Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Nature Notes up to May 5th 2014

"The Cuckoo has returned to Dalton Crags/Hutton Roof - 28th April 2014"
Sunday 4th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs: SW 9-16mph, 10c, 97% Cloud cover, 14900m visibility, 1021mb with decreasing pressure.

0930-1100hrs  Found two more Lesser Whitethroats (presumed on territory) whilst having a walk around the Hilderstone areas.  The first was at "Burtlands" in trees alongside the railway track closeby the bridge on Moss Lane.  The second one was on Tarn Lane, Burton about 1/2 way across, some 200 yards before you reach the Motorway bridge if you where approaching from the Burton side. Almost at the point where the iron gate runs at right angles to the road. Both birds seemed very happy and singing away continuous with their usual 3 second "time-measured" eruptions. Also had numerous Swallows from various points, some of them indicating that they were probably passing through. Also near to Cinderbarrow I had a couple of Chiffchaff in song, both holding long established territories. Also a Blackcap in the same area and yet another by the motorway bridge.

1400hrs - I had a couple of Swifts over River Kent in Kendal (Nr Abbots Hall).

Up to 14 Wheatear (2 or 3 parties) at Aldcliffe (information sourced from the Birding Aldcliffe Blog). American Buff Bellied Pipit at Cockersands (information sourced from both Heysham and also Fylde Bird Club. Swifts, Wheatears, Cuckoos and Corn Buntings from the Fylde - 1 Swift at Cockersands and 10 Swift over Marton More, 6 Wheatear at Cockersands, 1 Cuckoo at Fluke Hall, 1 Cuckoo at Lytham Moss, also 1 Corn Bunting singing at Stalmine Moss (maybe local) and one also at Ballam (maybe local). (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club).  262 Swallows and 36 Sand Martins and 7 Swifts were recorded over Bardsey between 0640 and 0810hrs strangely flying Southward out to sea. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory). 1 Swift, 6 Wheatear at Meol Dunes and a further 10 at Leasowe Paddocks - Leasowe Lighthouse plus 5 White Wagtail, 7 Yellow Wagtail and one Garden Warbler - (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding). 2 Greenland Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaffs and 1 Sedge Warbler at Hilbre (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog) 7 Swifts over 3 sites, 3 Dotterel on Pendle and 16 Whimbrel at Alston - ELOC (information sourced from East Lancs Ornithological Club)

Saturday 3rd May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs: SSE 6-8mph, 8c, 38% Cloud cover, 19800m visibility, 1028mb with decreasing pressure

At last today I got chance to actually see reasonably close up of one of the trio of Garden Warblers in Dalton Crags. For me its such a special bird with its low volumed "bubbling" or better still "garbling" (or should I say warbling) call. It hardly comes up for air, just now and again it will take a short break. Unlike the Blackcap, which is as bold as brass, superfast and most of the time can be "harsh Blackbirdy sound ish...calls".  Back to the Garden Warbler, its sounds instantly command your attention, so sweet ... thank you!

Odd individual Swallows came through all heading in a North direction.

The Cuckoo was seen and heard plenty and its quite obvious its still struggling with its "koo".  The Cuck is brilliant but let down badly with the "koo". Today it was within a regular area and came and sat within its noted year in and year out large "Cuckoo Tree", but just after minutes of situ it got no peace at all and was being constantly mobbed by a couple of local breeding Meadow Pipits.  In fact one of them seem to actually attack the Cuckoo and dislodged the sitting bird and made it leave to fly off to another nearby tree. 

3 Swifts were noted at Newby Bridge mid afternoon (information sourced through private communication). Now 2 Cuckoos in Barbondale (information sourced from Lancaster and District). 1st Swift of the year at Walney - (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog).  3 Wheatear and 4 Whitethroat at Rossall (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club). First Swift of the year for Hilbre - plus 15 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, 3 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat and 5 Yellow and 8 White Wagtails. (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog). 6 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Wheatear and a Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse. (information sourced from the Lighthouse Wirral Birding Blog). One female Dotterel at Fairscape Fell 2 Dotterel on Pendle Summit, Also 1 Cuckoo on Darwen Moor, 1 Cuckoo on Gannow Fell, plus 8 Swifts from 3 separate sites (one party of 5 (ELOC) (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club)

Friday 2nd May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs: ENE 9-14mph, 8c, 61% Cloud cover, 18900m visibility, 1026mb and rising pressure.

Bluebells are now at their best
I decided to check out Slape Lane and then spent most of the morning on Clawthorpe Fell. I could hear a Garden Warbler singing from somewhere down near Church Bank and later I had another one singing on Clawthorpe Fell, to the perimeter boundary of Curwen Wood. Also a new Chiffchaff here not recorded before. Also a Blackcap was recorded.

Cuckoo flower is out in the fields - Bang on time for the beginnings of May (The Mayflower) and just at the time the Cuckoo starts to call....

Birds Foot Sedge - click over to enlarge
Also Red Campion, Garlic Mustard, Ramsons, and a White flowered thorn, Wood Anemone, Cleavers, old remnants of Lesser Celendine, Lords and Ladies also known as "Cuckoo Pint" - There does seem to be a lot of Cuckoos around at the moment!  Also Male Ferns are sprouting up everywhere like green oversize shuttlecocks.

Long Tailed Tits were on territory and feeding from the catkins, also on territory was the Bullfinches and Buteo calling overhead.
The Claws show well here

Whilst on Clawthorpe Fell I checked out the Birds Foot Sedge (Carex ornithopoda) which are rapidly coming up to their very best for the photograph, already the "fluff" has left the sedge flower allowing a more defined view of the "Birds Foot image with its claws showing"

9 Wheatear on Ocean Edge, 86 Swallow NE over Heysham Observatory (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog). 5 Wheatear at Fluke Hall (Fylde) (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)  3 separate Swifts over East Lancs (ELOC) - 1 over Alston Wetland, 1 over Edisford Road, Clitheroe, 1 over Grove Lane Marsh.  Also two Arctic Terns over private fishing area Grove Lane Marsh (information sourced from East Lancs Ornithological Club). Nightingale (1st since 2008) plus 56 Whitethroats and 44 Sedge Warblers at Bardsey - plus 4 Grasshopper Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warblers (1st of the year), 22 Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs, 49 Willow Warblers, 2 Whinchat and 2 Yellow Wagtails. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory website) One Cuckoo, 4 Wheatear, 6 Yellow Wagtail at Leasowe Lighthouse - (information sourced through Lighthouse and Wirral Birding)
Thursday 1st May 2014
(Forecast 1000hrs: Wind East 7-12 mph, 9c, 98% Cloud cover, 11500m visibility, 1010mb pressure)

11 Wheatear on Ocean Edge and one female Whinchat at Middleton - Heysham (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog). 2 Swifts Minimum seen over Leighton Moss (information sourced from the Lancaster and District). One Cuckoo in Barbondale (information sourced from the Lancaster site). 1 Wheatear, 1 Redstart and 1 Sedge Warber at Aldcliffe (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe). 63 Wheatear, 30 Sedge Warbler, 12 Reed Warbler, 3 Whinchat and 2 Yellow Wagtail at Fleetwood (information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory Blog).  5 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat at Rossall School - Fylde (information sourced from the Fylde Bird Club website), 5 Wheatear and first Garden Warbler of the year at Walney plus 10 Willow Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog. 31 Wheatear and 1 Tree Pipit on Bardsey - plus 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 13 Sedge, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 5 Chiffs, 17 Willows, 46 Swallows, 8 House Martins and 10 Sand Martins. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory site). 1 Swift E, 8 Wheatear and 11 Yellow Wagtail including (blue headed) at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 1 Whinchat, 8 White Wagtails, 20 House Martin E, 30 Swallow E. (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral) One Cuckoo - Higher Wood Hse Farm, Croasdale - ELOC 

Wednesday 30th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind SE 6-8mph, 10c, 95% Cloud cover, 14000m vis 1012mb pressure).

Spent most of time this morning checking out the Beech area of Dalton Crags hoping to hear Wood Warbler (been heard on 27th and 28th). I thought I had a possible sighting but not clear enough to confirm, requires more checking out. 
Did have another sweet bubbling Garden Warbler at the beginning of the deforested area.  Also all breeding stock of Tree Pipits in the upper Dalton areas have returned and were singing and displaying.  Still waiting for a at least one pair which usually takes up the area to the centre of the Beechwoods.
A fall of six Greenland Wheatear were on the walls across from the "Line of Trees" in upper Dalton. 
Another big days hatch for the "black thingys" (St Marks Fly - Bibio family) Here, there and everywhere!

1500hrs to 1700hrs - Area between Newclose Coppice and Wash Dub Woods - Dalton Estate.
Had 5 Tree Pipits minimum singing away, which is good for the time of the day, would expect several more yet! 1 Chiffchaff, Lots of Willow Warblers (10+) 2 Blackcap. On my return I also had a male Redstart about 100 yards before reaching the back of "Quarry Wood".   Also had my first Tormentil flower and plenty of Bugle about.

The sounds are beautifully mixed,
just like a "bag of allsorts".
Blackcaps, Browncaps and Garden Warblers.
Dunnocks trilling and dare I say a possible
Wood Warbler trill or coin spinning sound,
With "throstles" joining in with,
their own sounds to add to the "delight",
now Bullfinch piping and Wrens trilling.
Willow's crescendos, and Chiffs are Chaffing,
A mixture please! Yes a bag of "Jolly Mixture",

One Cuckoo on Meathop Moss, also one Cuckoo on Whitbarrow Scar and 5 Wheatear on Coastal Way L. and DBWS (information sourced from Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society).One Wood Warbler, 1 Redstart, 3 Whitethroat and 7 Wheatear (Ocean Edge) at Heysham plus 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler and 1 Garden Warbler. (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog). 15 Wheatear at Walney plus 2 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Redstart and 1 Grasshopper Warbler (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog).  9 Chiffchaff, 22 Willow Warblers, at Bardsey plus 1 Grasshopper Warber, 7 Sedge Warblers, 1 Blackcap, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 7 White Wagtail (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory). 3 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear and 3 Yellow Warblers at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding). 3 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warblers, 1 female Redstart and 2 Yellow Wagtails at Hilbre (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog).  One Cuckoo reported from Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancashire Ornithological Club) 

Tuesday 29th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700hrs Wind SE 5mph, 8c, 55% Cloud cover, 17700m vis, 1013mb pressure).

Enjoyed a hour at Sizergh early doors

Dalton Crags from about 1030hrs to 1200hrs - On the bird front just the usuals already recorded.  If anything probably far more Willow Warblers calling. The Cuckoo must have been in hiding.

Did have my first Green Hairstreak Butterfly on the Common. Also lots of male Orange Tips and the odd Speckled Woods in the glades. Also Hard Shield Fern fronds beginning to open up. Plenty of Primula, Wild Strawberry.

St. Mark's Invasion: On the way up I noticed there was a invasion of Bibio Anglicus There must have been thousands, they were everywhere and so I could not help but write this little ditty:

Black dangling legs, your one of them Black thingys,
St. Mark's Fly

There's thousands of you, for me your the poor man's Mayfly.
Your like a saucer, I mean a flying saucer, you hover a bit,
then shoot off with alien speed........... thank you..........  

9 Wheatear at Heysham (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog).One Yellow Wagtail NNW over Aldcliffe (information sourced from Aldcliffe Birding.  14 Wheatear and 3 Whinchat at Walney Observatory (information sourced from Walney Bird Observatory).  Cuckoo at Marton Mere and 6 Greenland Wheatear at Fleetwood Marsh - Fylde Bird Club (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club). 7 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail over Hilbre plus 12 Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers 1 Tree Pipit (information sourced from the Hilbre Observatory Blog. 2 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail at Leasowe Lighthouse. (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding).   One Dotterel on Pendle Summit via Pendleside, 5 Wheatear at Sheddon Clough and one Cuckoo at Sunnyhurst Woods, Darwen - ELOC (information sourced via East Lancashire Ornithological Club). 1 Whinchat and 1 Lesser Whitethroat on Bardsey (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog). 

Monday 28th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700hrs Wind SW 1-2mph, 8c, 67% Cloud cover, 14700m visibility, 1011mb pressure)
Cuckoo has arrived back in Dalton Crags (1045hrs) Watched whilst in Dalton then crossed over onto the common and sat at the top of a hawthorn whilst being sort of mobbed by about 10 Meadow Pipits. Got fed up of that after about 15 minutes and decided to come back into Dalton Crags. Also noticed it does the "Cuck" in full but as yet is very poor on the "coo", this was exactly how it was last year, but last year the coo came perfect after a few days....
Also at least five Tree Pipits in song, along with one Garden Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, several Blackcap and at least 15 Willow Warblers.
"Greenland (leucorrhoa) thanks Pete at Manxbirds"
14 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat at Walney plus 20 Willow Warbler and 2 Redstart, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (information sourced from Walney Observatory Blog)
6 Wheatear at Mythop, 18 Swallow in off at Rossall School - Fylde Birding (information sourced from Fylde Birding Blog)
21 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, 2 Garden Warbler at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding)
131 Wheatear, at Bardsey Observatory plus 17 Sand Martin, 90 Swallow, 16 House Martin, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 19 Sedge Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, 13 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and 56 Willow Warblers (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog)
Little Bunting plus 2 Yellow Wagtail at Hilbre Observatory (information sourced from the Hilbre Observatory Blog)
2 Cuckoos - 1 at Stocks Resv Nth (0800hrs) 1 at Lennox Farm (1215hrs) - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club website)

Friday, 18 April 2014

Nature Notes up to April 27th 2014

Beef Cattle being attacked by Jackdaw on Dalton Crags
Sunday 27th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind ENE 12-18mph, 9c, 84% Cloud cover, 17700m vis, 1007mb pressure.

Checked out Dalton Crags (1630hrs to 1730hrs), Willow Warblers and one Chiffchaff singing and I am almost sure I have heard another Garden Warbler down near Plain Quarry, need to spend more time checking out maybe tomorrow. No Tree Pipits calling, and couldn't find any Greenlands today and still no Cuckoo.  

Also a new Redstart calling in Lancelot Clark Storth today  (information thanks to Steve Matthewman (recorder) - Cumbria Wildlife) 

200 Arctic Tern and 9 Black Tern, 19 Wheatear, 6 Tree Pipit NE, 20 Swallow NE, 1 House Martin NE, 20 Meadow Pipit NE over Heysham also one male Whinchat at Ocean Edge plus Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

 25 Meadow Pipits N, 140 Swallows NNE, 55 Sand Martin NNE, 19 House Martins NNE over Aldcliffe (0800-1100hrs) (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe) 

30 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat and 2 Yellow Wagtails at Walney (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog)

7 Wheatear (5m 2f) and 2 Whinchat at Rossall School - plus 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)

65 Arctic Tern, 3 Black Tern E at Knott End plus 40 Swallow E, 5 Sand Martin E. (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) 

3 Wheatear and 3 Whinchat at Cockersands (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)

Wood Warbler all day at Stanley Park, Blackpool (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)  

One Wryneck at Red Rocks - 2 miles west of Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse and Wirral Birding)  also 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 16 Wheatear, 2 Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 3 Grasshopper Warblers.

Osprey over Bidston Golf Course - Dee Birding (information sourced from Dee Birding)

37 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Whinchat at Bardsey Observatory plus 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaffs, 13 Willow Warbler, 52 Swallow, 24 Sand Martin, 3 House Martin (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory website)

3 Arctic Terns at Lower Foulridge Reservoir Nr. Colne - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club)

390 Sand Martin N, 200 Swallow N and 15 House Martin N over Bury Area (Greater Manchester) plus 2 flava Wagtail (information sourced from Trektellen) 

Saturday 26th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind SE 14-26mph, 8c, 88% Cloud cover, 12200m vis, 1002mb pressure)

Dalton Crags 1500 - 1600hrs - "More Greenlands" Another three Greenland Wheatear noted on walls near gully area.  Also single Swallow heading North. All the usual Warblers singing away. Again another day with no Tree Pipits calling. A single Brimstone Butterfly along with a Green Veined White and a Peacock. Lots of Primrose showing on the lower crags.

Action for Swifts (click here)
Single Swift seen this morning heading East at 0955hrs at Bare, Morecambe (information sourced from Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society website)

Ten Wheatear - Ocean Edge - Heysham (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog 

Two Whinchat and Five Wheatear and two Sedge Warblers at Aldcliffe plus a few NE bound Swallows and Meadow Pipits (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog) 

4 Wheatear at Rossall School, also Grasshopper Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats at Bispham Marsh and Warton Bank - Fylde Bird Club (information sourced from the Fylde Bird Club website) 

15 Wheatear, 12 Yellow Wagtail, plus a rare "Channel Wagtail" (Motacilla flava flava xflavissimo) 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 3 Garden Warbler and numerous Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff (information sourced from the Leasowe Lighthouse Blog)

1 Cuckoo at Stocks Reservoir (been there several days) - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithologist)

Also a Swift seen going North at Hay-A-Park, Knaresborough (information sourced from Trektellen) 

Friday 25th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700hrs Wind ENE 7-12mph, 7c, 40% Cloud cover, 20000m vis, 1021mb pressure).

21 Wheatear, 4 Meadow Pipits at Heysham - and 7 Sedge Warblers, 7 Reed Warblers on Middleton. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

One Cuckoo, 12 Wheatear at Aldcliffe - plus 1 Meadow Pipit N, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, and Redpoll and Siskins North. (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog) 

Also One Cuckoo noted in the Langden Valley (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society Website) 

2 Whinchat, 22 Wheatear at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 2 Redstart, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. With 25 House Martin flying over (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse Blog) 

46 Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Yellowhammer at Bardsey - plus 38 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 14 Sand Martin, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers, 3 Siskin and 7 Goldfinch (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory) 

25 Wheatear (majority presumed Greenlands), 5 flava Wags, 4 Tree Pipits and their first of the year Whinchat at Hilbre Observatory - plus 2 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 50 Willow Warblers, few Chiffchaffs, 2 Redstart, 1 Garden Warbler. (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog) 
This is a sketch I did last year of the Greenland Wheatear at Dalton - April 23rd 2013 - click over to enlarge

 Thursday 24th April 2014
0930 to 1000hrs - Checked out the canal area yesterday to see if there were anymore Greenlands, but they were none showing today.  However it was worth while because I did have a "Tree Sparrow" on hedgerow of orchard at property on side of canal, quite close to Bridge No.148.

1530 to 1700hrs - Checked out Dalton Crags and was pleased to find 8 Greenland Wheatear near to the Gully area in the deforested part. Two Tree Pipits in part song, but most of them had gone quiet or moved on. Lots and lots of Willow Warblers in Song. The odd Blackcap and Chiffchaff calling. 

Never seen so many "Dog Violets" a really good year so far for this species, also seen Orange Tips, Peacocks and more Speckled Wood Butterflies.  

15 Meadow Pipits 2 Redpoll and 10 Swallow over Heysham Observatory (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog) 

10 Wheatear and 4 Whinchat and 2 Redstart at Aldcliffe - (information sourced from the Birding Aldcliffe Blog)

76 Wheatear, 34 Willow Warbler, 10 Blackcap at Walney - plus 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 1 late Fieldfare, plus Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, etc. (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog)

1 Redstart, 22 Wheatear, 46 Swallows over Bardsey Observatory (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog)

1 Osprey (fifth of the year), 25 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 25 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Yellow Wagtail over Hilbre Observatory. (information sourced from the Hilbre Observatory Blog) 

21 Wheatear, 2 Winchat, 1 Stonechat, 5 Grasshopper Warbler over Leasowe Lighthouse plus 50 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins flying East, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart. (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Birding Blog) 

 1 Osprey over Little Eye - Dee Estuary (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birding website) 

1 Cuckoo and 122 Wheatear (record) for Winter Hill, Nr. Bolton (information sourced through Trektellen) 

Wednesday 23rd April 2014 
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind SE 10-16mph 10c, 83% Cloud cover, 18600m visibility, 1014mb pressure)

Canal walk from Holme to Burton In Kendal 0900hrs to 1030hrs.
Several of the regular Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps and the odd Willow Warbler calling from all of the regular spots.  But most interesting to find a couple of adjoining sloping fields which borders the Canal from its East side, which had at least 8 Greenland Wheatear present and there could well have been more.  The field was also occupied by a couple of horses and several geese and is almost opposite the Holme Mills Lodge which lies below on the opposite and West side of the canal.  The field lies between the bridges No.146 and No.147 and a rough guide to the spot (marked from the side of the Canal was SD5261178018).
Also had three singleton Swallows making their way North whilst chattering.

Also in the small copse areas adjoining the side of the canal (near the old Station Pub) there were several clusters of Early Purple Orchids in full flower.

I managed to get a reading for the Ceterach (Rusty Back Fern) on the surrounding wall of the Holme Parish Church which has two separate rosettes (SD5239478859)

Covering the same ground along the Canal from Burton to Holme at 1430hrs.

No signs of Greenland Wheatear, they probably will have moved back to the fields beyond or moved on.
Most of the same stuff about, but one to add was a Whitethroat near to the old Station Pub End of the Canal.  

18 Meadow Pipits and 4 Tree Pipits over Heysham Observatory -plus 6 Alba Wagtails NE, 25 Swallows, 14 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 3 Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

7 Blackcap, 3 Redstart, 1 Ring Ouzel at Leasowe Lighthouse - plus 50 Willow Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, 5 Wheatear, 12 Yellow Wagtail, plus Grasshopper, Sedge and Reed Warblers. (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse Blog) 

Large falls of Wheatear all week with most indications that they are likely to be "Greenlands" (O.o.leucorrhoa). Later reports also state that massive falls of Wheatear have been recorded on the West Coast today...

Just a interesting short piece from Calderdale Birds: At the court
Judge: Young man, it says here you shot and killed a California Condor. How do you plead?
Defendant: Guilty your honour.
Judge: GUILTY!? Don't you know how endangered these condors are? There are hardly any left at all.
Defendant: Yes sir, I know, but I had to feed my family, we're so poor.
Judge: That's no excuse. I fine you 30 days in jail. By the way, what does California Condor taste like?
Defendant: It's real good your honour, kinda like a cross between Bald Eagle and Whooping Crane!

Tuesday 22nd April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind East 13-20mph, 11c, 79% Cloud cover, 17600m visibility, 1007mb pressure)

Whinchats seem to be on the move

Small party of Wheatear, a male Whinchat and a Grasshopper Warbler approaching Allen Pool Car Park (information sourced from David Talbot - Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society)

4 Meadow Pipits NE, 1 Tree Pipit NE, 92 Swallows, 17 albas NE over Heysham - also 30 Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, a male Whinchat.  (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog).

15 Meadow Pipits, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 11 Wheatear at Aldcliffe today - plus 20 Siskin, 150 Swallows, 18 Sand Martin and 3 House Martin (information sourced from the Birding Aldcliffe Blogsite)

Arctic Terns and Skuas are moving through

A single Whinchat and 58 Wheatear and 12 Willow Warblers over Walney 
(information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blogsite)   

One Tree Pipit, 66 Wheatears, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat over Bardsey Observatory - also 1 Whitethroat, 22 Blackcaps, 58 Willow Warblers, 27 Chiffchaffs, 83 Swallows (heading Southward thought to be heading to Ireland) - (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory) 

3 Redstart, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Whitethroat,  450 Swallows, 85 House and 59 Sand Martins at Hilbre Observatory (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blogspot)

30 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipit, 5 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and 4 Reed Warblers, 15 Willow Warblers, 5 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 250 Swallow, 100 House Martins and 68 Sand Martin.

One Cuckoo returned at Luddenden Dean (information sourced from Calderbirds. Blogspot) 

First Whinchat at Spurn  (information sourced from Spurn Observatory)

Monday 21st April 2014 

0900-1100hrs Dalton Crags

At least another Tree Pipit arrived back plus more Willow Warblers present. Two Chiffchaffs now calling from near the Summer House. (one I take to be Summer plus maybe a offspring).  Also the Swallow count at Russell Farm is up to seven birds.  Had a party of five House Martins feeding there as well.

Also whilst passing through the Dalton hamlet I had: Peacock, first Orange Tip, a early Wall Brown, a pair of dancing Speckled Wood Butterflies. 

Osprey over Heysham North Wall 1125hrs also Arctic Terns (6) and one Arctic Skua (dark phase), several Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroat, One Redstart, One Grasshopper Warbler, trickles of hirundines and Meadow Pipits, (information sourced from Lancaster 

63 Meadow Pipits NE, 4 Tree Pipits NE, 223 Swallow NE and 40 Wheatears at Fleetwood Observatory - plus 2 Redstart, 65 Willow Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 51 Sand Martin NE, 4 House Martin NE, 3 Yellow Wagtails E, 26 Albas NE, also Sedge, Grasshopper Warblers. (information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory) 

One Cuckoo and 59 Wheatear on Bardsey - plus, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, 36 Willow Warblers, 12 Sand Martin, 48 Swallow, 3 House Martins. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory website)

1 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Tree Pipit, 5 Lesser Whitethroats at Leasowe Lighthouse - plus 7 Blackcap, 5 Redstart, 20 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 30 Willow Warblers,20 Swallow, 8 Sand Martin and oneHouse Martin. (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding) 

4 Grasshopper Warbler, 50 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and Two Tree Pipit at Dee Estuary (several sites) plus 2 Redstart  (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birding Website)                                     

Sunday 20th April 2014

89 Wheatear (mainly Greenlands) and One Red Kite over Bardsey.  also Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog).

1 Osprey 1630hrs over Cockersands/Middleton (information sourced from Lancaster and District Birdwatching website)

Saturday 19th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: ESE 9mph, 7c, 40% Cloud cover, Visibility 20000m 1021mb pressure

0930hrs-1030hrs Dalton Crags - Another Tree Pipit returned to the top section of Dalton Crags (deforested). Counted about 8 Willow Warblers singing and the odd Blackcap. 

1 Yellow Wagtail, 37 Meadow Pipits NE over Heysham (0700hrs-1000hrs) - plus 35 Lesser Redpoll NE, 11 Alba Wagtail NE, 8 Swallow NE, 6 Linnet NE, also 5 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler (information sourced through Heysham Observatory Blog)  

12 Meadow Pipits, 6 Redpoll, 4 Sand Martins (North) and 2 Swallows (East) over Aldcliffe - plus Common Whitethroat, 4-5 Lesser Whitethroat, 6-7 territorial Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, and 2 Chiffchaffs. (information sourced by Dan at Birding Aldcliffe) 

1 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Grasshopper Warblers over Dee Estuary. (information sourced through Dee Estuary website)

74 Wheatears, 1 Tree Pipit and first Yellow Wagtail over Bardsey - plus 19 White Wagtails, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 37 Willow Warblers, 14 Chiffchaffs, 13 Blackcaps (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog)

One Osprey at 1240hrs and one Red Kite at 1700hrs over Heron Corn Mill at Beetham (information sourced from Jon Carter via Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society website) 

Good Friday 18th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: ESE 6-7mph, 7c, 20% Cloud cover, Visibility 20000m, 1023mb pressure

Herb Paris in Pickles Wood
Two Garden Warblers have arrived on Burton Fell. Checked out from Vicarage Lane, Burton up Slape Lane and into parts of Lancelot Clark Storth and then a sweep of Burton Fell (0900hrs - 1130hrs)

First a new Blackcap calling from about 20 yards across from our back garden somewhere near Orchard Close. Goldcrest calling from conifers in Old Vicarage on Vicarage Lane. A new Blackcap singing from Browside. Another Blackcap near to crossroad (gates) on Slape Lane. Another Blackcap calling from Pickles Wood.  Also another calling in Ramsons Wood. (all these are fresh in or previously not recorded). It certainly seems a good year for Blackcap so far!

View today from Burton Fell - Spot the Rape Seed
Fresh in was a Garden Warbler calling from near the Plinth at the bottom of Burton Fell, and then another one was heard about 200 yards away and near to the boundary wall with Lancelot. 

A count of 17 singing Willow Warblers were recorded in Burton Fell and a further 3 in Lancelot Clark Storth, bringing the total there to press to 15 singing birds. Also a new Chiffchaff singing close to the Plinth at the bottom of Burton Fell.

Two Swallows chasing one another in play but also in haste making their way through to the North West. 

Birds Foot Sedge in Lancelot
One Long Tailed Tit present in Burton Fell, maybe some 200 yards to the West of the Spring in Lancelot. Lots of calling Nuthatches giving off the Trill breeding call plus several variant calls as well. Also a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard.

Lots of Peacock Butterflies, Bluebells are coming through and not far away from opening up, Ramsons are only a week away from opening. Lots of Ladybirds seen on the nettles. Garlic Mustard is showing on Slape along with Wood Anemone.  The mega rare Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopoda) is showing well (see attached photo). Also the Herb Paris is well on its way. 

9 Meadow Pipits NE plus finches over Heysham today - also 8 Redpoll NE, 15 Goldfinch NE, plus 6 Willow Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and one Common Redstart. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog)  

108 Greenland Wheatear, 161 Swallows at Bardsey (1230-1330hrs) - Also 45 Sand Martin and 7 House Martin. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog) 

1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whitethroat etc in the Dee Estuary - plus 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Grasshopper Warblers, 14 Wheatear (information sourced from Dee Estuary Blog)