BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND.....................................................................................TEMMINCK'S STINT HOWARD STOCKDALE

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Stonechat Records April-June 2022.

Staying home and keeping cool for a couple of days during the heat wave, and since the cooldown no opportunities for any freedom, has given me the opportunity to collate a selection of the second quarter of this years Stonechat records - 100+in total April-June - collected in the main from FBC sightings page. 

The records have shown a surprising number of lowland birds, with the Lancashire Bird Report 2020 claiming Stonechats to be fairly widespread in coastal areas. 

9 April Rossall School possibly late passage?

20 April Blackpool Airport male

20 April St Annes Old Links pair

25 April Blea Tarn 2 birds  

26 May Conder Green male *

12 June Winmarleigh Moss breeding record, adults seen carrying food

17 June Heysham Head female *

25 June St Annes NR 3 birds

25 June Starr Hills 2 birds

25 June Clougha 2 birds

* Stonechats at Conder Green and Heysham Head in May/June are extraordinary, in particular the Conder Green bird. According to my records, there's never been a Stonechat seen here during the breeding season, and almost certainly never at Heysham Head on 17 June.

April-June Records Pete Woodruff.

My Stonechat'ing days and where I go are much restricted now, so nothing comprehensive here, but....

14 April Birk Bank 2xpairs *

29 April Harrisend pair/4 male *

29 April Hawthornthwaite pair/female *

27 May Hawthornthwaite pair/2 male/2 young

16 June Birk Bank juvenile

30 June Birk Bank female/4 young 

* No evidence, but probably breeding


Lancaster Canal.

Since the recent pollution incident which had serious consequences for wildlife, including dead otters and fish, it was rewarding to find the canal at Garstang appears to be reaching some normality again. It was pleasing to find 4 Brown Hawker and 2 Emperor Dragonfly as evidence that it seems no harm had come to the Odonata of this affected section of the canal.

Garden Butterflies.

It was good to find two firsts for the garden, when a Small Skipper and Meadow Brown put in an appearance recently, also nice to see Holly Blue and Comma

I've used the word paucity a couple of times recently to describe my butterfly records recently. I'm claiming no more than 40 have been seen in our butterfly and bee friendly garden since the beginning of summer. This reflects the disaster that might be around the corner, that half of Britain's butterfly species are listed as Threatened or Near Threatened on a new Red List.

Wall Brown. Pete Woodruff.

It's 5 years since I saw my last Wall Brown, it was seen along the coastal path at Cockers Dyke in August 2017.

Tree Wasp.

The 22cm Tree Wasp Dolichovespula sylvestris was munching at the wood on the boardwalk fencing at Birk Bank to digest as paper for nest building. 


Four Spotted Footman. Ian Mitchell.

The Four Spotted Footman featured in my header and above, is thanks to Ian who found it in his trap on Monday. It is a sexually dimorphic moth, only females have the spots which gives the species its name. They are more likely to be found in central and southern Europe, though they are resident along the south-west coast of England and parts of Wales, making Ian's individual a scarce immigrant found in the north of England....I've not yet found out what the disfigurement is on the moth. 

I've seen a couple of moths recently, nothing unusual but worth noting. 

Dark Arches. Pete Woodruff.

The Dark Arches came to rest on the pebbledash on our house....

Purple Bar. Pete Woodruff.

And the Purple Bar was hiding in the undergrowth at Grisedale Bridge.


Ian Mitchell said...

Pete -

I too have seen hardly any butterflies in my garden despite a large amount of Buddleia out at the moment. A male Brimstone flew through very briefly a couple of days ago.
Like you I cannot remember the last time I saw a Wall Brown.
Dark Arches seem quite abundant at the moment, getting several a night in the trap, whereas last year they were quite thin on the ground.
The Four Spotted Footman seemed to have a bald patch where the scales had worn off. I caught one the following night which was a different individual and apparently a few have been turning up lately, must be something to do with the winds and warm weather.
Glad the canal is returning to something like normal.

Thanks for the blog

Stay safe and cool.


Richard Pegler said...

Hi Pete. That's am impressive list of Stonechat observations. Concerning sightings in coastal areas, that is where I have most of my sightings - except in the Outer Hebrides (although one is never that far from the coast anywhere there!).

I was commenting to Lindsay earlier in the week that, although we had flowers on the Buddleia in our garden, we weren't getting butterflies on it. Even the butterflies we did get were ignoring it. However, that has all changed in the last few days. Today we have had Large White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Gatekeeper, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, and Meadow Brown.

Wall Brown is now quite rare in Leicestershire, with only one regular locality as far as I am aware. When we first moved to this house, there was a rural crossroads within walking distance from home where Wall was regularly seen for a few years, but I have not seen one anywhere for many years.

Seen a few day-flying moths lately, but haven't dared put the moth trap out for a few weeks as I just don't have the time or energy to sort the catch. It would be easier if my ID skills on moths were better.

Take good care and stay safe - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

Ian/Richard....Many thanks for your interesting comments which I have noted.

Just one comment in reply to Richard re lowland Stonechat records. The Stonechat was always regarded as a migrant upland breeder in Bowland. I don't know the total count to date of lowland birds, but they are now obviously becoming more common today, including breeding birds.

Regards to both....Pete.

Pete Woodruff said...

Ian....Your Four Spotted Footman suffers from wear and tear - old age - and gone bald, a bit like me really!

shelleynaturalist said...

Hi Pete Interestingly, I caught a 4-spotted Footman about a week ago in Brookhouse. There have been several records around Lancashire recently. It os not clear whether these were all migrants, mine was quite worn, or if it is now breeding in the county? Wall Brown one of my favourbutterflies and sadly getting very scarce especially inland. I remember them coming regular to Buddleia in my Huddersfield garden c20 years ago. Take care Steve

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks Steve. Good to hear from you after your trip down south, with plenty seen to make me turn green again. Looking forward to another outing if that's going to be possible, do keep in touch.

I'm going crazy waiting to see some decent weather for dragons!

Regards Pete.

shelleynaturalist said...

Hi Pete Hope to be in touch soon. Maybe next week. Still busy overseeing the groundworkers at the moment Now got a large crater dug but still needs transforming into a pond yet! Weather picking up againfrom Tuesday. Cheers Steve