Monday, 5 September 2011

A few days away then back to the patch.

The lack of posts has been due to a 5 day trip to the Yorkshire Dales which included quick excursions to the Lakes and Lancashire. There were no real objectives although I was sort of hoping to catch up with a few things I haven't seen for many years. A day trip to Haweswater didn't produce the hoped for Golden Eagle or any Red Squirrels and searching for Black Grouse around the Swaledale area also proved fruitless.

I did catch up with several Red Grouse, not seen by me for nearly 20 years and I did glimpse a Dipper, all too briefly, the first one I'd seen since the bird just north of Dover at a place called River, if I remember rightly. There were plenty of Wheatears, Ravens and tons of Meadow Pipits but no Ring Ouzels.
Red Grouse

Walk nr. Ingleton

One Redstart showed me it's tail as it disappeared over one of the many fantastic dry stone walls. I did have one new species while I was walking, Common Hawker on one the still moorland pools. The scenery certainly made up for the lack of birds with several walks along the bits of the Pennine Way. Our last port of call was Leighton Moss RSPB, as Otters were being seen daily there, unfortunately we missed these as well!!! by only 30mins! Another time maybe?
I managed a visit to the patch on Sunday morning from 9.30 to 11.30. It was fairly quiet as far as number of species goes but there were 100's of HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS over the valley. A STONECHAT was still present and 9 SKYLARKS got up from the stubble. There were a few CHIFFCHAFF and 2 WILLOW WARBLERS. BULLFINCHES were in the mature hedge that goes northish from the near the moat and a BUZZARD flew low over the valley, about a minute after a one of the locals asked if I had seen any recently!! Pleasingly he saw it too. Other birds of note included 6 YELLOWHAMMER, 3 REED BUNTING and a flyover YELLOW WAGTAIL.
Spotted Flycatcher

Blue Tit

Getting up for work was tricky this morning, although knowing I was walking before hand made it a bit easier. There were 6 BLACKCAPS in the car park plus a couple of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, a SPARROWHAWK dived in to an elderberry bush in hot pursuit of a little brown job, neither reappeared, so what the outcome was remains a mystery. CHIFFCHAFFS were reasonably well represented with about 8 individuals, some in song, as I got near the offices a Silver Birch was full of birds, GARDEN WARBLER, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT, YELLOWHAMMER, CHIFFCHAFF, WILLOW WARBLER, BLUE TITS, CHAFFINCHES and LINNETS, I stood for a while watching birds flitting in and out, quite entertaining it was too.



The BULLFINCHES were in the mature hedge again and out in the fields the STONECHAT was associating with a single WHINCHAT. Stephen sent me a text a bit later, he had seen 5 WHEATEARS togather in the field next to Digdog Lane, where the barley has just been cut.


Steve Ashton said...

A nice part of the world to visit Alan, and I like the Whinchat photo, a smart looking bird.

Phil said...

Sounds like a good trip Alan. I too have never found the Haweswater Goldie, but I thought I heard recently that it had gone to the big eyrie in the sky. Maybe I just imagined it.
Some lovely patch pictures I must say.

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Great scenery as you say , made up for lack of birds .
Certainly made up for it since your return . As others have said , some great shots there .

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Steve, Thanks, it was great to get away, last minute decision really. We have been lucky having 1 or 2 Whinchat here for nearly a month now.

Hi Phil, Thanks, I thought the Goldie had disappeared too but a friend saw it about a month ago up there, that lone male has been there for several years now I think. It's a great place to look for it.

Hi Greenie, Thanks, I've not been up that way for so many years, it was great to take in the views again :-)

Warren Baker said...

That scenery reminds me of Wales Alan, so quiet and peaceful :-)

Must say your photographs are improving with every post! Well done :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, it certainly was peaceful generally, on one of our 4 hour walks we only saw 2 other walkers.

Thanks, it's enjoyable having the camera with me, any half decent results are a bonus, I'm trying to catch up with rest of you :-)