BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND................................................................................DIPPER BOWLAND 21 MAY PETE WOODRUFF

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Some Good, Some Bad....Very Bad.

With my birding driven into a cul-de-sac for the time being, looking through my records I note the Common Terns have passed their anniversary for arrival at Conder Pool being the first show last year was Saturday 22 April.

The list of dates below show the first ever Common Terns to Conder Pool were very late in the season. Despite this late arrival date, they successfully bred at what is now a well established and renowned location in our recording area....

02 July 2014

22 May 2015 

06 May 2016 

08 May 2017

07 May 2018

05 May 2019

02 May 2020

24 April 2021

24 April 2022

22 April 2023

Like myself and other interested birders, I know a small group of people in particular who will be waiting in anticipation for the arrival of these beautiful birds.

The Good The Bad And The Ugly.

Thanks to a contact the good news is, I have the report of a pair of Ring Ouzel in Bowland. This and the sight of a few Stonechat, is the cause of enthusiasm for me to be there before this week is out.

The bad news is, I am aware of tree felling in the area around the bog at Birk Bank. The 'management work' involves not only taking out trees, but machinery being driven across the bog.

This during the breeding season especially for birds, and also damage to the bog which is the location for dragonflies including the rare Keeled Skimmer which only in recent years has colonised Birk Bank Bog, the first being found 9 years ago.

I'm making slow progress with enquiries, but best I leave it to see if the conversation moves forward before I add anything....Watch this space. 

The Header.

I'm grateful to Howard Stockdale for the header image of the Spotted Redshank at Conder Green. This bird is close to achieving the transformation from winter to summer plumage through 4 weeks....Amazing.    


  1. Hi Pete. I thought I'd left a message earlier, but I don't see it here, so I'll have another try!

    That's really bad news about Birk Bank Bog. I hope that your enquiries come up with some acceptable answers, but I suspect not. It looks like the damage is already done and it's going to take a long while for the bog to recover. Will keep my fingers crossed.

    Reading between the lines, I suspect that you're being effected by some difficult times at the moment (the vitamin issue?). I hope that all is soon mended.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. Like yourself on your blog, I always reply to comments on B2B, and this is my thank you once again Richard.

      My comment re birding 'driven into a cul-de-sac', was one of my occasional tongue in cheek pieces, though my birding did seem to grind to a halt recently, but I assure you that was put to rights yesterday in good style....Watch for the post!


  2. Still no Terns at Conder Pool tonight.
    Hope the works at the bog are for the long term good, all seems very strange, will have to wait and see.
    Thanks for the update Pete.

  3. The 'management work' at Birk Bank is I am assured for the long term good Ian. But I remain tight lipped at the moment about saying anything further.

    Hope you had a good day in the hills of Yorkshire.


  4. The Common Terns are already here but I haven't see them last week. Have a nice weekend !

  5. Thank you for the information regarding the return of the Common Terns to the Netherlands. Hope you also will have a nice weekend to come Caroline.


  6. A great shame to see the habitat being treated like this, especially for all the wildlife that calls it home. Some people just haven't got a bl***y clue. Take care.

  7. The perfect example of my sentiments regarding this Marc.


  8. Hi Pete Hopefully, you will get a full response onto what the 'management work/improvements' is all about. As for tree felling obviously not ideal and possibly illegal in the breeding season. Winter would have been better but difficult to get machinery across at that time of year. On a positive note, some tree felling around the bog will reduce some shading and drying out. It might indirectly help the SPB Frits if more sunny areas are created on marshy ground for the Marsh Thistles.Dragonflies are pretty resilient creatures and hopefully enough of the bog is still suitable. Only time will tell. These sorts of habitats are very ephemeral at the best of times and can be shaded out and dry out without ongoing maintenance. Steve

  9. Steve....Thank you for the input, will be in touch.