Bowland Lost And Found.

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Hawthornthwaite Fell.I made only three previous visits so far this year and found not one Stonechat, and to turn this into an even bigger disaster found none when I went again last week. This looks like it's going to be a record at the end of the year that I never really wanted to collect, that the Stonechat was never found on Hawthornthwaite in 2018, let alone bred there. Merlin@1000-Pattes But as I came down of the fell, a bird hidden from my view took off out of the heather little more than 50m ahead of me and flew across the clough to perch, this is as good as it gets in Bowland, it was a stunning male Merlin. The only other birds seen were, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Red Grouse, and 3 Sand Martin flying around.Harrisend Fell. I had made just two previous visits, to see a pair on 8...

Red Letter….Continued.

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By the time I had soaked up the enjoyment of the Keeled Skimmers on Birk Bank bog, then done the 5 mile circuit, to returned to the bog for another dragonfly session, I'd had the perfect example of a good days birding which took me five hours to complete.The Red-Letter day continued when I had climbed up to the two styles to reach the top of Birk Bank where I found 9 Stonechat, a lone bird on the wall looking east to Clougha, eventually turned out to have been a part of the family party of a pair with a full brood of five young, later at the NE end of Birk Bank I saw a distant lone male, which - with the distance between them - probably wasn't connected to the female seen further on.In the circuit I noted 18 species including, Garden Warbler and Blackcap heard from the bog. I saw but mainly heard 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Mistle Thrush, Robin, Du...

Pleasant Bowland Birding.

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Cuckoo. Cliff Raby @ Fylde Coast Wildlife  Another perfect day for a wander on the Bowland Fells which paid off nicely, not only because I heard my first Cuckoo from Harrisend, distant and sounding like it came from the Grisedale/Nicky Nook area. It took me two hours to find the only male Stonechat seen, it was alarm calling with it's sharp whistle and throaty clicking, the female no doubt somewhere on the nest, 13 Meadow Pipit was two up on my last low count of eleven here on 8 May, 3 Linnet, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Wren, a Mistle Thrush and Blackbird. A Kestrel with two tail feathers missing, and of 4 Buzzard seen, one over high had prey dangling from it's talons, which on size and shape looked suspiciously like a Stoat. Of 5 Reed Bunting seen there was some odd behaviour by a male w...

Thirteen Months Later.

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The last time I was on Clougha was 4 April 2017. There was a time when I would never had thought I'd be saying it was over 13 months since I last went up Clougha, and I had to search my records to see I never checked out the area last year for breeding Stonechat after the April visit. But yesterdays evidence suggests I missed nothing, as I came away empty handed after a three hour survey, and it looks like a second successive year of no Stonechat on Clougha....All a bit depressing.It was 2hrs 45minutes after I left the car park on Rigg Lane that I found the first of 3 Stonechat on Birk Bank, a male at the west end, and a pair at the east end, so I reckon 2 pairs on here today.Red Grouse Clougha 15 May. Pete Woodruff.Fourteen species noted in six hours on Clougha/Birk Bank included, a lone Red Grouse which was the only one see...

Two Fells….Well Nearly!

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Harrisend.On Tuesday I made my first visit this year, and not for 8 months since 1 September 2017. I had given up on the Stonechats on Harrisend, but didn't realise it was to this extent. But there was little joy in the visit, but thankful for small mercies I found just one pair of Stonechat, they were initially atop of the lone Hawthorn. Also seen, 11 Meadow Pipit, at least 4 Willow Warbler, 4 Curlew, 3 Raven, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Red Grouse, 2 Swallow, and a Wheatear. Up to 8 Greylag came up over the ridge in ones and twos over a couple of hours, and flew off in all directions, though there are some upland breeding records, I have no idea from where. A kestrel and 3 Buzzard, one of which had missing primaries.Latticed Heath. Harrisend Fell 8 May. Pete Woodruff.Th...

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

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The weather on Wednesday morning was cloudy, grey, windy, and nothing like what the forecast had been. Hardly to be called suitable for a visit to Bowland, but it turned out decent in the afternoon. In any case I had a man to meet for a survey of Hawthornthwaite Fell, but not until I'd been presented with a brilliant mounted photograph of a female Stonechat complete with a bill full of insects, including a Latticed Heath moth.There's quality loss from the original in the copy of this excellent photograph, but there's some improvement with a 'clik the pik'. Stonechat. Martin Jump.No Stonechat found on the west side of Hawthornthwaite, but 2 Ring Ouzel gave distant in flight views, before soon disappearing up Catshaw Greave. This sighting came two days earlier than a previous male Ring Ouzel I found here on 20 April 2...

A Wader Moment In Bowland.

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Though it was a good sunny and windless day on Wednesday, it was a generally dull day for me in Bowland, not least because I found no Stonechat on my first venture of 2018 on to Hawthornthwaite Fell, though I reckon the two seen on my last visit on 27 December and previously 15 November, were keeping their heads down and in hiding from me this time.Red Grouse Richard Pegler On the way up to the summit, the sum total of birds seen on this visit were 20 Red Grouse and 2 Wren. Driving away from here I saw a single Fieldfare in flight at Cam Brow, and a Kestrel perched was the only raptor seen all day. In three and a half hours between Marshaw and the foot of Whinfold Fell where I saw 8 Red Grouse, I found just 11 species, including a Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the Marshaw Wy...

Birdwatching Walks In Bowland!!

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WELL I'LL BE FUCKED....THE PLACE IS CRAWLING WITH SHITHEADS!Ian had wanted to join me on Wednesday, not a birder but interested in what we might see and any questions he might have about them. So on my suggestion we went into Bowland and did the Langden Brook walk, from my point of view an opportunity to see if any Stonechat might be wintering up there. But on arrival at the car park, although not a soul in sight, with the type and number of vehicles parked up, it was blatantly obvious to me that a shoot was taking place up the valley. By the time we reached the pump house 10 minutes later, at least 30 shitheads were taking a slurp between shoots....I put on a pair of blinkers, looked ahead to avoid eye contact and save myself from becoming embroiled in abuse and violent disorder, and off we went on our walk.All thi...

Snippets

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Sorry, there‚Äôs no local news today.  Instead a couple of snippets for those interested in protecting birds of prey followed by a cautionary tale about a twitch that never was. Raptor Persecution Positive news from Scotland on protection of birds of prey as the Scottish National Party (SNP) very recently adopted the policy of supporting the licensing of shooting estates. On Saturday 2nd December at the National Council in Perth, SNP activists voted in support of a resolution calling for the licensing of shooting estates to be introduced in Scotland. This made it party policy to support licensing for driven grouse estates and adds weight to the campaign for the licensing of all shooting estates in Scotland. The Scottish Government recently set up an expert group to consider issues around grouse moors, including licensing...
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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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