Monday, 9 January 2017

Top Ten!

A brilliant day last Thursday in more ways than one, wall to wall sun, and the temperature not getting much above freezing if at all. The sort of day I'm spurred on to get into the hills, so off I went to check out the landscape on Clougha and Birk Bank. 

Stonechat. Howard Stockdale.

I was only out of the car park and on to the track for 5 minutes to find my first of an excellent 10 Stonechat in the four and a half hours here. Even more interesting, with the exception of the 'car park' bird, none was found in an area I've recently seen them before, they were seen as two pairs, four female, and two male, these are excellent record's of wintering Stonechat finally caught up with in the Clougha/Birk Bank area, and whilst singing Alleluia and chewing on a Mars Bar, a toast to the birds from my bottle of Ribena was in order.

This is my first double figure count of Stonechat on Clougha/Birk Bank in more than 7 years when I found ten birds on 12 October 2009, and all of this is a good excuse for more Stonechat pik's on Birds2blog, thanks for sending these to me Howard.

Also here, I counted at least 19 Red Grouse, 6 Robin, 2 Blackbird, and a Wren. A small group of winter thrushes were in a field off Rigg Lane in the fading light, I reckon up to 50 Fieldfare and 10 Redwing.

Not a single raptor was seen in this area of the Forest of Bowland today, but before I left home a Buzzard was low over Bowerham, seen from the kitchen window.

Thanks to Chris for the header image of the 1st winter Chiffchaff at Knott End mid-December. 


Richard Pegler said...

Knowing how much you love Stonechats, Pete, I imagine this was a brilliantly encouraging start to 2017 for you. I hope it continues to be so satisfying.

Best wishes - - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

I had the feeling they were all over the place Richard, something I've not experienced getting on for ten years now, I saw the last four in quick time.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. An excellent start to your New Year's Birding.Nice to see the stonechats seem to be on the up!! Hopefully this will be one of many bird filled days for you as you record the comings and goings on the coast and up in Bowland.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, certainly a very good start Brian, and looks like the Stonechat may now be coming back into it's own as our area's stronghold for them's hoping.