Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Northern Greenland Wheatears have arrived on Dalton Crags.

Please Click over sketch to enlarge - Sketch done in April 2013

Thursday April 9th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 1000hrs to 1200hrs

Both Chiffchaffs at Plain Quarry singing.  First Willow Warbler in partial song on the Common, also first Swallow at the Trig Point.  Had about 50 Meadow Pipits per hour going through to the North. Also had several Peacock butterflies and also a Brimstone at Plain Quarry Car Park. Odd Wheatear on Crag House side. Also, Redpoll and suspected Tree Pipit. 

Please click over sketch to enlarge

I wrote quick notes and got the gist to this poem whilst walking along Tarn Lane, Burton In Kendal on 9th April 2010 (5 years ago s today), when three Swallows went overhead "twittering away". My first Swallow sighting of the year and certainly "MOST WELCOME"...

Swallow, Swallow, Swallow, chatterboxes over my head,
Your twittering is so welcome, I've waited for this for,
Such a long time....
Spring is here!

Blue sky with white fluffy herringbone, breaches the heights,
Carpeted Celandine strew the path,
That gentle breeze runs between them,
Tells Me,
Spring is here!

Hedgerows levelled of Hawthorn in green,
Bramble arms reach out with anew,
Nettle and Dock stand side by side,
Spring is here!

Bumblebees search endlessly, surveying cave and den,
While Ladybirds, sway too and fro on breezy blades of grass,
Oh its so good to be alive and witness this some more,
Another year has come about,
Spring is here!

Wednesday April 8th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 0845hrs to 1115hrs
A beautiful day from the off with Meadow Pipits going over Dalton and Hutton Roof. Chiffchaff Craig has now been joined by Craggy this morning at Plain Quarry and they are both singing merrily away.  Its so good to see they have both arrived back safely. Green Woodpeckers were yaffling in the horsy laughs.

Stonechats were seen in upper Dalton along with a single Wheatear which was on the outcrops over on the Crag House side, so whether this is where the "Greenlands" where hiding, I dont know!, I'll bet they were but did not have time to check it out. 

Again another day goes past with NO SHRIKES who by now are probably set to cross the North Sea on their way back to Scandinavia, although it would still be a nice surprise if they where to show again. 

A late surprise to see a pair of Whooper Swans heading North up the Lune Valley and crossing Hutton Roof sides.

Meadow Pipits steadily trickling across the common with 60 seen in total over the hour (0945 to 1045hrs), although even this number did contain one party of 23 and another of 5 birds.

Also a great pleasure to be making a dull whistling "Tiuu" to some nearby Bullfinches which were happy to return my calls and become inquisitive. Also had Redpoll, Greenfinch passing through. 

Tuesday April 7th 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof 1300hrs to 1600hrs

Craig the Chiffchaff was calling on my arrival at Plain Quarry. Just a few passing Meadow Pipits but quite a lot blogging in the Crags.  Also noted a pair of Stonechats.  Right on cue the first of the Leucorrhoa Wheatear birds have arrived with a party of at least six birds (five males and one female).  I feel confident they were Northern Greenland birds, the plumage stands out a mile in comparison to the O.Oenathe in 95% of the cases being very much darker, the birds far more upright, more colourful to the orange upper chest.  Where do you think the birds where seen?  on Dalton's Wheatear plain of course!!

Well well, I searched and I searched from the Cairns on Uberash Breast all the way through to the Trig Point and down across the South/South East ridges, but could not see any of the Shrikes.  I also spoke to other observers who had been up earlier and none of them saw the Shrikes either... So we will see over the next couple of days what the results are!

Earlier today I was getting a movement of Meadow Pipits down in Burton In Kendal of about 70 per hour all moving N/NW.