Thursday, 26 April 2018

D For Disaster.

Well, not really a disaster, that's just me being as dramatic as I can.  

I rarely gamble with the weather if I'm planning some birding, but on Tuesday I did just that and lost the gamble big time. Setting out on the coastal path route from Lancaster to Glasson Dock, only for it to be raining - and windy with it - within 30 minutes of the start at Aldcliffe, and was still doing so in the evening 8 hours later. 

As a result of all this, the birds stayed at home, which is what I should have done, but remarkably some birds did sing in the wet and windy gloom as I went on my way, and 6 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap did. The only bird I saw of any note on Freeman's Pools was a lone Goldeneye, 2 Jay were on the edge of Freeman's Wood, I don't recall the last time I saw two together if I ever did, and I counted 14 Blackbird along the way.

When I arrived at Glasson Dock, up to 40 Sand Martin were hawking over the canal basin as I clambered not a little soggy onto the bus for Lancaster.

Butterfly Revival 

I saw a butterfly on the wing on Tuesday, too brief to identify for certain, though I reckon a Peacock. If the weather continues at this time of the year and into the summer months as it did in 2017, the butterfly revival will again be in jeopardy.

The butterfly revival was dashed by wet and gloomy weather in 2017. Even though butterfly numbers were up on 2016, which was the fourth worst year on record, two declining species, the Grizzled Skipper and Grayling both had their worst ever year in 2017, recording their lowest numbers since records began. 

But it isn't just the butterflies....The once common Garden Tiger moth has seen it's number fall by a staggering 92% since the late 1960's, and many other moth species are struggling.

If your interest is such, you can read more results of a study of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme Here 


Richard Pegler said...

The butterfly situation in 2017 looks like a story of 'ups' and 'downs', Pete, and is, nevertheless, worrying. I too fear that 2018 is not going to be any better. Although I saw Dingy Skipper in 2017 in a location it usually shares with Grizzled Skipper, I didn't see Grizzled Skipper. Weather hasn't been suitable to check this year when I've been available - it's 60 miles from home and needs promise of a full day of fine weather to justify the trip.

Best wishes - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

Not a cat in hell's chance of a butterfly where I've been today Richard, and not one tomorrow either if the forecast is anything to go by.