Saturday April 18th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 1100hrs to 1230hrs (BLACKCAP and TREE PIPIT ARRIVALS)
At Plain Quarry just one of the Chiffchaffs were singing, but it was great to hear two Blackcaps singing which had obviously come in during the last 48 hours. Also had 3 Greenland Wheatear 1 male and 2 female in Dalton deforested. Also a single Tree Pipit which did a display close to the gate leading onto the Common.
Farleton Side - Newbiggin Crags 1300 to 1500hrs
Had a pair of Wheatear on hillside behind Whinn Yeates, lots of Willow Warblers singing. Two Swallows back on territory at Whinn Yeates. Yellowhammers still not back on territory.
Friday April 17th 2015 - Yealand Storrs, Leighton Moss, The Trough, Trowbarrow Quarry, Haweswater and Gait Barrows returning via Yealand Allottments to Yealand Storrs 0930hrs to 1330hrs.
Doing a test run of this 6 miles approx walk and on the way noticing quite a lot of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers who have now come in with good numbers, I probably had over a score in total of each species. Also had 6 Blackcaps at various points of the walk (my first of the year). I could hear Bearded Tits whilst travelling along the RSPB Leighton Moss causeway, several could be heard "pinging away" although they remained out of sight amongst the reedbeds. Greylag Geese were very noisy and constantly flying over. Also activity from Shelduck. Butterfly species included Peacock and Brimstone. Flora species included masses of Primula at Gait Barrows along with lots of Wood Anemone. First Bluebells on Yealand Allotments. Ground Ivy and lots of Dog Violets. Also at one point I saw my first Red Campion of the year. Also some old Hard Shield Fern whilst travelling up the Trough to Trowbarrow. Whilst stopping for lunch at "Haweswater" the Little Grebe could be heard. Also I was "imitating the call of some nearby Chiffchaff who actually came very close to investigate who had entered their territory!
Thursday April 16th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 0845hrs to 1015hrs
Both Chiffs calling at Plain Quarry and all the Willow Warblers have returned and singing in Plain Quarry and Dalton areas along with the ones on Hutton Roof as well.
Never before have I counted so many "Greenland Wheatear". I had a clear 16 showing on Wheatear Plain in Dalton and there could well have been more.
Just a single Swallow passing through, and only 3 Meadow Pipits crossing over. Green Woodpeckers heard yaffling away.
My friend Robert Ashworth had a Ring Ouzel in Dalton deforested today and here are a couple of photos of the bird.
|Both of the above photos kindly sent to me by Robert Ashworth|
(Click over photos to enlarge)
Monday April 13th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 1000hrs to 1130hrs
Both Chiffchaffs Craig and Craggy were singing away at Plain Quarry. Up to seven Buzzards seen in the sky over Dalton with odd pairs interlocking and plummeting. Dont know whether all these are all locals or some maybe passing through!
Up to 10 Willow Warblers in full song and some looking like they could well be holding territory from Trig Point to the North West at the area just before Uberash Roughs. It obviously looks like this "confusion of Willow Warblers" must have something to do with family and associated family groups which have probably come through together, because again down in the bottom Dalton lower where you tend to get most of the Willow Warblers, there is still none present. Yet all these on Hutton Roof are collectively in a small area at approx 850ft altitude which they have now been holding for at least three days.
Had a single Martin in silhouette strangely making its way to the South.
Two Wheatear present on wall going up through Dalton deforested quite near to the Gully.
Lots of Yafflers as usual, but only 8 Meadow Pipits crossed over during the time I was present.
Saturday April 11th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof. 0900hrs to 1015hrs "Osprey over Dalton"
The weather was far cooler this morning and there had also been a increase with the stronger Westerley winds. The highlight this morning without doubt was a OSPREY going high over Dalton. It was far off but easily recognizable through binoculars with the winding path it was taking but more important the give away for me was the tucked in "W" wing flight on plummet (similar to the Lapwing) which it was having to do regular because of the strong gusty winds and in addition to this the brilliant white showing from the underpart back end areas.
The Chiffchaffs Craig and Craggy in Plain Quarry were in full song, yet the Willow Warblers have not yet arrived down here on the lower grounds, yet the strange thing is that yesterday I had them a plenty at 800ft on the Common. Yes I guess it is "confusing".
Not a single Meadow Pipit crossed the path of Dalton and Hutton Roof which I was aware of.
I have only recently come across some great photography by Andy Holden with lots of subjects I like. He has kindly sent me this small sampler here, but if you would like to see most of Andy's stuff on Flickr then click here or if you wish to check out his Wildlife album then click here. All photos strictly copyrighted to Andy
Friday April 10th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof. 0845hrs to 1015hrs "Confusion of Willow Warblers"
The highlight of the morning was seeing a "Confusion of Willow Warblers" over on Uberash Roughs at a area where you dont normally get many of this species. I had at least six singing birds, but also one or two I saw which where not singing, perhaps there could well have been more I had not detected.
Yet down at Plain Quarry and the lower Dalton areas where you expect to get the first Willow Warbler arrivals I have had not as yet. However in this area it was nice to be greeted with our resident Chiffchaffs Craig and Craggy.
Stonechats where seen up near the gully on the Dalton deforested midway point. No Wheatears for me today and would you believe it, I counted the passing Meadow Pipits on one hand. So this is strange because normally by now I would have expected over 100 plus per hour - lets blame it on changes in atmospheric pressure or something like that!