September Chats.

Having found 18 Stonechat on Caton Moor on 26 August, I was determined to carry out a plan to visit four more of the best Stonechat hotspots in the area during September, to find if Caton Moor was a precursor to something good about the Stonechats in 2020.

So I was off up the east side of Clougha during the week, only the third time I've ever been on this side of Clougha. Truly chuffed once more as I was able to add to the tally which now stands at 65 Stonechat in four weeks.

To note in addition to the 10 Stonechat seen, it was good to hear the Chiffchaff in song by Ottergear Bridge. In the trees leading down to the boardwalk, at least 20 Long-tailed Tit, a Goldcrest, Coal Tit, BlackbirdRobin, and Wren. Enroute to the Clougha track, a few Swallow south, a lone Meadow Pipit, 4 Red Grouse, and a Kestrel.

Dragonflies over and around the bog, 3 Common Darter and 2 Black Darter, the only butterflies seen were singles of Red Admiral and Peacock.

Where have all the butterflies been this year?

Big Butterfly Count.

One theory for a disappointing result, perhaps an unusually warm spring brought species of butterfly to emerge earlier than is usual. This would lead to have only caught the tail-end of the flight period for many species during this years count.

But the truth is, the Big Butterfly Count saw a reduction in the average number of butterflies logged per count of -34% in comparison with 2019, and the lowest average number of butterflies logged overall since the counts began 11 years ago in 2009. One example of percentage of change from 2019 was -99% for Painted Lady, a butterfly I regarded myself as being one of a lucky few to record in our area this year.

Garden Scarcity. 

In our garden on Friday, it was good to see a male Siskin on the feeders. The last two sightings here was, a juvenile 31 July and three days later a male 3 August in 2018. Also our garden Robin (Bob) gave good photo opportunities in the header, and the resident Carrion Crow most of the year, is still around and calling persistently 'krrah krrah krrah' all day long.