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BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND..........STONECHAT HAWTHORNTHWAITE FELL PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Langden Brook.

The trek up Langden Brook during the week, didn't have the result I was hoping for, if only for the fact I only got to the half way point when I should have then gone on to the upper track via Holdren Castle, but had to do a 'U' turn to return via the same lower track.

Langden Valley From Holdren Castle. Pete Woodruff. 

I noted 19 species including, a Nuthatch in the trees which line the road at the start of the walk, 2 Swallow were hawking over the field here, something wrong with the Swallow this year, I've personally seen little more than a double figure to date over five visits to Bowland. 

Soon out on to the Langden track, 4 Stonechat were seen as a male and three juvenile, also a Common Sandpiper was on the brook with 2 Grey Wagtail seen, 4 singing male Blackcap and good number of Willow Warbler in song. I only managed to see a disappointing 3 Meadow Pipit, and 3 Raven were together soaring high overhead. Butterflies were, 6 Small Heath, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, and a Red Admiral was on a young Oak.

Common Green Grasshopper. Pete Woodruff.

Both insects were green, a Common Green Grasshopper....


Green Tiger Beetle. Pete Woodruff.

....and a Green Tiger Beetle, a vicious little winged predator which can move at a speed of up to 60cm per second on bare ground, they build a burrow and ambush ground-living insects such as ants.

The Sykes Farm House Martins.

I called at Sykes Farm on my way to Langden Brook, to confirm if I still had previously granted permission to look around the buildings to check the House Martins if I called back later in the afternoon. I learned that some of the property is now privately occupied and so was out of bounds for close scrutiny.

As things turned out I wasn't able to call back, but the last time I was in the area was on 31 May 2017, when I had noted up to 45 nests around the farm complex, and established c.15 nests occupied, most of the other nests were from previous years and I saw no activity during a stake out at the rear of the property. but I did see birds flying to nest holes as I drove past on Wednesday.

Hawthornthwaite Fell.

Noted on a brief visit, a male Stonechat was accompanied by a female close by, and up to 20 Sand Martin appear to have taken to a new colony, but I need to return at a later date for more detail. The Sand Martin were in pursuit of a female Merlin which took off from the ground as I made my return off the fell. 


Swallowtail Moth

Ian was pleased to find a Swallowtail Moth in his garden where he got this record shot in the half light. Not a major find, but a moth quite unlike any other British species with a 'tail' on each hindwing.

3 comments:

Richard Pegler said...

The Langden Valley looks wonderful, Pete - how I'd love to be there!

I know, from experience, how fast those Green Tiger Beetles can move, and how difficult they can be to photograph.

Sorry to hear of your disappointing news about Sykes Farm visitin rights, but pleased to know that you recently established that the House Martins were still there.

Swallow-tailed Moth is classed as 'common' in these parts, but I've never had the pleasure!

Best wishes - take great care - - - Richard

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete. Swallows in Bowland? Since lockdown has been eased I’ve been looking around Dinkling/Whitewell a couple of times a week. Since the weather changed to wet there’s been a greatly reduced number of curlew; back to Lune estuary? But on Saturday morning just up the road from Whitewell on a field adjacent to Higher Lees, we saw many, many swallows. Possibly 150/200. They were flying low among a herd of young beef cattle. They were literally over the fence from us (20ft) feeding on low flying insects. It was mesmerising. As the cattle moved, the swallows followed. Like a moving carpet.
Michael (we’ve crossed paths from time to time at Conder). Keep safe.............

Pete Woodruff said...

Richard....As always I note your input with interest. I do hope your 'works' at the house are continuing without problems.

Please Take Care, this Covid thing is going to be a long haul.

Michael....I've also noted your comments with interest. A pity I can't place you in my mind from seeing you at Conder Green from time to time.

Take Care.

Pete.