Monday, 5 December 2016

Then There Was Nine!

Stonechat. Ana Minguez Naturanafotos  

It might have taken me a couple of hours, but it was good to eventually find 4 Stonechat on Harrisend, the result being nine pairs of Stonechat now on record wintering at four locations I've visited recently in Bowland. Hardly numbers to get ecstatic about, but thankful for small mercies on a species which has yet to return to anything like pre 2009 status.

Harrisend is a giant sponge in the boggy areas where the water drains off the fell, as I got out of the car, the drainage into one roadside ditch could be heard gushing, quite amazing the amount of water considering the dry spell of late. At least 11 Red Grouse seen, and my second recent upland Jack Snipe went into the air ahead of me, with a Common Snipe seen, a Buzzard was the only raptor on the visit.

I decided to come back down to Lancaster and do a circuit of Aldcliffe before the daylight began to fade, during which time I saw 15 Blackbird. No surprises, and definitely no exotica, with a Little Egret on the flood, 13 Moorhen, and a few hundred Black-headed Gull in the fields where the farmer was spreading, along the hedgerow bordering the flood, a good number of Fieldfare and Redwing seen. Drying up after the flood, the area and Wildfowlers Pool had a few Redshank and 3 Snipe feeding out in the open. 

Freeman's Pools had 2 Goldeneye and 2 Gadwall of note on a quick scan, and on the marsh, an estimated even mix totaling 600 Canada Geese and Greylag of which two were collar marked - probably more given a bit more time - and duly reported, c.800 Pink-footed Geese were in the air over in the west somewhere between Heaton and the Heysham bypass.

Thanks for your excellent and much appreciated 'Spanish' male Stonechat image Ana. 


Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful photo of the Stonechat.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks Bob....Ana does excellent photography, and I'm very fortunate to be allowed to use her images on Birds2blog which never fail to liven up an often otherwise dull post.