Friday, 7 April 2017

A Hike Up The Pike.

On Tuesday Mike and I started out on our 'Brilliant But Disastrous' day on Clougha Pike 413m (1355ft) above sea level.

Willow Warbler. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann  

In the car park on Rigg Lane 4 Willow Warbler were in song, one of which was seen off by the resident Robin, also noted, 2 Long-tailed Tit and a Blue Tit.

As we approached Ottergear Bridge we could here the song of a Mistle Thrush, but it took some searching to find the tree it was atop. The acoustics of the area this bird was in were such that the birds song was more resounding than I've ever heard a Mistle Thrush in full song before and carried on for up to ten minutes before it flew off....pure magic. 

Also magic once on the moorland, was the sight and song of the Curlew, with it's shivering wings and rippling trill on it's descending glide, conjuring up the evocative sounds of the moorland summer. 

A Buzzard was high overhead, with a Sparrowhawk arriving on the scene to mob the bigger bird, later a hovering Kestrel seen. Two Wheatear seen were a male on the east side, with a female seen on the west. A Raven over the summit of Clougha showed off it's mastery of aerial aerobatics to perfection....yet more magic. Interestingly, very few Meadow Pipit were seen, whilst 18 Red Grouse was a decent count.

Driving back to Lancaster, I glimpsed my first Swallow, a single bird in flight over fields along Little Fell Lane.

And a couple more tasty bits.

Thanks to AC for the text with excellent news of a pair of Avocet on Tern Island, Conder Pool Thursday at 11.15am, four weeks and two days earlier than in 2016. Also in an e-mail JW tells me of a pair of Stonechat on Barrow Scout, suspected to be going to breed there.   

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