Friday, 4 May 2018

Birding On The Edge....

....the edge of winter.

It was more like the beginning of March than May when I made my first visit of the year to Barbondale on Wednesday. Dull with a cold wind, but nothing dull about finding 6 Pied Flycatcher, all mobile and behaving like there was no intention of breeding just yet. In fact I had sightings of nine birds over a period of time, including at one point, two males on the same branch with less than a metre between them. But with lengthy observations, I regarded six birds seen as three pairs.

The 4 Stonechat I found take top spot from the Pied Flycatchers for me, they were seen as two pair. The place held a good number of Willow Warbler, singing within earshot pretty much all the time I was there. I heard up to 6 Redstart, but saw not a single one, 4 Tree Pipit, 2 Wheatear, 2 Mistle Thrush, and of the 3 Nuthatch seen, there was some interaction between two of them. A stunning male Grey Wagtail was on Barbon Beck, where up to 6 Swallow were flying up and down.

Quite a good number of Chaffinch were notable in the area, and 3 Small White butterflies were seen on a day when the weather had me thinking it unlikely.

The Barbondale Stonechat.

When I first started to visit Barbondale a 'few' years ago, if the Stonechats were ever present there I certainly never saw them. But I did begin to find them, eventually in double figures, for example....13 including juveniles on 15 August 2005, and 19 including juveniles on 24 August 2006. Since then numbers fell away to nothing as had been the case historically, until - with the exception of a lone male on 7 May 2015 - today's was the first multiple sighting here since I saw a pair six years ago on 29 May 2012.

Stonechat. Ana Minguez @ Naturanafotos

Nothing short of a brilliant record in my book. Hopefully signs of a come back for the Stonechat at Barbondale, and certainly warrants another excellent image on Birds2blog....Thanks Ana.


Richard Pegler said...

Always good to hear of the possibility of what is one of my favourite birds too making a comeback Pete.

Best wishes - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

Here's hoping....Enjoy the weekend and beyond Richard.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Pete!! Today was with my lovely couple of Stonechats.. The male is really beautiful.. Black head and red heart.. Love and passion in nature.. Beautiful cover image of my friend Antonio..

Have a nice days my friend :-)))

Pete Woodruff said...

Love and Passion in nature to enjoy forever.

Excellent images of the delightful Villa de Madrid, which I hope my readers will see on NATURANAFOTOS.

Have many good days to come Ana.