Thirteen Months Later.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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!!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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...
Continue Reading » Snippets...

Uphill Struggle.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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 ...
Continue Reading » Uphill Struggle....

17 for 5.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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...
Continue Reading » 17 for 5....

Mid September Bowland.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
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...
Continue Reading » Up & Down....