Monday 25th FebruaryBirds of the Long Preston Floodplain Project
Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
Posted by Steve Graham
I would like to keep this post near the top of the list if possible as I intend posting sightings to it on a regular basis through the year. Which should make collating my local records a lot easier through the year. Does anyone know how to make the post 'stick' near the top please?
Crook O' Lune - Usual suspects at present, up to 3 Goldeneye around, 1 Little Grebe, singing Mistle Thrush, 20 Siskin, Bullfinch 1 pair.
12/02 - GBBGull 1cy on western rocks in river. Starling singing for Eastern picnic site, scarce here. House Sparrow - bird calling near Scarthwaite Hotel very scarce here despite being very common in Halton & Caton.
First of many records hopefully this year.
Crook O' Lune
17/02 - Oystercatcher calling after dark. My first here this year.
18/02 - Plenty of birds singing this morning including several Song Thrush and single Mistle Thrush. GSW drumming and Siskin have now built up to 30+. Chaffinch & Greenfinch now in full song. Goldeneye up to 5 with 1 Drake and 4 redheads. Single Little Grebe still around along with lone 1cy Mute Swan. A male Kestrel appeared at dusk to roost nearby as it or a decendant has done for the past few winter's. Another Oystercatcher heard today, spring around the corner.
Otherwise fairly steady and wintering Thrushes seen absent here at the moment. Although nearly all berries nearby were exhausted sometime ago.
28/02 - Slight movement of Redwings here today. 1W, 4S and 3 in the garden briefly. Been very scarce here so far this year. 3 Fieldfare in the hedgerow adjacent to the Bay Gateway heading towards Halton.
River fairly quiet at the moment although Little Grebe increased to 4 and there has been up to 5 Goldeneye around. River now starting to ice up in places.
Interestingly, the garden feeders are no busier at the moment than in a now 'normal' damp mild winter. Still a few Siskin about and a GSW bravely drummed this morning - 01/03.
Much the same again this week with the garden feeders hardly any busier than usual despite the weather conditions.
02/03 - 20 Lapwing south. Surprisingly scarce here with just 2/3 records a year.
04/03- Raven heard, 4 Goldeneye back on river along with 2 Little Grebe and male Goosander. Up to 3 GSW drumming this morning. 3 pairs of Lapwing back on field just N of Caton old station house by cycle path. A traditional breeding site but not suitable last year.
A few Curlew and Oystercatcher have been moving through, roll on spring!
07/03 - An excellent days walking around all the hides at LM and finishing at Warton Crag. Recorded 76 species, with following highlights:
Lower Hide/ Causeway - At least 10 Goldeneye & 6 drake Pochard, 6 Water Rails calling, Reed Buntings in full song, Cetti's W 1s. 3 Marsh Harriers around, 3 Sparrowhawk. Elsewhere, ringtail Hen Harrier, see separate thread, Lesser Redpoll 1 on feeders, GWE 2/3. Warton 2 Ravens visiting nest and displaying, 2 Peregrine's briefly.
Saltmarsh hides, 5 Avocets, 1 Greenshank plenty of Curlew moving through along with smaller numbers of Lapwing.
Stoat moving along hedgeline in field adjacent to Lower Hide path am.
Excellent day out in dry weather!
Weekly summary, not feeling very spring like again!
9/3 First Lesser Redpoll of the year along with c20 Siskin still present.
10/3 Up to 5 Bullfinch including 3 males visiting the garden.
11/3 c50 BHGulls all full adults moving purposefully East.
13/3 Still up to 3 Goldeneye intermittently around.
9/3 First Buff-tailed Bumblebee of the year here.
11/3 First frogspawn of the year laid.
13/3 A rather sluggish Palmate Newt heading to pond. Also Mink see swimming across river.
At this rate it make take until April to see my first butterfly this year!
24/3 - Chiffchaff in full song on cycle path near Artle Beck. Also 2+ Tree Sparrows calling from Council depot behind Catholic church in Brookhouse as per last spring.
Re: Stephen Young's comments, yes, still up to 3 Goldeneye at the Crook on 23/3 and up to 5 Bullfinch visiting the garden. Also seen feeding on Wych Elm which I haven't noted before.
29/3 Sizergh Castle, Brigsteer Woods & Foulshaw Moss
Sizergh Castle - 3 Hawfinch in car park before 08:00, 1m & 2f. Then a delivery van arrived and they moved off. Around 09:00 a lone female came back to the car park area. Advise getting on site before 08:00 at the moment due to increasing early morning disturbance to give you the best chance of connecting with this species. Also calling Green Woodpecker close by.
Brigsteer Woods produced a lone Fieldfare and 2s Chiffchaff. A singing Lesser Redpoll was a bonus here. The wetland area was quiet.
Foulshaw Moss - very quiet. Recpolls not back here yet. Water Rail calling. Some compensation were Kestrel, Peregrine, Buzzard and Ravens dogfighting distantly over Whitbarrow Scar.
A mixed week with some almost spring like weather. It certainly encouraged a few more Moths in the trap.
4/4 - Raven 1W.
5/4 - First Meadow Pipit of the year over. 3 Common Buzzard and female Sparrowhawk displaying. Amazingly, 2 Starlings on fat balls were my first ever Starlings in the garden! Same goes with House Sparrow with no actual garden record here to date. Single Redpoll over at teatime was my second of the year.
6/4 - Blackcap back singing this morning. 5 days later than 2017 but about average arrival time here.
7/4 - Blackcap & Chiffchaff singing at the Crook along with a singing Stock Dove, scarce here.
Still not heard Green Woodpecker at the Crook yet this year.
7/4 - Early morning bike ride to Bullbeck produced 4S Chiffchaffs and Dipper at Artle Beck.
Bullbeck - Pair of LRP displaying, Sand Martin 3, Redshank single, Goosander male and 6 pairs of Oystercatchers. Curlew & Lapwings displaying in fields south of the main road.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2018 09:46AM by Steve Graham.
An interesting past week with some signs of summer at last!
6/4 - Blackcap back singing about average arrival date here.
12/4 - finally a single Swallow over, 2 weeks later than 2017. A further 2 flew S on 16/4.
15/4- Willow Warbler arrived again 2 weeks later than 2017. At teatime had around 20 large gulls flying up and down a river. An adult Herring Gull was amongst the LBBs a surprisingly scarce species here.
16/4- single Stock Dove intermittently singing again. 2 Common Sandpipers were an early bonus arriving nearly a week earlier than 2017 here. A male House Spaarow was 'singing' on our house roof. A garden first here believe it or not. Two pairs of Starlings are currently nexting at two properties here for the first time.
Butterfly season finally started with a Small Tort through the garden on 9/4 and a Peacock through on 16/4.
Toads are currently spawning in my garden pond.
18/4 - Lesser Whitethroat singing at a traditional site just E of the eastern cycle bridge in Blackthorn, quite early for here.
18/4 - Leighton Moss: Reed warbler singing by road on Barrow Scout. Looks like the BH Yellow Wag has moved on but 2 White Wagtail, 20+ Meadow Pipit and a pair of Stonechat in the area. Drake Garganey on Liliians and 2 Sedge Warbler singing around the reserve. No Swallows or sand Martins seen all day!
Small Tort & Peacock on the wing.
18/4 - 1 House Martin seen over Caton village early evening.
After the brief taste of summer we are back to near normal temperatures and a cold wind. Nothing much moving around here in the past week. Usual Warblers are back in 'normal' numbers but Swallows and Martins are still few and far between.
20/4 & 24/4 - Some unusual behaviour for the time of year has been a male Blackcap coming to feed on Sunflower Hearts. Sort of behaviour you could expect from a wintering bird but I imagine all the wintering/German birds have left and we have got the 'real' summer visitors back now?
26/4 - Morning visit to Birk Bank. Dry but strong cold wind was no doubt keeping birds down. Didn't seem to bother the Willow Warblers with 7 singing, Mistle Thrush 3 singing, 1 Redpoll in circular display flight and a pair of Ravens actively hunting the moorland. Apart from the other usual suspects a male Wheatear was at a traditional site nearby. No sign of Cuckoo or Stonechat but maybe weather related or I was just unlucky!
4/5 - Single Linnet over house, scarce here.
5/5 - A record (for me) of 45 Goosander at the Crook, ratio 2:1 redheads to adult males. Also singing Stock Dove, single Swift, Redpoll 1 over.
5/5 - Day out in the Trough produced male Whinchat and singing Ring Ousel in one valley. Afternoon in Langden on the Bowland/Lancs BC event produced Cuckoo and not much else bird wise. The Emperor Moth pheromone worked very well with at least 6 Moths attracted. Also 4 Green Hairstreak, 2 Peacock, GV White and a single Common Lizard.
6/5 - Early morning bike ride between Forge Weir, the Crook and Bullbeck. Only things new in were a pair of Shelduck on the small pond between Artle Beck & Bullbeck and nearby a singing Garden Warbler. Bullbeck produced 2 pairs of Common Sandpiper and a single LRP so probably breeding here. Mallard with 7+ young were my first in the Lune valley so far this year.
Enjoy the weather while it lasts!
12/05 - Appears to have been an influx of Garden Warblers with 4 birds singing between the Crook and Bullbeck during an early morning bike ride. One by Caton fisheries, one Artle Beck, one on cycle path opposite the field with pond and one at Bullbeck. The bird at Bullbeck was singing from near the top of a sycamore, Blackcap style, just to further confuse the unwary!
Bullbeck had several pairs of Oystercatchers, pair of Common Sand and 2 broods of Mallard, 5 & 6.
Kingfishers seem like gold dust at the moment with no sightings recently and no Common Whitethroats along this section of cycle path either.
A Stock Dove signing just W of Holme Lane was my first here.
Spot Fly should be back any day hopefully it was 12/5 here last year.
12/05 - A juv. Siskin flew into the window and was rather dazed and confused. Fortunately, it recovered and flew off about 10 minutes later. Looks like they have successfully bred here again. See photo in photo section.
13/5 - Garden warbler singing at the Crook mid-morning.
13/5 - 5 species of 'Whites' seen in garden today with Brimstone now establishing itself here after extensive Alder Buckthorn planting.
15/05 - Two broods of Mallard with a huge brood of 24 the other one a more typical 8. Thought the 24 may have been a creche but a single female looking after them. Don't expect too many of them to survive.
Other than that still quiet, Redpoll over and juv. Siskin on feeder again. No sign so far of Spot Fly returning.
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