Sunday, April 22, 2018

Change Of Scene

With a forecast of a good sunny morning I decided to have a drive up to the hills to see how things were going in this belated spring. With luck I’d have three hours of birding before the parades of wannabe Bradley Wiggins’ showed up in their day-glow clothing and very loud voices that scare the birds away.

It’s a forty minute drive and a bridge over the northbound M6 before I hit the beginnings of the Trough of Bowland.

"Click the Pics" for a closer look. 

Bowland, Lancashire 


The quiet of early morning was broken mostly by the sounds of displaying Curlew and Lapwing. To lesser extent were the calls of Oystercatcher, Redshank and Snipe, all in the throes of establishing their breeding territories but the last three tend to be later breeders. 




I lost count of the Mistle Thrush seen and/or heard. From every bit of suitable woodland or copse came their loud, fluty song. 

Mistle Thrush 

If Meadow Pipits have been rather thin on the coast they were around in large numbers this morning flitting around on every stretch of fence or dry stone wall for miles. Again, I lost count, or rather made no attempt at a total as they were just everywhere.

Pied Wagtails were numerous but not nearly so many as pipits. I found a couple of pairs of Grey Wagtail along Marshaw and Tower Lodge streams. It was at Tower Lodge that I both saw and heard Siskins, Lesser Redpolls and a single male Redstart. 

Meadow Pipit 

Meadow Pipit 

Pied Wagtail 

I saw at least 4 Wheatears on the journey. They seemed very mobile and were probably migrants. 


Not so the Red-legged Partridge, in loud song from a dry stone wall. Our Red-legged Partridge is not native to Britain but instead are feral or left overs from autumn shoots of released birds. Altogether it is an attractive bird that is able to hack it in the English countryside, unlike our native Grey Partridge which has become a rare sight in modern Lancashire. 

Red-legged Partridge 

Bowland, Lancashire

And while we are on the subject of Bowland, here’s an udate on the case against Bleasdale Estate gamekeeper James Hartley. Previous post here.  Mr Hartley faced 9 charges as follows:
  1. Disturbing the nesting site of a Schedule 1 wild bird (13/04/2016) 
  2. Killing a Schedule 1 wild bird (13/04/2016) 
  3. Killing a Schedule 1 wild bird (14/04/2016) 
  4. Setting trap / gin / snare etc. to cause injury to a wild bird (between 13-14/04/2016) 
  5. Taking a Schedule 1 wild bird (14/04/2016) 
  6. Possessing a live / dead Schedule 1 wild bird or its parts (14/04/2016) 
  7. Possessing an article capable of being used to commit a summary offence under section 1 to 13 or 15 to 17 (13/04/2016) 
  8. Possessing an article capable of being used to commit a summary offence under section 1 to 13 or 15 to 17 (between 12/04/2016 – 27/04/2016) 
  9. Causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal – Animal Welfare Act 2006 (between 14/04/2016 – 15/04/2016) 
The case collapsed last week after District Judge Goodwin ruled the RSPB video evidence inadmissible at a hearing at Preston Magistrates Court on 28 March 2018. 

The only bird of prey I saw while driving through Bowland on Saturday was a single Kestrel. The killing goes on.

Log in soon to see more birds on Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to World Bird Wednesday with Stewart.


Rhodesia said...

Lovely selection of photos, I love the mistle thrush, something I have never seen here. Have a good day Diane

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

OH Phil, that is so sad -- I can't believe they let that gamekeeper off. What absolutely horrible news.... things are certainly not good for the natural world over here on this side of the pond... it is so hard sometimes to maintain a positive outlook, although depression does nothing to help anyone.

Your birds are lovely and seeing them always makes me feel better. I think we'll all survive.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Lovely photos of the birds. The news of the case is very sad.

Lady Fi said...

What beautiful shots.

Angie said...

Technicalities ... dammit! Whatever happened to common sense?

OK. I have calmed down now. Loved the snipe - does he have only one leg and makes up for it with the long snogger? That partridge is delightful ... And the last picture, of Bowland, made me quite homesick for my adopted country!

Thanks for your kind comments on my last post ... as a Brit, you know you are welcome to visit us any time!! The beer is good!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

The snipe is a pretty cool bird. I love its long beak!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I forgot to mention before that I had to Google Bradley Wiggins although I should have guessed what he was from your words. Shame that the bicycles have to go through good bird country.

Kay L. Davies said...

Well, I had trouble getting my comment done here, so don't be surprised if you receive 1 1/2 from me.
I love the pied wagtail, and the red-legged partridge is amazing, not only the red eyes, bill and legs, but...those must be its wings, right? The stripey part?
Hugs to you and Sue.
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Lowcarb team member said...

We visited Bowland a few years ago now, and it is a beautiful area.
A lovely collection of photographs Phil, thanks.

All the best Jan

Victoria said...

Beautiful photos, especially the Red Legged Partridge. I've never seen one before.

Latane Barton said...

You have captured those beautiful birds and shared them with us. Thank you.

Betty Crow said...

Sad the gamekeeper escaped conviction. Beautiful area for birding. Nice shots, as always. My favorite bird today is the red-legged partridge. I liked reading how it came to be in that area, Happy Wednesday.

A Colorful World said...

I sure hope they sock it to Mr. Hartley. It's such a horrible situation! Love the snipe...I have a little carved and painted wooden snipe on a shelf in my bedroom. Just love them...they are so interesting. Beautiful wheatear and well, all the birds you saw that day. And I love the pretty cottage view in the last shot. Such a beautiful place. They just have to convict the poachers!

BumbleVee said...

Wow.... that's a lot of birds on a trip....

David Gascoigne said...

It stuns me that these assholes continue to get away with it. It is truly disgusting.

Powell River Books said...

Lovely rolling hills. - Margy

Spare Parts and Pics said...

That's really frustrating. Love your bird photos!

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