Sunday, 29 August 2021
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
The first confirmed record of the Brown Hairstreak in Lancashire, came from the Silverdale area in 2011, and was the result of an unauthorised release. The species is restricted to the south, the nearest colonies being in Worcestershire c.150 miles away from Silverdale. A colony has now been established at Gait Barrows, and is recorded annually for 4 years since 2017. However it is noted, the species is not fully protected, and unofficial releases are strongly discouraged by Butterfly Conservation.
Yesterday I was in the excellent company of Steve Graham, he had agreed to accompany me on a guided butterfly safari.
The day started a little sluggish, but within the hour Steve was soon showing his skill to me, and finding an egg resembling Sea Urchin tucked away under a spur branch.
From then on, the day turned into a Brown Hairstreak spectacular, we had six sightings of this elusive butterfly, three individuals around and in the tree tops, and three at lower ground level.
Other butterflies seen continued the dearth, and were particularly worrying, with just singular Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, with 6 Speckled Wood, 2 Brimstone, and a Sliver Y moth.
Dragonflies seen, at least 6 Common Darter, a few sightings of Migrant Hawker, and a Brown Hawker.
Birds sighting were, 2 Buzzard and a Raven overhead, a small flock of Long-tailed Tit in flight between trees, Bullfinch and Great-spotted Woodpecker.
I managed to grab a shot of our young garden Robin this morning, 3 Buzzard were soaring together over Bowerham, and about 5 Long-tailed Tit looking interested in the feeders according to the Woodruff's.
Sunday, 22 August 2021
Someone stepped onto the viewing platform at Conder Green on Friday, and started a conversation by asking if there was anything interesting here. Obviously a visitor to the area, he went on to ask how long the pool had been in existence. I explained, the first mention in my records was in June 2003, when at the time of my first ever visit, I had thought perhaps it was a good idea to call it Conder Pool, a name that was adopted and has stuck for 18 years.
I made an all time record high count of 19 Greenshank on Friday, ten are seen here in the video....It's a pity the busy A5290 runs parallel with Conder Pool.
Some of the c.200 Redshank and Common Tern seen in this video, including a juvenile with a fish at which a Black-headed Gull makes an attempt to steal, but the tern flies off with its meal. Also in the clip, one of the 3 Black-tailed Godwit seen. I also counted 11 Little Grebe and 12 Tufted Duck, and a Kingfisher which gave good views perched at the back of the pool.
A circuit of Conder Green was rewarded by good views of a Reed Warbler in the reeds upstream of the road bridge, and up to 30 House Martin were around River Winds which usually has a decent colony of breeders annually. I made a count of 22 Small Tortoiseshell on the round.
On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, at least 400 Redshank and 650 Lapwing seen, with 72 Curlew, an adult winter Mediterranean Gull, and an adult Common Tern fishing and occasionally plunge diving. Interesting that I saw not a single Dunlin here today. A Brown Hawker was the only sighting along the canal at Glasson Dock.
A young Robin and Dunnock seen this week, also this morning, the Wren and Coal Tit put in an appearance.
Sunday, 15 August 2021
Wednesday, 11 August 2021
A look in on Conder Pool yesterday produced the kind of interest you come to expect here. Thirteen Common Tern seen, heading toward the climax of their breeding season, with eight adult and five young seen, four of which have yet to fledge, though I'd be surprised if they didn't do so soon after I left, with wing flapping lifting the birds a metre off the pontoon at times.
One of the adult Common Tern has a metal ring on the lower right leg, it is one of three around at the moment, and one having been read was ringed as a chick at Shotton, Flintshire in 2017.
Conder Pool held a decent count of 11 Greenshank, with 3 Avocet seen as an adult with two juvenile. Also 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Little Grebe, and a Swift seen as it zoomed over the old iron railway bridge, might well be my last of the year. On a circuit to Glasson, an Emperor Dragonfly was on Saltcote Pond, with 2 Common Darter and Blue-tailed Damselfly, also a Sparrowhawk over.
On a walk along the marsh edge to Glasson Dock, the butterflies put on a bit of a show for me at last, all nectaring on Sea Lavender, with 12 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Common Blue, 2 Green-veined White, a Gatekeeper, Comma, and Meadow Brown.
In the last 15 minutes of exposed mud on the Lune Estuary as the tide flowed in, c.400 Redshank and 48 Dunlin, 18 Little Egret were on the southern tip of Colloway Marsh. Up to 30 Swallow and 2 Sand Martin were hawking over the canal basin.
Thanks to Howard for the Knot header image. Howard has news of up to 3,000 Knot arriving in the Netherlands, and is looking forward to a similar arrival here in the UK soon.
Sunday, 8 August 2021
I was on the western side of Hawthornthwaite Fell during the week, and got to around 400m before finding the first of 4 Stonechat seen on the visit. It was a female, and was the highest Stonechat I ever found on this fell, before soon disappearing from view. Also to note, 6 Red Grouse, 8 Meadow Pipit, a Kestrel, and a lone Sand Martin over Catshaw Greave. Butterflies seen, 3 Peacock and a Small Heath. A check of the small pool by the nearby plantation at the foot of Catshaw Fell, a male Common Darter, a Blue-tailed Damselfly, and 3 Small Copper.
On the eastern side of Hawthornthwaite, I found 7 Stonechat, these were seen as a distant pair, both scolding and almost certainly with skulking young, another pair were seen with 3 young. The low numbers of pipits seen on the uplands of Bowland recently, continued with just 3 Meadow Pipit here today, a single Red Grouse, Buzzard and Kestrel. When I got back to the motor at Marshaw, a Grey Wagtail was on the Marshaw Wyre.
As a contradiction to the claim of the dearth of butterflies seen this year, I probably saw at least 150 Large White on the day, with a few Small White, and 4 Green-veined White identifiable at close range.
On the moorland edge, I found a container hidden in the long grass, the container held a moth. Thinking to myself, maybe this is a decent discovery, lost by a lepidopterist, and might turn out to be something rare.
The Glorious Twelfth.
If you're a Red Grouse rejoice, I have excellent news for you.
If you are living in the fear of soon being driven by the beaters, and then blasted out of the skies, you can take comfort from knowing it isn't going to happen this year. That's because there isn't going to be any shoots anywhere in the country in 2021.
Fear not, and take it from me, it's official....The Glorious Twelfth Is Cancelled.
The header image serves the purpose of some successful resizing, and is appropriate for the subject of my post. Brilliant shot of the Stonechat Martin, much appreciated.
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
....No, this is Bowland Gold.
Grizedale Bridge-Holme Wood.
I stood by Grizedale Brook for almost two hours yesterday, relocating four times between Grizedale Bridge and Holme Wood, during which I had sightings of 13 Golden-ringed Dragonfly. The sight of these brilliant creatures flying past me up and downstream, was a magical and relaxing experience.
I think it was maybe a little over zealous of me to regard five of the sightings as duplicated, but the record now has to read, 8 Golden-ringed Dragonflies seen. This record brings the total to fourteen at four locations, found in our recording area in one month.
A Common Hawker came to rest on the opposite side of the stream. Four Raven were overhead, and a Peregrine Falcon was in hunting mode. Butterflies of note, 4 Green-veined White, with numbers of Large White on the day.
A couple of hours on Harrisend resulted in my finding 18 Stonechat, including 9 young seen, with one female feeding a begging young. This record has evidence of at least three breeding pairs, but I reckon I failed to find more young, with skulking and a lot of movement evident.
With the exception of one recent major surprise in 2020*, todays record represents the highest count of Stonechat at any one location in our recording area since the status of the species declined following the two severe winters of 2009/10/11.
Some records I traced to back up this claim....
2006 June: 27 Stonechat Cross of Greet
2006 Aug: 19 Stonechat Barbondale
2008 June: 19 Stonechat Harrisend
2008 Oct: 22 Stonechat Harrisend
2020 Aug: 18 Stonechat Caton Moor *
Also seen, a Kestrel and Buzzard showing off its hanging on the wing capabilities to the full, also 6 Meadow Pipit and 2 Willow Warbler noted.
Butterfly records continue to be sparse with today being no exception, but it was pleasing to find my first Painted Lady, being just one of a handful of reports I've seen this year. Also, 3 Small Copper, 2 Small Heath, 2 Meadow Brown, and a Peacock.
Sunday, 1 August 2021
Not something I've ever looked for, but no birding, and no blogging for me this week, you cannot be serious!....I've entered the record for inclusion in the Guinness Book Of Records.
But I did get something conclusive about a couple of puzzles I needed to solve.