Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Nature Notes up to Monday March 17th 2014 (St. Patricks Day)

Dalton Crags - lower section 
All last week the Meadow Pipits were crossing over Dalton and Hutton Roof heading North.  One day I had a blogging party of some 30 birds hanging about in the deforested upper Dalton Crags area.

Yesterday Monday March 17th 2014 (St. Patricks Day) was the best passage so far, it was good dry weather with winds at 8-10mph on a South Westerley.  I had up to 50 Mipits over one hour crossing over the deforested part of Dalton Crags, with also some crossing over at the point of Hutton Roof Common.  Although singles and pairs were coming through, the majority of the passage were 3s and 4s, which instead of coming through tight as they do usually, they were actually quite straggly with slight gaps between them. The majority of the passing birds kept to a reasonable "corridor width" of some 50 yards in the main.

On Sunday last whilst checking out the Farleton side, I managed to get quite close to a singing male Yellowhammer which was in a startling yellow upper plumage, it was certainly on territory and calling with very regular "chink" contact calls which was receiving good response from another close by bird.  The area has had "hammers" present since at least mid January, in fact I am convinced now that most of the Hutton Roof breeding stock have probably overwintered here or near abouts.

Skylarks calling from most sites with good intensity numbers throughout the usual breeding areas.  Still odd pairs passing overhead and soon to be seen to be being escorted through their territories by the birds already on territory.