BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND..................................................................................................................SUNRISE PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday, 10 January 2021

The Ward's Stone Chat.

Ward's Stone is the highest peak in the Forest of Bowland, the trig point stands at 560m. An interesting fact about Ward's Stone, is that another 50m would make it a mountain to join the only other two in Lancashire, Green Hill at 628m, and Cragareth at 627m.

Last Wednesday saw the report of a male Stonechat on Ward's Stone on 6 January.

But checking the grid reference given in the report, I found the sighting of the Stonechat had been at around 420m which gives the record to be on Tarnbrook Fell and not quite the high altitude record as at first thought. However, I have noted this to be the highest altitude of a wintering Stonechat recorded to date in England this winter....ever in my little black book.

I never went any higher than 400m during my years of observations of the Stonechat on Clougha Pike where I found Stonechat breeding at that altitude, but never recorded a wintering bird. 

Of note, the highest altitude record for breeding Stonechat in the UK stands at 590m in Cumbria in 1996....(J.Callion) Stonechats. A Guide to the Genus Saxicola. Christopher Helm 2002.


I was sorry to hear Peter Cook had died on 5 January. 

Unknown to me at the time, his love for the Stonechat started at an early age, he had developed an interest in birds at the age of 12. Peter was watching Stonechats, and found some nesting on Heysham Barrows, but went on to write in an article for the LDBWS Annual Report, that he was disappointed they were no longer a regular breeding bird in coastal areas in the area, including Heysham.

Peter took on the role of Secretary for the LDBWS in 2012, where he remained until his death. The Society and birders will miss his presence, and I would like to add my personal sadness at the news of Peter Cook's passing.

From the B+W File

I managed to stalk this Sparrowhawk down to 50m at Cockersand in September 2015.

Thanks to Ana Minguez for the delightful Penduline Tit header....Couldn't resist it.


Richard Pegler said...

I have already started dabbling in B&W, Pete, but I'm not yet ready to share any results, and your delightful Sprawk image might cause me to delay it even longer while I try and hone what little skill I have!

Having heard the government's pleas to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, as of today, I am intending to confine myself to the house and garden. I was out yesterday, and purposely chose places where I thought there would be few people, but there were too many of them and most of them made no attempt at social distancing leaving it to me to step out of the way.

Take great care and stay safe - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

I too now have a greater determination to adhere to the guidelines to the letter, but assure you I'm not going to find it easy. Giving up smoking about 150 years ago was far easier for me than this.

Take Care Stay Safe Richard.

Bob Bushell said...

The Sparrowhawk in b/w is beautiful, lovely picture.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for the compliment on the pik.

By the way....A Very Happy New Year to you Bob.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Pete.. Beautiful picture of sparrow hawk...
In Madrid the situation with the snow is very difficult for the moment...A big historical Snowfall...Oh my God 🙏... Have a great weekend...Be safe...

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for the compliment Ana.

I was going to e-mail you about the 'historical' snowfall, but sounds like you are dealing with it.

Take Care Stay Safe with the other even worse historical event.