Saturday, June 18, 2016

Upland Birding

I journeyed across the moss and in the half-light saw 2 Barn Owls and at least two Kestrels waiting for dawn to bring breakfast. Singing Song Thrushes seemed to greet me at every hedgerow, garden, spinney and wood. I hope our Song Thrush has had a good year - it certainly sounded like it this morning. 

"Click the pics" for a trip to the hills.

Song Thrush

Just for a change I was heading for the Bowland hills today, hoping to get some photographs of upland birds. Unfortunately the light was poor as it often is 1000ft above sea level. Never mind, there was a great selection of birds to see with one or two nice surprises, including brief views of a Ring Ouzel and then later on finding a Snipe nest. 

 Bowland

Two of the commonest and most obvious species this morning were Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits with good numbers of each on almost every stretch of road. There are lots of stone walls and fences for birds to use as lookout posts .There were 10+ Grey Wagtails too with plenty of Willow Warblers, Goldfinches and Lesser Redpolls in roadside trees and plantations. I didn’t do an exact tally but reckoned on 50+ species, not bad for a morning’s work. 

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

The Grey Partridge is pretty much extinct where I live near the coast but maybe they do better up in the hills 15/20 miles away.

Grey Partridge

Most blog readers will know of the saga of Hen Harriers which mysteriously disappear from Bowland and other Pennine Hills localities every year. The same readers will know why the Red Grouse is a favourite bird of those who own the land and shooting rights up here while the Hen Harrier is mostly unloved. Walking miles into the heather uplands might just find a Hen Harrier, but far more likely is a that a Red Grouse will tell a walker to “go-back-go-back” for their own safety. We're in the hills, but that's cotton grass, not snow.

Red Grouse

The most common wader this morning was Oystercatcher with many pairs dotted around the fields and using the stone walls as vantage points. Next came Lapwing with at least a couple of dozen, all of them with well grown flying young, except for a single running youngster, a day or two off flight. Luckily I had my ringing box in the boot for the first Lapwing of the year. This year the species has all but disappeared from lowland haunts, and now clings on by a whisker or less. 

Lapwing

 
Lapwing

Oystercatcher

Curlews were in evidence with birds still displaying but none coming close enough for pictures. Likewise Redshanks, a once common bird in these damp uplands but now like the Curlew, a wader in decline. 

I got lucky with a Snipe that I discovered on a gate post. The bird flew off and landed about twenty yards away in a clump of long grass. Undeterred I drove back the same way about thirty minutes later to see the Snipe once again on one of the posts of the gateway. Unconcerned at my presence the Snipe preened a while, took a nap, looked around and generally gave the impression of taking time out. When she eventually fluttered back to the same grassy plot I knew she had a nest. Four eggs - nice one. 

Snipe

 Snipe
 
Snipe

Snipe

Snipe

Other birds today – Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Common Sandpiper, Greenfinch, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow, Swift, Blackbird, Siskin, Linnet, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Collared Dove , Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Robin, Wren, Dunnock etc., 

A good morning’s birding was had by all.

Linking today to Eileen's SaturdayWorld Bird Wednesday and Anni's Birding.



28 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

I am happy to hear that Dawn brings breakfast. Did she bring some for you too? I think you should visit this area more often and bring us more reports. It looks to be very productive and from what you have shown us already contains a wide range of interesting species.

Linda said...

Really beautiful series, Phil, and the Snipe looks like he was posing for your photo shoot. :)

jabblog said...

What a rich variety of birds. I remember seeing lapwings regularly in Kent and later in Berkshire - a rarity now, sadly.

sandyland said...

All very special and enjoyed by me immensely

Lowcarb team member said...

Your photo's of the Snipe are wonderful, it really does look like she was posing. Perfect shots!

Have a Happy Sunday

All the best Jan

Anni said...

Some abso-bloody-lutely WONDERFUL images this week. The thrush in song, the snipe, the lapwings, oystercatcher, grouse and partridge [which I've never seen before today]...wagtail and pipit.

You've outdone yourself with the upland birds. Love the morning scenery too. Of course, it goes without saying, I always appreciate your narration. You have us all right there with you by your words.

And, thanks again, so much, for adding your post link at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Margaret Adamson said...

WOW! A Snioe posing for you. That;s jammy Phil! Loved seeing the LApwing chick , Red Grouse adn Grey Partridge

Stuart Price said...

I saw our species of snipe in an identical pose today.......

Bowland is a beautiful place, my wife was very impressed with it when we went the first time.

Mary Cromer said...

Happy Father's Day Phil...do you all celebrate this day in the UK? If not, I said it anyway. As always I enjoy the Pied Wagtail, and the Meadow Pipits, such lovely wee birds. Oh my the Grey Partridge, it is quite a bit larger bird and very beautiful as is the Red Grouse. I think I prefer seeing them like this rather than a hunter taking them out and also the horrible sadness that has had mankind taking out the wonderful Hen Harrier over there...sad, just for their own pleasure of hunting the Grouse, well words don't describe what I feel about that. Have a wonderful day and week~

Gerald (SK14) said...

what a lovely selection

Russell Jenkins said...

Haven't viited for a while, Phil, but I'm thrilled to see your beutiful pictures. That Song Thrush portrait is so full of joy.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, looks like a great outing. I love the Patridge, Lapwing, chick and the Snipe. Great collection of photos.

Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

mick said...

Very interesting to see the birds in the upland area. Great photos and the ones of the Snipe are very special - although I also especially like the Song Thrush singing.

Suza said...

fantastic pictures

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow, Momma Snipe posed nicely for you. Beautiful birds, great outing. Sad about the extinct or nearly extinct birds though. I remember reading about the hen harriers before.

NC Sue said...

Beautiful shots!
Thanks for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/06/drip-drip-drip.html

Stewart M said...

Great set of birds - I used to bird in that area after work.

An upland classic is my bird for WBW this week.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Nette Cecilia said...

Beautiful series of photos ,nette

Kristiina said...

Amazing bird photos you have taken.

R. Täysin arkista

Nora said...

That was a great morning of birding. I would be happy with one or two of these. I like the oystercatcher you have there. I had a snipe live in my yard for a few weeks.

likeschocolate said...

Great collection of photos!
http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/

Adam Jones said...

Sounds like a perfect bit of birding to me. The Snipe looks superb on it's post. I'd love a few shots like that. Great stuff!

Raquel Jiménez Lastras said...

Unas imagenes muy bonitas de aes, grandes fotos...
Saludos

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) Superb photography!:) The early morning light filtering through the clouds on the Bowland landscape is truly beautiful, as is the image of the thrush, and all the rich variety of birds that you saw. The Snipe captures are lovely,....seeing her so at ease on the post was a great photo opportunity.

Marie C said...

Absolutely wonderful photos! Loved seeing each one...what an awesome place!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, Wonderful post and photos. I just wanted to stop back and say thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

jandi said...

your photos are just amazing! have a lovely day! I enjoyed all of your images!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of birds. Great variety.

Related Posts with Thumbnails