Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mainly Chats and Pipits

Because it is possible to see Stonechats in the winter we almost don’t think of the species as a migrant but it is, or at least a partial migrant. 

I was reminded of this at Pilling this morning as I watched a party of six Stonechats fence hopping while feeding fervently along the ground below. There may have been as many as eight in the locality because an hour before and 250 yards away I’d watched a male and a female Stonechat behaving as if they might be intent on setting up home together. 

Stonechat

Stonechat

In February and March Stonechats begin to find their route back to often traditional territories in preparation for their extended breeding season. A single pair of adults may have three broods of youngsters, a strategy often employed by species that are susceptible to the ravages of winter. 

Many Stonechat territories are occupied all year round while more exposed sites are mostly deserted in the colder winter months when many Stonechats, especially young ones, move to France and Iberia. Some Stonechats travel as far as North Africa. 

A Stonechat is so named because both sexes have a clicking call like stones knocking together, a call they use to good effect as a warning. 

Stonechat

Apart from the Stonechats things were pretty quiet this morning with the exception of 15+ obviously new-in Meadow Pipits feeding along the same boundary fence. I looked hard but couldn’t find that other harbinger of Spring the Wheatear, despite some being seen not far away in North Wales during recent days. 

Meadow Pipit

At Fluke Hall I counted 190 Pink-footed Geese, 12 Curlew, 2 Pied Wagtail and a pair of Oystercatchers in the car park field. There was the usual Buzzard and Kestrel knocking around the trees, with upwards of 45 Woodpigeon in evidence and 3 Song Thrush in good singing voice. 

A closer look revealed 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 12 Goldfinch, 4 Tree Sparrow and another Pied Wagtail walking along someone’s roof. 

Pied Wagtail

In the stubble fields and along the shore - 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Little Egret, 65 Lapwing, 6 Shelduck, 18 Redshank and 6 Oystercatcher. 

Stay tuned to Another Bird Blog for more news, views and pictures very soon.

Linking today to Run-a-Roundranch and Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

23 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, your Stonechat is pretty. I would like to hear their sounds.. The Pipit and Wagtail are both beautiful birds too. Great shots. Happy Birding!

Mary Cromer said...

I am home as of last Friday, but so much snow, errands, chores to do and now finally blogging again. My draft uploaded all by itself on Saturday, which is a nice way of doing it. The Stonechats are truly such lovely birds, their little bit of throat colouration and the sweetness of their face. I think that I would look forward to seeing them too~

TexWisGirl said...

beauties! i just love your severely barbed wire fencing there!

Linda said...

Phil, yet another lovely series here. It never ceases to amaze me how some birds can sit on a branch with thorns or barbed wire, but they do. Beautiful captures. :)

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images, especially Stonechats.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) Lovely series of shots of all three birds.

Marie said...

Great info and photos on the stonechat...it was fun learning that their sound is like two stones clacking together. Lovely pied wagtail too. Such a nice post!

Margaret Adamson said...

All great images, Phil

Adam Jones said...

One of my favourite birds, so I look forward to seeing more of these around in the Summer. Really nice shots of them and the Mipit.

Christian Weiß said...

Great views of the stonechats and beautiful photos.

Findlay Wilde said...

I really like that Pied Wagtail picture against the blue sky. We have had Stonechat sightings on quite a few of our trips out so far this year.

David Gascoigne said...

Great discourse on the Stonechats. And I am impressed with the picture of the Meadow Pipit too.

Karen said...

The stonechats are such pretty birds. Love the barbed wire image!

Liz Needle said...

Love your stone chats. They remind me of some of the little birds we get here - we have stone chats and pipits, but different varieties from yours.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Nice series of birds as usual .. I congratulate ..

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Love the Stonechat on the second fence! Mostly because of the beautiful rust ;)But it looks like a quite dangerous place to sit on :))
Have a beautiful day
【ツ】Knipsa

Nicola SeaThreePeeO Carpenter said...

Beautiful pictures, I love the Stonechat on the barbed wire fence.

carolann said...

Birds 100% use fences of all kinds.

Thanks for birds and fences.

Ida said...

Here is what I love about visiting bird blogs like yours...I get so see birds I've never even heard of. The Stonechat is really cute, that shot of the one on the barbed wire is so cool. I also liked the Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail shots (love the long tail feathers.)

Carola Bartz said...

The Stonechats are cute - and so are the other birds. Your photos always are fantastic.

Stephanie said...

Love that first fence shot!

Felicia said...

the stonechat is so pretty sitting on that rusty wire.

Mosura said...

Nice photos and they bring back some good memories of my days birding in Scotland.

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