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

Sunday, 28 February 2021


The 2021 spring passage of Stonechat is unprecedented, best described as phenomenal, and appears to be raging on.

To date I have records of 162 Stonechats, collected by 18 birders, predominantly on the Fylde coast with some interesting inland birds, at least at 25 locations. The ever reliable AC has himself found at least 63 individuals over the ten days since he first told me about his first two migrant Stonechats seen on 18 February at Knott End and Pilling. Thanks Andrew, this is much appreciated.

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On Friday I joined the band of folk taking their exercise allowance. I clambered the uphill track to search the top of Birk Bank to see if any Stonechats had arrived to take up breeding territories. It took 2 hours on Birk Bank to find my first male at the far end before I dropped down to go over Ottergear Bridge. It took me another two hours to find a pair of Stonechat, by which time I had almost reached the car park four hours after I had arrived there.

I suppose most people would find it hard to believe fours hours in Bowland would result in finding just 9 species of birds....but thats upland birding.

Twelve Goldfinch were in the trees at the car park, 4 Robin, also 3 Wren and 2 Mistle Thrush all heard singing, Buzzard and 8 Red Grouse. I caught sight of 2 Raven which soon disappeared from view behind a ridge. It was pure delight to hear the call and melancholy whistle of a Curlew, highlight of the day.  

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I'm looking forward to my first visit to Birk Bank bog this summer, to hopefully see amongst other odonata, the Keeled Skimmer here for my fifth successive year.

The header pik is of the stunning sunrise over Clougha on Tuesday morning at 8.10am, seen between the rooftops from our bedroom window. 


Richard Pegler said...

It took me a while to get through your first video on this post, Pete! At the beginning, I started feeling queezey with your quite long footage pointing down at the ground as you walked. You then moved to that beautiful tumbling stream, and the running water meant that I had to disappear to the loo!

As soon as I saw the setting of the second clip, before I found your notes underneath, I knew I was looking at a dragonfly spot that I'd love to visit. I wish you the very best of luck with the Keeled Skimmers.

Super sunset header

Best wishes - stay safe - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

No chance of a nomination for an Oscar here then Richard!!

Barry Dyson said...

Thanks for these videos Peter as Birk bank is not a place I get to in the winter. I shall look forward to you taking videos of the Purple Hairstreaks there, not forgetting the confiding Golden-ringed dragonflies by the nearby River Conder.

I can add one more Stonechat to the Fylde bonanza, that of a stunning male at Little Singleton, SD368392 on 21/2/21.

Best wishes


Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this Barry....The video format was a bit of an experiment, the result of which I didn't think quite made the grade, I reckon it needs more practice, but really pleased you enjoyed it. Can't wait to find the GRD's Skimmers, and the Hairstreaks later in the year.

Thanks for the additional Stonechat at Little Singleton Barry.