Saturday, 13 May 2017

Catchers & Chats.

Thursdays hunt was for the Flycatcher and the Stonechat. 

At Barbondale I found 5 Pied Flycatcherthey were seen as a pair, two male, and a female, but despite my hanging around to pair up the single birds I failed to do so, but reckon three pairs here to date.

Redstart Brian Rafferty 

Twenty two other species in the 2.5 hours here included, 4 Redstart all male, 4 Robin, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wren, a singing male BlackcapTree Pipit, Wheatear, Treecreeper, and a Mistle Thrush. Two butterflies seen were a Small Copper and an Orange Tip.

The plan was that I now went to Newby Moor, another former chat stronghold where my records show that I notably found 11 Stonechat on a cold winters day nine years ago on 12 February 2008, I have doubts that number will ever happen again during the breeding season let alone in mid-winter. 

Today's visit to Newby Moor was my first since 27 May last year, and I was pleased to find 5 Stonechat, being two pairs and a lone male for the fifteen minutes I had it in my sights waiting for a female to show. Also of note, at least 20 Meadow Pipit, 4 Willow Warbler, and 2 Reed Bunting. On the River Wenning below Clapham Station, a Grey Wagtail, and a little less expected 2 Redshank. I also saw 7 Orange Tip in as many minutes, and a Red Admiral was my first this summer.

Whinchat at Newby Moor. 

In addition to being a Stonechat stronghold, Newby Moor was also good for Whinchat, and in the days when I was in the area on a regular basis I collected records during the summer each time I visited. Some peak counts for Whinchat here included, 15 on 2 Aug 2000, 7 on 4 Aug 2001, 10 on 3 Aug 2002. These kind of numbers of Whinchat certainly cannot be found around the Newby Moor area today and my recent visits here have produced no sightings at all including today's.    

Thanks to Richard for the excellent male Pied Flycatcher header, and to Brian for his equally excellent male Redstart.  

1 comment:

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. An excellent day for you at one of your favourite locations.Barbondale is a very special place and somewhere I haven't been for a number of years.You had a good day,nice to hear the pied flys and redstarts are back.Enjoy the excellent birding conditions at this busy time and take care