On the ELOC website last year, I found records of an impressive 25 Stonechat seen on and around Hareden Fell on 28 May 2020.
Like anywhere with Bowland included in its place name, I have a particular liking for Hareden, and lets face it, when you take in the panoramic view of this bracken carpeted valley and moorland, it's the perfect habitat for the Stonechat. In reality you should be able to find dozens of breeding pairs of Stonechat at places like Hareden in the Forest of Bowland.
As I walked up the road towards the start of the route up Hareden, I had good views of 2 Blackcap, and a Dipper and Grey Wagtail on Hareden Brook. I had no sooner got on to the grit track, when a Merlin flew out of the undergrowth and out of view over the ridge, seconds later, a dread of c.20 Meadow Pipit joined 2 Swallow in the air over the ridge.
On this visit, it took me 2 hours to find the first of 6 Stonechat eventually seen, including a pair with two young. Whilst watching this family group, the female with one young was joined by a Willow Warbler, soon followed by a stunning male Redpoll, all in the same small tree, a good three species pik but too far away. Other notes were made of 3 Wren, 2 Reed Bunting, and a Dunnock.