Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Chorley Bird Race

The Chorley NATS's Bird Race took place at weekend. Four teams of two people had 24 hours to search the borough for as many different bird species as we could find. It provides a snapshot of species in the borough and their whereabouts. 93 species were spotted which isn't bad since we were a bit early to catch some migrants such as cuckoo and whitethroat. It's also a social activity when team members pool their knowledge so everyone benefits.

My favourite moments? Watching a buzzard chasing a barn owl just a few feet from where we were standing, a swan displaying in the first rising mists, a peregrine perched in a quarry, a little owl on cliffs, and just happening to see a pair of little ringed plover land on a huge gravelled site so we could tick them off straight away. Least favourite moment? Scanning Belmont reservoir for a Mediterranean gull in the freezing cold! I might have enjoyed it more if I'd found one... It was also a great day for butterflies.
Barn owl photo by David J Slater

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Three peaks and a wheatear

Good Friday was a day on the local fells for me, taking in Great Hill, Winter Hill (which did have some snow on it...), Rivington Pike, then dropping back to White Coppice via Rivington Barn and Anglezarke. About 26km or so. With rain pending later in the day it was a case of watching on the move.
Good to see a young male stonechat at White Coppice. The moors were full of trampolining pipits and larks - little brown jobs that never fail to lift the spirits. Along Spitlers Edge I saw my first wheatear this year and some lapwings. Winter Hill was quiet whereas Rivington Pike was busy with folks making the traditional Good Friday climb. I was pleased to see that my books in Rivington teashop seem to have sold out. A little grebe was busy on the Yarrow reservoir and shortly afterwards the promised rain began...

Wheatear photos used by kind permission of Brian Rafferty

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.