Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Nature Notes

Please click over sketch to enlarge
Sunday 1st June 2014

0900hrs - Leighton Moss - Lower Hide - "Blue Damselflies and Marsh Harriers"

A hatch of hundreds if not thousands of a "blue damselfly" in other words a massive swarm!

Also a couple of separate Marsh Harriers certainly brought lots of attention from the many local breeding Black Headed Gulls, Lapwings and Oystercatchers.

Saturday 31st May 2014 

0800hrs  Dalton Crags - "Both Cuckoos seen together"

Confirmed from a good source that both of the Dalton Crags Cuckoos were actually seen together this morning. 

Thursday 29th May 2014

0900hrs - 1200hrs  In Search of Angular Solomon's Seal on Hutton Roof

I am going to enjoy showing a good friend of mine some of the rare beautiful specimens of Angular Solomon's Seal which we have amid the limestone grykes of Hutton Roof.  He is itching to get a good photograph. 

Angular Solomon's Seal
I was able to check out some of the usual best specimens locally at both Clawthorpe Fell and within Dalton Crags.  It soon became quite apparent that the species this year was certainly not showing at its best in that the flowers seemed of poor number per ratio to the plant this year by comparison to past years.  Also the flowers that were showing this year, seemed creamy in colour (not so much their normal fresh white appearance) even "bedraggled" or watery and almost transparent towards their tips, perhaps another sign of them going past their best.  Yet if this was the case, it does seems strange that I got my best specimen photographs last year much later, in fact it was on June 12th (2 weeks later). So have they flowered early this year, or was it that they were much later flowering last year. I will have to check my records over the past five years to get the answers!

Mountain Melick Grass
Also checking out the nearby Lily of the Valley populations, a large patch of some 30ft radius, and again it was a 75% "gone over" situation in most cases, with specimens showing white, some creamy and some with burnt brown tips! 

Good early specimens of the rare (but locally common) Rigid Buckler Fern, and also another rarity of the Mountain (or Black) Melick Grass, also some of the grykes had beautiful fresh Limestone Ferns (or the Limestone Polypody).  

Wednesday 28th May 2014

1400hrs approx - Holme to Milnthorpe

A gang or a pack or a trip of Stoats

Surprise, surprise, whilst travelling to Milnthorpe, just after leaving the village of Holme and on the first clear stretch (without houses), I took the corner and travelling towards me on the opposite side of the narrow road were a "gang or a pack or a trip" of Stoats, yes five of them all fully mature adults, a splendid sight and one I can say I have never seen anything like before.  For a instant It took my mind straight back to my childhood when Tarka the Otter was running down the side of the road. 

Although they moved with haste whilst at the same time squabbling with one another, and bumping into one another and criss crossing over one another's path, at the same time they did try to keep some sort of regimental order, if you dare call it that. 

I thought I may have seen this situation with perhaps a mother and her kits, but not five equally sized adults!

You automatically think about their safety, but no sooner had I seen them and they were gone, because at that near point they left the road in a follow my leader order and entered a small opening in the hedgerow and I presumed will have gone through to the safety of the field at the other side. 

I wonder why they where grouped like this at this time of the year? 

Tuesday 27th May 2014
1000hrs - 1200hrs  Sizergh (Lane Ends)

Enjoying checking out Fly Orchids especially the ones on the road verges, really good specimens and at their prime, some five or six flowers to one stalk.  Also a magic field with Greater Butterfly Orchids sprouting here, there and everywhere.  Lots of Common Twayblades about.   

It is my intentions shortly to do a small blog on the "Hawfinches of Sizergh" with lots of help from Rob, and here below is a little scribble I did last night of that fabulous little "dumpy cheekie chappie" Ed - "The Hornbeam Kernel Chomper of Sizergh"

"Hawfinch Eddie the Sizergh Hornbeam Kernal Chomper"

Saturday 24th May 2014
1130-1300hrs Dalton Crags

Becoming a regular now, the Redstart opposite Nineteen Trees was calling again from the same spot.  

Spent absolutely ages (30 minutes plus) listening to a Blackcap which was within twenty feet from where I stood.  It was explosive, just wish I could have recorded it and been able to share it with you, it was so special, and I was so privileged. My attention was drawn to it purely by the speed and intermittent delivery of its song, for a second or two you could easily have thought it to be a "Whitethroat".  There were several Blackcaps going for it this morning along with a couple of Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.

In the distance I could hear the Cuckoo calling, again from far away in the distance, and from the direction behind Crag House to the North East Side of Dalton Crags.  I quickly paced back and plotted my course in the direction of the calling bird.  The reason I showed such eagerness to follow the call was that the Cuckoo I was hearing actually had the full two clear syllabels (Cuck-oo), but this one was really going for it, almost non stop over one hour at least. So I just wanted to make sure it was our "regular" Cuckoo and not a new one moved into the territory.  Sure enough as I got closer I could confirm that it was our regular one, but the good news is that it has regained 95% of its "honour" with most of its call sounding just like you would expect from a Cuckoo with just now and again a small hiccup with a "Cuck - Cu". 

Weird as it may be, but this was also a similar experience to last year, the bird arrived with the "Cuck cu", yet after a week or two of its arrival, it then also reverted back to the full call.

On the way back found lots of the Long-stalked Crane's-bill (Geranium columbinum).

Wednesday 21st May 2014 

0900-1030hrs Dalton Crags

The first thing on reaching the junction from Nineteen Trees and Dalton Lane was that same Common Redstart I had a couple of days ago, singing its little heart out from more or less the same spot.

After leaving Plain Quarry  I had a singing Garden Warbler from a new area in the lower crags.  Also the Cuckoo was from somewhere over the Crag House side (distant).

A new arrival in the upper deforested was a Lesser Whitethroat which was happily singing away.  All the local Tree Pipits seemed happy enough doing their crescendo's whilst at the same time parachuting from the high levels to the lower levels.

On the way back a female Blackbird crossed my path carrying nesting material so can only imagine the bird has been previously disturbed and is retrying.

Looking forward to checking out the Burton In Kendal Swift's this evening.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Nature Notes up to 20th May 2014

Notes on Local Large Wheatear Hotspots 2014 (this is actual size please click over to enlarge)
Tuesday 20th May 2014

Today 1200hrs to 1400hrs - Coffin route Grasmere to Rydal.

One of our favourite walks, but today you might has well have called it the "Warbler in Song" route because thats just what it was with: Whitethroats (2), Willow Warblers (several), Chiffchaffs (3), Blackcap (2), Garden Warbler (2) and Redstart (3), all singing out to their best and the majority of them close and clear, and that was just a snapshot whilst striding out towards the side of Wordsworth's Rydal Mount, I'll bet if I could have spent time and checked it out more thoroughly I would have even been able to include a Wood Warbler or two because this is just smack bang central to one of their better breeding localities.  

Yesterday a good friend of mine kindly sent me photo's of a poor House Martin which he found dead just outside his house in Burton In Kendal.  You can see within the photos that the poor bird was infested with blood sucking nasties! in fact they are common parasites within the "hirundine" or Swift communities.

On this poor creature there had been six of these nasties which would quickly dash back to cover within the birds feathers on handling the dead bird.  I tried to check out what they where from my insect reference books, but nothing showing.

I was able to find out further information from the good old internet and their latin classification is "Crataerina pallida" or more commonly called the "hippobosid fly" or "louse Fly" or "Keds".

I at one time used to accompany a bird ringer who had licence to ring Swifts and more often than not when caught and handled you would see the birds with several of a unidentified "irridescence beetle" which would quickly scurry back under the birds feathers on handling. Without doubt these beetles were of African origin and I wonder now if these "louse flies" are also of African origin.

Getting back to the Crataerina, a very interesting report comes from a .pdf file I read from the East Hyde Historic Bird Reports dated 7th June 1934 and it reports about a Swift and quotes "Of interest a bird seen to drop dead out of the sky, which contained over 20 blood sucking flies of the order Crataerina pallida" 

I have already seen other photographs on the net showing exactly the same thing present on House Martins, but would love to know more information in regards to these creatures. It would be nice to have it confirmed that they are of African origin and travel to and fro with the birds during their long migrations, this is what I think must be the case, but any offers of further information on the subject would be most welcome.

For now check out the interesting photos:

Dead House Martin infested with Crataerina pallida or "hippobosid fly" or "louse-fly" or "Keds"
Monday 19th May 2014
0930hrs to 1045hrs - Dalton Crags.

Recorded a new "Redstart" singing on Dalton Lane, opposite the junction with "Nineteen Trees".

Also a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap within the Crags.

Sunday 18th May 2014

(1300hrs to 1500hrs) Checking out Dalton Crags, and as usual it was really good today with singing Garden Warblers (probably 3 to 4 breeding pairs in the lower Dalton area), as usual the local Blackcaps were much subdued.

The Cuckoo was about and singing and could be heard from as far South as the bottom of Dalton on the Crag House side were he spent most of the time whilst I was there, I did actually get a full view of him when he came back up into Dalton (deforested).  It is certainly worthy of note that the same bird has also been recorded far over on the East Side near the top of Park Wood on the Hutton Roof side. Sadly for the bird, but great for the human, this particular Cuckoo can be easily recognized as the same bird covering this large area because of its "coo" which is represented by more of a "Cuk" and a cough rather than a "coo". 

Several singing Tree Pipits throughout Dalton, but still at least one to two pairs missing from usual occupied territories. 
Female Orange Tip (click over to enlarge)

Two Greenland Wheatear were present in the deforested area and seen on several occasions coming of the wall and "flycatching" mid air before returning to the wall. Also closeby was noted a pair of Linnets which I have seen around the same area now on no less than three separate occasions.  The lovely crimson and black "Cinnabar" moth has been active over the past few days and also today I had a beautiful brimstone down in the bottom of Dalton (usual territory roding!) also Speckled Woods, Green Veined Whites, Orange Tips and the odd Peacock.

Friday 16th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind 7-12mph, 14c, 73% Cloud cover, 19700m visibility, 1031mb pressure)

(Slape Lane to Clawthorpe Fell) A Chiffchaff singing further along Slape Lane almost in line with Church Bank in the bottom.  Another was heard in a previously unrecorded area near to the Old Lime Kiln near Clawthorpe. Local farmers have been making their first cut of the year with several fields about been cut. 

My main purpose today was to check out Clawthorpe Fell behind Curwen Wood to check out if the Spotted Flycatcher was back, but I watched its usual territory for almost one hour without any signs of the birds.  Will check again in a week or two.  Did have the usual Blackcap and also a Chiffchaff singing away. A bonus was to see and hear a Marsh Tit.

Also a Cinnabar Moth noted and a rather fragile but very drab looking damselfly near to the border with the Holme Park Quarry.  

On Clawthorpe Fell noticed the Angular Solomon's Seal is showing its drooping white pods and will probably be at its best in another week on.  Also flowering Spring Cinquefoil and lots and lots of the rare Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopoda).

Still finding dead "bombus" in the tracks.... 

Thursday 15th May 2014
Woodland at Dalton
(Forecast: 1900hrs - Wind 6-8mph, 13c, 33% Cloud cover, 18500m visibility, 1034mb pressure).

Other North West Migratory News:
200 Spotted Flycatchers, 134 Wheatear, 150 Sedge Warblers, 150 Whitethroat, Two Cuckoos, 1470 Swallows North, - Bardsey (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog). 

Wednesday 14th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind: 5-7mph, 11c, 44% Cloud cover, 19400m visibility, 1031mb pressure. 

Fairy Foxglove in Plain Quarry, Dalton
Other North West Migratory News:
1 Cuckoo NE of Silverdale Moss - (Heysham) (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog). 9 Wheatear at Cockersands and also good numbers of Swallows moving through (Birds2Blog) (information sourced from Pete's site Birds2Blog). 13 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Tree Pipit and 2 Garden Warblers (Bardsey) - (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog. One Cuckoo at Grindleton Fell, 1 Cuckoo at Hareden and 2 Cuckoos (male and female) at Lennox Farm (ELOC) (information sourced from the East Lancashire Ornithologist Club). 

Tuesday 13th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs: Wind: NW 2-5mph, 10c,  60% Cloud Cover, 15700m visibility, 1018mb pressure.

Other North West Migratory News:
54 Swallow NE (Heysham) (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog).  21 Wheatear and 1 Redstart at Walney. (information sourced from Walney Observatory Blog. 2 Corn Bunting at St. Michaels On the Wyre (Fylde) (information sourced from the Flyde Bird Club Blog) 4 Dotterel on Pendle, One Wood Warbler at Boothman Wood, Barley, One Cuckoo at Marl Hill Wood and one Cuckoo at Sheddon Clough (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancashire Ornithologist Club).

Monday 12th May 2014
(Forecast 1000hrs: Wind: 9-12mph, 10c, 50% Cloud cover, 14700m visibility, 1008mb pressure.

Please click over to enlarge
0900-1100hrs - Dalton Crags 
Checked out the higher or deforested parts of Dalton but no Wheatear present today, and neither saw or heard our resident Cuckoo.  Some of the Tree Pipits this year in Dalton seem to be either a little behind in arriving or we are going to have a reduced numbered breeding year. Although the majority have been back now for some three weeks we are still short of a couple of pairs up to this morning they have not yet arrived back. 

Especially in Dalton deforested just at the start, the Cowslips are without doubt having their best year yet by way of taking up more territory than in previous years, and also the specimens on show are taller and more mature in appearance. There's also some fine specimens of "Bugle" showing along with good spreads of "Wild Strawberry" in flower.

Without doubt its one of those "Garden Warbler" years and we are doing really well at Dalton. Just in a close 300 yard radius to the Plain Quarry Car Park there appears to be at least 5 singing males. This would probably outnumber their cousins by almost double. It could quite be the case has I have noticed in previous years whereby the Blackcap goes into a more "subdued" mode at the arrival of the Garden Warblers, you don't seem to hear them just as prolific as though they have taken the back seat.  But there again thinking about it most of the Blackcap have had at least three weeks or longer start over the Garden Warbler's in establishing their territories. 

Chiffchaffs are also doing well this year, which is fantastic news to say how poor last year started off with only a 50% return of birds.  All lower Dalton regular sites are fully occupied and all birds have been singing away this morning. One of the birds back is another "Speedy" in song, and not coming up for air! 

I had a single Meadow Pipit going through North this morning. Just shows you there are still the stragglers about!

Other North West Migratory News:
19 Wheatear and small numbers of Swallows over Walney. (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog). Spotted Flycatcher singing at Crook O'Lune - (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Ornithological Society). 100 Swifts hawking over Lillians Hide - Silverdale (Birds2Blog) (information sourced from Pete's site Birds2Blog). One Cuckoo at Fleetwood Marsh, 5 Greenland Wheatear at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park, 7 Wheatear at Abbey Fields - Cockersand - (FYLDE) (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club). 8 Spotted Flycatchers, 9 Garden Warblers, 31 Sedge Warblers, 8 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 39 Willow Warblers, 187 Swallows and 11 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins (Bardsey) (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory). 7 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birds) 1 Cuckoo on Gannow Fell and a second heard on Longridge Fell, 4 Dotterel on Pendle Hill (ELOC) 
(information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithology Club).

Sunday 11th May 2014
(Forecast: Wind: W 13-21mph, 9c, 93% Cloud cover, 13800m visibility, 996mb pressure)

Other North West Migratory News:
12 Wheatear and a trickle of Swallows and 1 Willow Warbler at Walney - (Information sourced from Walney Blog). 4 Dotterel on Pendle nr Trig Point (ELOC) - (information sourced from East Lancashire Ornithologist Club.

Saturday 10th May 2014
(Forecast: Heavy Rain)

Yesterday evening at around the 1945hrs to 2000hrs I noticed just one Swift high above the village of Burton In Kendal.

What was interesting, whilst watching I had a superfast movement of both Swallows and Martins come directly over the main street in Burton.  Similar to what happened a few nights ago.

I think I have got the answer to these moving birds.  For the past five days if not longer, a large quantity of mixed hirundines (Swallows and House Martins) (up to 50) have been seen feeding up over the main A6070 just at the opening to Cote Green Farm and stretching it to the almost opening into Deerslet on the other side of the road.  This activity at the moment seems to be early doors until dusk.  The birds are at only 30ft high whilst feeding here as though dodging in and out just above the fast moving traffic beneath them. What ever the food source is here it must be really good. Thinking about it now I have seen this particular spot marked out before and its obviously one of their favourite places. 

0900hrs  At least four Swifts flying over the village high above the Burton Memorial Hall. 

Other North West Migratory News:-

One Wood Warbler at Crook O'Lune - North at the Western End of the former west railway/cycle path bridge. (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Blog). 8 Wheatear at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Blog). One Spotted Flycatcher at New Laithe Farm Newton - (ELOC) (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club). 500 Swifts, 80 Swallows and 10 Sand Martins and 40 House Martins at Ewood Bridge Sewage Works - Rossendale- at 1045hrs and gone by 1330hrs - (information sourced from Rossendale Ornithologist Club. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Nature Notes up to 9th May 2014

Three of the Burton Swifts arrived back yesterday evening 5th May 2014 (2000hrs)
Friday 9th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000rs: Wind 18-26mph, 9c, 84% Cloud cover, 12500m visibility, 1003mb pressure.

Other North West Migratory News:

6 Wheatear (3 male and 3 female) at Pilling Lane Ends and 50 Swifts over Conder Estuary (FYLDE) (information sourced from the Fylde Bird Club website) 

Thursday 8th May 2014
(Forecast: Wind: SSW 6-9mph, 10c, 89% Cloud cover, 13400m visibility, 1004mb pressure).

0900hrs - 1200hrs "Warbler watching"  Searching the local hedgerows bordering the Hutton Roof Complex.  Had one Whitethroat (possibly two) on hedgerows bordering Pickles Wood (Lancelot), also had three singing Garden Warblers in Pickles Wood (Forestry Track - Lancelot), several Blackcaps, two new Chiffchaffs and several Willow Warblers.

Again at one point in the forestry tracks I found no less than the equivalent of what should have been ten mixed Song Thrush and Blackbirds eggs together with one larger white egg of the size you would expect from a "bantam" hen which I think could have been from a Pigeon. I can only think that the culprit for this cache would have been a Grey Squirrel (yet again). 

Other interesting North West Migratory news: 

1 *** Woodchat Shrike *** at Aldcliffe 1500hrs approx - (found by Peter Woodruff with information sourced from the Lancaster and District website and the Birding Aldcliffe Blog). 2 Spotted Flycatcher at Bardsey - plus 1 Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge, 9 Willow and 9 Chiffchaffs and hirundines heading southward included 61 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin and 16 House Martin. (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog). 12 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse - (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Blog). 1 Cuckoo at Wycoller (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancs Ornithology Club)
Wednesday 7th May 2014

(Forecast: Wind: WSW 16-24mph, 9c, 94% Cloud cover, 16000m visibility, 1003mb pressure).

0945hrs  At least 7 Swifts recorded flying at intermediate levels (75ft approx) with at least 5 flying with a probable bias to the Royal/Manor House (Burton In Kendal) airspace. 

Also yesterday evening (2000hrs) had a couple of large parties of mixed hirundines flying very tight in low altitude (40ft approx) through the main street of the village (Burton In Kendal) and heading in a Northerly direction, I would have estimated that one party was perhaps of 30-40 birds and the other party a couple of minutes later would have been of around the 15-20 birds.  I could understand this if it was post breeding, it would have been a simple matter of leaving the territory for better daytime or teatime feed eg: Pine Lakes or the Dockacre complex and then returning back somewhere to roost for the evening.  But its obviously not post breeding which makes me now feel that perhaps they were birds actually on the move North and this move could well have been going on for sometime.  This would also tie in with the good numbers involved with the movement of Swallows going over Rossall School North yesterday evening and the large movement over Bardsey earlier in the day. It is usually around this date that the returning Swallow numbers have their peak count. 

1930hrs - 7 of our Swifts screaming whilst in "follow my leader pursuit" at the 75ft altitude showing a bias over the Manor House/Royal (Burton In Kendal) airspace. 

Other interesting North West Migratory News:

8 Wheatear on Ocean Edge (Heysham) (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog). 5 Wheatear on Walney (information sourced from Walney Observatory. 2 Swifts over Elswick, 6 Swifts over Marton Mere and 6 Swifts over Fleetwood Marsh (Fylde Bird Club) (information sourced through Fylde Bird Club).*** First Spotted Flycatcher*** plus 3 Swift and 215 Swallows over Bardsey Observatory (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory).  4 Dotterel and 7 Wheatear on Pendle Hill and 5 Swifts at Alston Resv. (ELOC) (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club. 

Tuesday 6th May 2014  (Swallow Peak today)
(Forecast: Wind: WSW 12-17mph, 10c, 15% Cloud cover, 19000m visibility, 1002mb and then decreasing pressure.

Near Newclose Coppice - Tree Pipits
1100 to 1400hrs Checking out new area within the Dalton Estate.  Found a small area which had three separate singing male Redstarts within a couple of hundred yards radius.  Also a further three Garden Warblers, six Blackcaps and over 25 Willow Warblers, the odd Tree Pipit and three new Chiffchaff territories. At one point noticed near my feet a nest with four eggs (Robin), so quickly photographed and left. Also lots of Orange Tips, Green Veined and Speckled Woods and one beautiful Brimstone.
Reliably informed another Cuckoo present today from Clawthorpe Fell.

2000hrs - We now have 8 Swifts back on territory at Burton In Kendal

Other interesting North West Migratory News

Robins nest with four eggs
1 Cuckoo at Forton plus 2 Swifts and another Cuckoo at Cragg Wood (Lancaster and District) (Information sourced from the Lancaster and District Ornithological Society).  *** First local Spotted Flycatcher*** in Bowland (information sourced from Birds2Blog) 574 Swallows North over Fleetwood - also 11 House Martins N, 1 Yellow Wagtail East, 2 Tree Pipits North and 1 Meadow Pipits, with lots of finches heading East. (information sourced from Fleetwood Blog). 4 Greenland Wheatear at Fluke Hall plus 87 Swallow North over Rossall School between 1615hrs and 1715hrs - FYLDE (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) 1 Swift, 287 Swallow and 1 Tree Pipit over Bardsey (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory. 5 Wheatear over Hilbre (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory). 12 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral) 10 Swifts at Alston Wetland, 2 Swifts at Rishton Resv, 10 Swifts over Clitheroe Tesco, and 4 at Newton. (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancashire Ornithological Club).

Monday 5th May 2014
(Forecast: 1300hrs: S 12-18mph, 13c, 100% Cloud cover, 20000m visibility, 1008mb pressure.

Garden Warbler (photo: David Talbot)
0945-1145hrs  Spent a couple of hours this morning with a friend checking out the Garden Warblers in lower Dalton and got some excellent views (see photo).  There looks to be two pairs in close proximity.  Also at times you would get three going in chase of one another.  On one occasion it was clear that a pair where seen to be "copulating". So difficult a bird to photograph with their constant flitting and skulking, but what a bonus when they did come into view. A pair of Blackcaps where in the same vicinity and seen quite close. It was also a good experience to have both species singing from the same areas which allowed you to get a good clear appreciation of the differences in their "calls". Quite a few Willow Warblers and one Chiffchaff where also calling.

Looking to the heavens and you could see a Kestrel actually attacking a Sparrowhawk and yet within the same frame you could also see a pair of Buzzards.

0945hrs approx I have also been reliably informed that another Cuckoo was heard calling from over in the Majors Nursery direction of the Dalton Estate.

2000hrs approx - At least 3 of the Burton Swifts have arrived back (wonder if these were the same birds as what came through Aldcliffe earlier this evening)

Other interesting North West Migratory News:-

One Swift flying over Arnside Pier at lunchtime - Lancaster (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society) 3 Swifts over Aldcliffe early evening (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe). 13 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat over Walney. (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog).  4 Wheatear at Rossall and 1 Swift at Stanley Park also 5 Wheatear at Ridge Farm, 3 Swift at Myerscough Quarry and 1 Cuckoo at same spot, 15 Swift at Marton Mere plus 6 Cetti Warblers plus one Whinchat - Fylde (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) Five Swifts, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 76 Swallows over Bardsey (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog.  A rare Citrine Wagtail was at Red Rocks 0720hrs - also small flocks of Wheatear plus 2 Tree Pipits at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Blog) 5 Swifts at Leagram, 1 Wood Warbler at Stocks, 1 Cuckoo at Stocks Res North, 3 Dotterel on Pendle - 1 Osprey over Townley Park heading SE - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club)