally not including the winter thrushes - was no more than 25 birds of 8 species. Well....this is upland birding.

Red Grouse. Pete Woodruff.

This was one of only three Red Grouse seen, it was very confiding as it walked towards me along the gravel path and stood by me calling ocassionally with it's loud bouncing bark ending with a trill. I could have picked the bird up if I'd wanted to, it seemed otherwise healthy, made no attempt to fly, and was considerably smaller than the adult it appeared to be, I concluded this was a retarded bird. 

An all time record of 40 Goldfinch were in our garden on Friday afternoon.

Thanks to Marc and Martin for their excellent images.


Noushka said...

Ooohh how I would love to see those grouses!!
On the other hand I saw a few Stonechats on the Atlantic coast they seem to have done well this season.
A nice post Pete!
Enjoy your day :)

Pete Woodruff said...

I saw at least 13 Red Grouse yesterday in the first 30 minutes on a moor in the North of England. Good to hear of your Stonechats on the Atlantic coast.

Thanks for this Noushka.