On a beautiful sunny if cold day on Thursday, the purpose of a trawl around Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge, was to give me some mental and physical well-being, this clip certainly contributed to that....but not a bag full of birds. In fact in the 4 hours I was there, a count totaled a pretty depressing 9 species....yes NINE!
OK, so this is upland birding in January, but c'mon, 9 species being a classic example of recording what you don't see, being as important as those you do.
My list was, 4 Mallard, with not a Dipper in sight on the Marshaw Wyre, 2 Red Grouse, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Dunnock, 6 Blackbird, a Robin, Kestrel, and a Pheasant. Well if that's not depressing....I give in!
But with a couple of hours decent daylight left, I gave Hawthornthwaite a look in, brief by usual standards. The brilliant sunlight on the fell did me a favour, when I spotted a pair of Stonechat on the top of a ridge, I found a pair here on my last visit on 11 November. Also seen, 6 Red Grouse, a Buzzard, and a Snipe, on take-off with it's 'muffled sneeze' soon dropped to ground again.
Stonechat 20 January. Pete Woodruff.
When I came back down, a male Stonechat was silhouetted against the light on the wall opposite and soon disappeared. But the day that had offered me few birds, soon turned positive when a Barn Owl came on the scene to give me several minutes of pleasure when it hunted the lower moor of Hawthornthwaite, before making a dive opposite me on the other side of the road.