Uphill Struggle.

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Hawthornthwaite Fell.It was an uphill struggle to find the birds in more ways than one on Wednesday, but literally so on Hawthornthwaite. Apart from the fact the Stonechat isn't as easy to find as it was during it's upturn in status which peaked during the early 2000's, I'd got 3/4 of the climb to the peak before I found a distant pair of Stonechat, the only two seen on my visit, and at a higher elevation than Iv'e ever seen them here before. But ne'r mind....mission accomplished. Wren. Martin Jump. Four Wren on Hawthornthwaite seems to indicate a good colony, I had six seen here on 18 October, also 10 Red Grouse. Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge.A Dipper was seen on the Marshaw Wyre with a juicy aquatic invertebrate in it's bill, but it was ...
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17 for 5.

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After the passing of Ophelia, it was a brilliant morning on Wednesday and I was keen to get off into Bowland to check out the early winter status of any birds to be found wherever I decided to go up there. One thing for sure, despite it now being mid-October, it was guaranteed I wouldn't be seeing many if any raptors, at least two species of which I certainly wouldn't be seeing, and at least a couple more I wasn't likely to, in the end I found just one....Imagine that, one raptor for 5 hours in Bowland in the 21st century.But it was good to see 3 Stonechat on Hawthornthwaite Fell, distant and together, I'd suggest a female and two juveniles, with no adult male present. The count with the most interest was of 6 Wren, with 13 Red Grouse and 2 Meadow Pipit bringing up the rear.Of the 17 species found, 14 were between Marshaw - T...
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Mid September Bowland.

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On a more settled day, with some sunny spells and little wind, a visit to Bowland on Friday wasn't without some rewards. On Hawthornthwaite Fell I found 3 Stonechat, seen as a pair and a juvenile, something of a surprise was a lone Wheatear still up here, with 4 Raven seen in three sightings, 14 Meadow Pipit, and high overhead at least 30 House Martin hawking, 2 Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell seen.Spotted Flycatcher. Simon Hawtin. A Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Winfold Fell saunter started with a late Spotted Flycatcher which beats my previous latest in Bowland of 3 Spotted Flycatcher seen 7 years ago on 2 September 2010. Unexpected was 4 House Martin at Tower Lodge including entering a nest. Also of note, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, 5 Coal Tit, 3 Robin, and 2 Grey Wagtail on the Marshaw Wyre.Red Grouse....

Up & Down.

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Buzzard. Martin Lofgren @  Wild Bird Gallery  With 12 July my last time on Harrisend, I got myself back up there on Friday to be disappointed in finding just one lone male Stonechat, and lucky to find it at that. I spotted the bird on the skyline on the top of the ridge whilst attracted to watching 2 Buzzard soaring high, one of 2 Kestrel seen was in the same view, later it got better when a Peregrine Falcon also joined the raptor festival and was attacked by a Kestrel, at one point I had Buzzard, Kestrel, and Peregrine in my sights at the same time....pretty impressive stuff. I had seen a Peregrine Falcon on Hawthornthwaite Fell the last time up there on 17 July, judging by these two sightings, the chances of finding a Peregrine Falcon in Bowland these days is obviously better than that of seeing a Hen Harrier whic...
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Another Stonechat Safari.

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Stonechat @ Pegler Birding  On Wednesday, a half decent sometimes sunny but cool day when exposed to a light wind, a late summer visit had me finding 6 Stonechat on Birk Bank, by something of a coincidence seen in the same combination as my last time up here on 23 July, a pair and two juvenile, and a male and female seemingly unconnected.Some interest in their behaviour, in that they independently moved around considerably and at times flew some distance, in fact they were all over the place and difficult to keep up with, and in the time I spent with them in view, the distance between my first seeing two birds, and where the six were scattered about when I left was probably in excess of 400m. I've no idea what exactly was going on here, and why all the activity, but it wa...

Digging For Gold.

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Excellent day on Monday in the Cross of Greet/White Greet/Bloe Greet area, though the birds did'nt quite reach the 'excellent' mark. Whinchat Martin Lofgren @ Wild Bird Gallery Like digging for gold, it took four hours to find a pair of Whinchat at Bloe Greet, seen as a scarce and declining migrant breeder in the Bowland Fells. But this interesting record in the 1983 LDBWS Annual Report...The Whinchat is seen to be loosing ground with only 8 pairs found this year in Bowland....doesn't seem to make things sound any better for the Whinchat even 34 years ago. You might see them on passage....but go try to find a pair breeding somewhere.Stonechat. Howard Stockdale.Six Stonechat were seen in as many hours as a distant female and two juvenile, or three juvenile above White Greet, a pair and a lone male...
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There’s Life In Bowland Still.

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Interesting that a Cuckoo having arrived on 5 May has already left the UK and was at Orleans in the south of France 4 weeks later on 6 June on it's way back to Africa. Cuckoo Noushka  Quite the opposite to the Cuckoo I found yesterday behind the plantation on the track to Hawthornthwaite, which was calling and moving around continuously whilst upsetting 4 Mistle Thrush and others in the process. As I set off up the track a second Cuckoo was in flight NE towards Tower Lodge with a Meadow Pipit in pursuit. When I came back down the Hawthornthwaite track 2 hours later the first Cuckoo was still calling and moving around, and another hour after this I heard a third Cuckoo calling midway between Marshaw and Tower Lodge, no knowing, but this bird was probably the second Marshaw bird seen flying off.Sand Martin and House Martin...

Mainly Pics

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I took lots of pictures up in Bowland this morning, almost 400 and easily packed onto half of an SD card. I know there are some who refuse to abandon the traditional 35mm film photography, but give me digital photography, computers and Photoshop any old day. It was a morning of waders again with a number of Snipe on show, plus Redshanks and Oystercatchers with young. I even managed a picture of the very shy Red Grouse. Other highlights of the morning included two Ring Ouzel and at least one Cuckoo, but all too distant to photograph.Click the pics for a closer look. Redshank RedshankOystercatcher  Red GrouseSnipe seemed especially active this morning whereby I saw 8/10 individuals in poses, behaviour or voice that suggested they now have young.SnipeSnipe SnipeSnipeBowland, LancashireA barely fledged Redshank  had quickly lear...
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Shooting Times

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After the mishap in Menorca my Canon lens has gone to the lens doctor for a thorough examination. It may or may not come back, and it could be three to four weeks before the decision. I chanced upon a possible replacement, a Sigma, a lens which by all accounts performs quite well. So I waited for a sunny day to test out the substitute, and when this morning dawned bright I took off for the hills of Bowland with fingers crossed. Lapwings and Curlews were in good numbers but I struggled to see and photograph both Oystercatchers and Redshanks. Maybe another week will see more activity as young emerge from the mostly distant nests I could see and hear but not picture. The Lapwing I photographed had young, perhaps obvious from the demeanour of the adult as it frantically warned the youngsters in the field to run and hide. It’s unusua...
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Frustrating ticks

The Safari has been out and about to all sort of weird and wonderful places this last week. The week started well with friend LGB phoning to say a couple of Little Terns were on their way to wards us past his watchpoint down the prom. Great stuff and a big thank you as they aren't a species we can guarantee to see on Patch 2. The eventually came past but were a little distant to 'enjoy' properly still they made it on to the list, Little Tern (147, P2 #48). More enjoyable was the lone Black Tern (14, P2 #49) milling around going back and forth with 11 Arctic Terns followed by a couple of Common Terns (149, P2 #50). So at last we got to see one of the throng of Black Terns that passed through the country last week, what a relief! No chance of getting any of those on the Year Bird Challenge though, the easy two we'll pick up later in the seaso...
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