Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dunsop bridge and Abbeystead..

Hen Harrier - Male

I just never stop birding and yearlisting.. On Sunday 25th April {just gone}, it was our RSPB Southport group field trip to Dunsop bridge.. If your wondering, I came home this weekend especially for this trip..

Anyway, myself and my dad were up at 7am and all raring to go for a day's birding up in the Trough of Bowland.. I really didn't want to get up this morning as my bed was so warm and comfy...but... as always, if I didn't go, I would most probably have missed something.. At 8:20am; Chris Bridge, Martin bridge, Mike Preston and Ted set off from our house in Ormskirk and headed for a full day out in the Trough..

Dipper nest

After just over an hour's drive, we were greeted by a few folk in the car-park who were joining us today.. By the time it was 10am, the group head count was 22.. I had my work cut out today I can tell you.. This particular walk was up into the valley where the pair of Eagle owls bred last year.. Hopefully we would see them..

Just as we began the walk and just before an open field, I spotted a flash of Black and white.. This was a nice surprise as I knew straight away what it was, I had found a single Male Pied flycatcher sat on the side of a dead Oak tree.. Good views were had and after everyone in the group had seen it, I set the scope up to get a shot, any ideas what happened next? Yup the bird flew off, over the river and deep into a sessile oak woodland.. Nice!!
Further on up the valley, a few Swallows flew through heading towards the car-park and Willow warblers sang throughout.. A Redstart sang from a small wooded area but after a thorough search, the bird never showed.. One or two Dippers on the river and a Grey wagtail flew over.. On the telegraph wires, several Tree pipits sang and good views were had of these..

Eagle owl watchers..

After 3 miles or so we reached the area where the Eagle owls had bred last year, but to everyone's dissapointment, they weren't there!!?? Hmmm... they had most probably moved and bred further up the valley.. {Remember those words}. A group of 5 birders were there before us and they too, knew no more than us... A well deserved lunch break was enjoyed by all and soon after, I picked out a Male Hen harrier in a nearby gulley which showed well for about 20 minutes.. Great stuff!! A single Peregrine falcon circled high up and was lost to view..

Time to head on down now and a nice surprise came in the form of a flock of 19 Lesser repolls that flew over us and headed up the valley following the line of conifers.. Did it hold any Mealy's? Who knows? Remember I said the words: ''They have probably moved further up the valley to breed'' Well, on our way down to the car-park, a couple of birders stopped us and asked if we had seen the Eagle owls, the answer was no ofcourse. They then went onto tell me that they had moved further on up the valley about 1/2 mile from where they nested last year!!!!!!!!!!!! Grrrrr, I couldn't believe what they had just told me,, absolutely bluddy typical... Oh well, I'll just have to come back in a couple of weeks time to see them...

Golden plover

Male Dotterel

Back in the car-park, some of the group headed on home and a few of us headed over to have a look for the Male Dotterel that was in a field on Abbeystead lane with 50 Golden plovers.. This bird we saw and enjoyed great views.. Tally for the day:- 60!

Male Dotterel

Species list:

Grey heron, Mallard, Goosander, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine falcon, Red grouse, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Dotterel, Golden plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe, B.H.gull, H.Gull,, L.B.B.Gull, Feral-pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collard dove, Great-spotted woodpecker, Skylark, Sand martin, Swallow, Meadow pipit, Tree pipit, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Wren, Dipper, Dunnock, Robin, Redstart, Stonechat, Mistle thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Pied flycatcher, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, Raven, Starling, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Lesser redpoll, Siskin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch. 60!

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