|Willow Warbler "Singing in the Snow" (Click over to enlarge)|
I nearly forgot to mention, that on Friday last I was parked up and two Chiffchaffs were very busy flitting about in a nearby Rhodedendrum bush and I was probably only some 4 yards away from them when I heard a contact call between them which I have never heard before. It was a very soft "tuc" "tuc" call. I can imagine if you had have been any further away in distance you would not have even heard the call. I have only ever known of the regular "hou-whit" contact call (sang slightly sharper than the Willow Warbler's hou whit call). Brilliant stuff now I can add the "tuc" call to my notes!
Saturday 30th April 2016 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof
Started off with 50% blue skies, but rapidly turned to what looked very much like December time clouds and white with dark. A frost was on the car screen this morning peppered with a sprinkling of snow.
Checked out all the usual areas and again no Cuckoo, no territorial Tree Pipits, although saying that I did have what I consider a Tree Pipit far away to the South over on Crag House Side. So can now only presume the Cuckoo was a bird moving through bird, because after numerous checks no one has recorded seeing it since last Saturdays sighting.
Also it looks very much like the two/four Wheatear have moved on - again no sightings this morning. Archie the Chiffchaff was singing from "The Cottage" which is on the Main Street directly opposite the Burton School.
Tuesday 26th April 2016 0900hrs to 1030hrs Majors Nursery Area - Dalton Hall Estate
Had a new Garden Warbler singing in the large conifers which lie just below the "Water Meter House". I checked over near Newclose and Majors Nursery but still no Redstarts or for that matter Tree Pipits although I did have plenty of Willow Warblers in song but the Chiffchaff at the side of Newclose still seems to be missing. It was very cold this morning especially in the open areas which bade no shelter and maybe this had something to do with it, but I will be checking this area again very soon!
Just for the record its been a super year so far for the Celandine and now the Gorse! but its so far proving to be a terrible year for the Bluebells with very few showing...
Monday 25th April 2016 0930hrs onwards Robert Ashworth (Kendal) kindly reported:
"Three plovers flying north over trig point area seen from just below wall at top of deforested. Appeared to be Dotterel but limited view means I could not pick up all diagnostic features. Searched common but no further sign".
Monday 25th April 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags (0915hrs to 1030hrs)
No signs of Cuckoo today, had Wheatear yet again at top right hand corner of upper Crags and also down at Gulley end. No Garden Warblers calling today.
Sunday 24th April 2016 - Dalton Park Wood (1400hrs to 1600hrs)
Had about 12 Willow Warblers in Song, 3 Chiffchaffs and one Blackcap
|(Click over sketch to enlarge)|
Saturday 23rd April 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags (0730hrs to 0930hrs)
A superb morning the sun was shining and warming up nicely.
For me it started out in search of the Wheatears, and nothing has changed I had a pair up by the top right corner of Dalton Crags and another pair close to the bottom of the Gully.
Then on my way back down, I was quickly stopped in my tracks having just heard the single syllabel "Cuck" coming from the line of Trees which was only maybe 30 yards in front of me. Sure enough there was a returning Cuckoo which had just come in this very morning and was already being mobbed by a Mistle Thrush and three Meadow Pipits, which soon gave up their bombardments. I got more good close ups has the bird moved across the "Line of Trees". Without doubt for me this is the earliest I have ever known a Cuckoo return on Dalton. Although I was on the ready because a couple of days ago I was informed by Wal that he had a returning Cuckoo up at Crook on Tuesday last (19th April 2016).
It does not stop there it gets even better. Because on my way back down and close to Plain Quarry, two Garden Warblers came in the tree above me flitting from one branch to the other. One of the birds actually broke out into song. I was watching them for over ten minutes. I guess they are just slightly earlier than usual by a couple of days.
On reaching the village and walking out to the Post Office, I noticed a pair of House Martins flying over Hollowrayne/Tanpits Lane area and obviously back on territory. Again only arrived this morning.
There must have been a hard fall last night with the Garden Warblers, I had one in full song whilst mooching around in the blossom at the property called the Orchard which is directly across from the Burton School.