Birds & Hymenoptera.

Made my first venture of the year on to Harrisend and Hawthornthwaite Fell this week. It was my first visit to both these fells which I made at the onset of the return of the beast from the east.

Add to the bleakness of the day, I got no returns for my search for Stonechats, drawing a blank at both venues, despite my finding possibly two pairs of Stonechat on my last visit in Nov/Dec last year.

Hawthornthwaite Fell. Pete Woodruff. Clik The Pik

On Hawthornthwaite, at least 12 Red Grouse, a Buzzard over, a Snipe flushed out of a ditch, and 2 Fieldfare seemed deserted in a nearby field. 

On Harrisend, 2 Red Grouse, 2 Reed Bunting, a Raven over, and a Brown Hare which I don't recall ever seeing before on Harrisend Fell.

Garden Birds.

Over 20 minutes, I watched 9 Blackbird leaving a blossom tree to go to roost. Five left the tree and flew in an easterly direction, and four northerly. Two Buzzard were soaring together, then drifting off directly over the house.

Five Years Ago.

Rooting through my records, I was chuffed to find this coming Thursday was the anniversary when I found a wintering Little Stint on the mudbank midway between the old iron railway and the Lune/Conder confluence on 18 January 2016. I remember the day well, when my good friend Stuart Piner later joined me to share and enjoy this smart little wader, on the same day a Spotted Redshank was on the Lune Estuary at Glasson, and a female Scaup on the canal basin....Nice!

Thanks to Antonio for the beautiful header image of a beautiful bird.

Bees, Wasps and Ants.

Tawny Mining-Bee. Pete Woodruff.

Though the subject is mostly outside my comfort zone. I well recall one encounter when I found some Tawny Mining-Bees emerging from a lawn in a garden whilst visiting a relative at a care home in Lancaster. These creatures create a distinctive 'soil volcano' (tumuli) around the nest hole, and it was a delight for me to witness the emergence of these little beauties.

 

Ben Hargreaves with Steve White (Editor), and all involved in this informative and beautifully illustrated book, should be congratulated for the huge effort involved in this publication. 

I would like to personally thank Dave Bickerton as the Honorary Secretary of L&CFS for being in touch with me, and for posting copies to members....A recommended read.