Saturday, April 18, 2020

Back In Time

Three more weeks in captivity is the sentence. While we’re waiting for the starting pistol here’s an earlier post of Another Bird Blog from June 2017. The day promised a visit to the Bowland Hills, “England’s Answer to Tuscany”, about 20 miles away from the Flat Fylde coast where I live. 

With luck there will be a chance to revisit the hills in June 2020 for what is a highlight of any birding year. 


I took lots of pictures up in Bowland this morning, almost 400, easily packed onto half of an SD card. I know there are some who refuse to abandon the traditional 35mm film photography, but give me digital photography, computers and Photoshop any old day.

It was a morning of waders again with a number of Snipe on show, plus Redshanks and Oystercatchers with young. I even managed a picture of the very shy Red Grouse. Other highlights of the morning included two Ring Ouzel, Turdus torquatus –“the mountain blackbird”, and at least one Cuckoo.

Click the pics for a closer look.

Ring Ouzel 

At this time of year Redshanks are always on the lookout for predators and will shout endless warnings from a prominent place advising their young to stay out of sight.



Oystercatchers do the same. It’s not that they like to pose for the camera, their parental duties are foremost in their reaction to the wound down window of a vehicle.



Red Grouse 

The Red Grouse is an unmistakable bird - plump and round, with a gingery-red body as its name suggests. Found on upland heath, it is under threat from a nationwide, dramatic loss of these habitats.

Red Grouse

Snipe seemed especially active this morning whereby I saw 8/10 individuals in poses, behaviour or voice that suggested they also have young.







A barely fledged Redshank  had quickly learnt about using dry stone walls as a parent looks on.


Redshank chick


Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits are probably the two most common and conspicuous birds in these parts. Sadly, the Lapwing population has tumbled for many years.

Pied Wagtail 

Meadow Pipit 


Bowland, Lancashire

At Langden there's a memorial stone to airmen killed in the Second World War that makes for sombre reading at anytime.

War Memorial - Langden, Bowland 

That's all for today. Come back soon for more birding, photographs or ringing with Another Bird Blog.


April 2020. Update to that Red Grouse. 

Torching heather, popular with gamekeepers but bad for the environment, is now outlawed in several upland areas of northern England The controversial practice of setting heather-covered moorland on fire, carried out by gamekeepers to create more attractive habitats for grouse is now banned on more than 30 major tracts of land in northern England. 

Heather Burning - Getty images

"Three large landowners have confirmed that their tenants are no longer allowed to burn heather routinely. The ban is a blow to grouse shoots, which burn older heather to make way for younger, more nutritious plants for grouse to feed on, but environmental groups say the practice harms the environment. Research by the University of Leeds has found that burning grouse moors degrades peatland habitat, releases harmful altering gases, reduces biodiversity and increases flood risk 

The issue has been thrown into sharp relief by the coronavirus outbreak. Yorkshire Water and United Utilities have said that all burning on their land must now cease until further notice. 

The National Trust said: “We are keen to alleviate pressure on the emergency services, and are working with estate managers and tenants to ensure any burning is stopped immediately.” The move follows requests from emergency services and local councils, which fear that burning increases the risk of wildfires, and that fumes might affect people suffering from Covid-19."

Linking this post to Eileens Blog and Anni's Blog in North America. Give them a visit. 


Ella said...

The birds are the wonders of this planet ...
Thanks for sharing!

Anu said...

Hello. Wonderful photos of birds. I have seen Ring Ouzels in some spring when they are moving to the north. Ring Ouzels are a very rare in Finland, but northern Finland is one area where they are nesting.
Have a nice weekend.

eileeninmd said...


Wonderful collection of birds and photos. The Ring Ouzel and Red Grouse are new to me. I would love to see them some day. The Snipe is an all time favorite for me, because it took me forever to find my first Snipe. The Redshank and Lapwing are beauties. Take care! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

Wonderful the Birds photo! Good thing that burning is prohibited.Your contribution was interesting.
Have a good weekend, Elke

Jo said...

Hello Phil, Ring ouzel is new to me. Thanks for the beautiful images. You inspire me to try harder. Be safe Jo

Stevenson Q said...

Wow my friend, this is the first time I heard about Bowland and this place looks so beautiful!!! I would love to do long walks along that trail and also see these species. The Lapwing really interests me so much because that is a very different bird compared to the ones that are here in the Philippines with it's hornlike headfeathers.

Happy Weekend my friend Phil!


sandyland said...

wonderful group today makes my heart swell to see nature -my heart now as i go nowhere on lockdown

Wally Jones said...

What a beautiful area!

Your list of birds and accompanying photographs is impressive. I particularly liked the young Redshank. Of course, I'd be thrilled to see any of these as most would be new for me.

I, also, had no problem saying good-bye to film. Over 400 images on one trip - the mind boggles at what that would cost in 35mm film plus processing!

The new prohibitions on burning must be very welcome, indeed! Especially if you are a grouse.

We are still "encouraged" to stay home except when engaged in "essential activities". Our common-sense governor has included "recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing, etc." as "essential", as long as "social distancing" and other precautions are observed.

Gini and I drive the mostly empty back roads and at all times maintain one alligator length between us and other humans.

Thank you, Phil, for an uplifting post! Stay safe.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love looking down at Bowland...what a beautiful scene! And I love the Red Grouse so much. You saw such a nice variety of birds. I take a LOT of photos when I'm out too! You never know which one will turn out best! Take care and stay healthy!

Jean said...

Beautiful birds! I do think that the Lapwing is my favorite, so unique looking. Interesting reading about the Red Grouse. Hopefully, they'll figure out something to maintain some of its habitats.

Anni said...

They burn our dunes on the islands each year ... it grows too thick each year I guess (I don't know their logic)...but it's working. The hawks & gallons return. Love all your birds & am counting the weeks along with you.

Thanks for adding this post link today. Great addition to I'd Rather B Birdin this week!

Rhodesia said...

What a fab post love all the photos here, going back in time is great, love the lapwing.
Phil I think something horrible has happened no sign of an owl at all. No faces from under the roof, no new white marks on the wall. I have never heard it so quiet. We have a very odd neighbour and I suspect that something underhand might have gone on. I keep praying that I am wrong but the owls have been around closeby for years, now nothing!

Take care and stay safe, Diane

Catscue Cat Mom said...

Stunning photos! I am partial to the grouse, but they are all amazing birds.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

something about the oyster catcher grabs my attention, attractive fellow

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Wonderful photos!! So grateful for God's creatures! Thank you for your post! Cathy

NCSue said...

Great shots here. I always enjoy your posts.
Thank you for joining this week's photo party at

Veronica Lee said...

Fabulous post and photos as always, Phil. Birds are a gift from God.

Happy Tuesday!

betty-NZ said...

You always have beautiful and interesting birds for us to see! Thanks so much.

Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

Lowcarb team member said...

Such a good selection of photographs, so lovely to see them all.

All the best Jan

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