Butterfly Conservation.

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Coastal Path. Fluke Hall to Knott End. Pete Woodruff.Black and White, taken some years ago, and not effective in showing colour to some excellent butterfly habitat, but illustrates the coastal location well.Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar On Ragwort. Pete Woodruff.Butterfly Conservation went out the window again on Tuesday, the day after I had found in excess of 200 specimens of butterfly and an abundance of Ragwort, including at least 60 Gatekeeper, large numbers of Cinnabar moth caterpillars, and endless numbers of other insects, all attacked/destroyed at the wrong time in the season on a walk along the coastal path from Fluke Hall to Cockers Dyke on the Fylde coast. I also met Barry who had done the same walk ahead of me and extended the walk towards Knott End to find even more butterflies than I did, he'll be del...

Where Are All The Butterflies?

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Yesterday started cloudy and looked like it might rain as the tide was flowing, but in fact it made a nice sunny day just after noon with no more than a light breeze.Greenshank/Oystercatcher. Pete Woodruff.The 2 Common Tern adult were on the pontoon, there was some interesting behaviour on show, almost as if some courtship taking place, with vocals and wing drooping. Waders of note, up to 100 Lapwing present again, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, and an Oystercatcher pair with young, 3 Cormorant were taking small fry like there was no tomorrow, 2 Little Grebe and 7 Tufted Duck. On the Lune Estuary, 2 Mediterranean Gull adult, and 2 Common Tern adult fishing.Where are all the butterflies?A trip down the A588 to Fluke Hall for a wander along the coastal path to Cockers Dyke produced evidence that in excess o...

Five Days Later.

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On Thursday, five days since my last visit to Conder Green, it seems the juvenile Common Tern have already dispersed, the whole party of two adult a three juvenile were all present on my last visit on Friday 14 July, but I've not found young anywhere here or on the Lune Estuary from Glasson to Cockersand. Two Common Tern adult were on Conder Pool, with a count of up to 150 Lapwing noted. I saw just 2 Little Grebe on the pool today, with a drop in number to 8 Common Sandpiper in the creeks with 2 Greenshank and 5 Little Egret.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, 3 Mediterranean Gull were seen as an adult and two 2nd summer, 2 Common Tern adult fishing here were probably the Conder birds. An estimated 350 Dunlin and 250 Redshank were feeding on the tideline from the bowling green to the Conder mouth, and I counted 17 Littl...
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Back Up the Hill!

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The weather on Monday was perfect for another trip into Bowland, and an update on Hawthornthwaite Fell produced a whacking 10 Stonechat. Well it had to be 'whacking' as I don't find that many Stonechat anywhere these days, though with two broods from two pairs that I had seen a month ago on 18 June you obviously can, today's sighting was seen as a male, two female, and seven juvenile.The next best sighting on Hawthornthwaite was a Peregrine Falcon which I appropriately reported. The bird was mobbed several times by one of two Kestrel in the air at the time, a Buzzard had been seen earlier, and a lone Raven was over. Also of note, 11 Meadow Pipit, 4 Wren, and 2 Grey Wagtail were on Hawthornthwaite Greave where at least 20 Sand Martin were flying up and down.I found only 17 species in a four hour trawl between Marshaw and Trough Bri...
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Green To Red.

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Two hours on Friday at Conder Green/Glasson Dock, and another two at Heysham Red Nab, was mainly dominated by gulls. At Glasson Dock, I spoke to a birder from Gloucestershire and made the comment, looking without optics, you would get the impression that the Lune Estuary from this viewpoint was void of any birdlife, an area where thousands of waders can be seen in the winter months. Well it wasn't exactly crawling today, and what birds were present were mainly camouflaged by the weed covered stones they were on at low tide, but by the time this birder came to talk to me, I had found 4 Mediterranean Gull in a group, distant and hunkered down on the weedy stones, all black hooded with 2 Black-headed Gull. Eventually two took to the wing to reveal both adult, the other two remained re...
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Skimmers, Chats, And Some Others.

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Perfect weather on Wednesday to take a look at the landscape on Birk Bank and Harrisend Fell on the fringes of Bowland....Of course I had a couple of targets. Keeled Skimmer . Birk Bank Bog 12 July. Pete WoodruffI had an excellent hour on the board-walk at Birk Bank, during which time I connected with 3 male Keeled Skimmer around the bog, the perfect follow-on to my finding a male here on 22 July last year. The bog wasn't exactly alive with dragonflies, but I did also see 4 Four-spotted Chaser, at least one Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and a Meadow Brown.Some searching across the top of Birk Bank was also well rewarded by my finding 6 Stonechat, they were seen as a pair, and a male with two juvenile on view, I'd like to think maybe three more young were keeping their heads down to make up a full brood, ...

Butterfly Highlight.

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Ringlet. Pete Woodruff.Highlight for me on Monday was the Ringlet I found at Aldcliffe, very unexpected and probably a first for the area. The only other Ringlets I've ever seen aside from the one at Latterbarrow recently, have been at Witherslack were I saw twenty on 9 July 2015.I had only gone to Aldcliffe for the last hour for a quick whizz round, and in the warm and sheltered cutting near Stodday I found a little selection of other butterflies, including 3 Comma, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Meadow Brown, and a Speckled Wood.On a circuit along the high path and return via the lower, 4 Chiffchaff were heard, 2 Whitethroat seen, with a Sedge Warbler singing full throttle, a few Swift were over, but more notable was a movement probably of up to a three figure of House Martin. I counted 205 Greylag in a field, with two unreadable or...
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Notes From Conder Green.

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Common Tern Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff.Interesting and coincidentally, I took this photograph of these three juvenile Common Tern twelve months ago to the day, on 11 July 2016.There was a little extra interest at Conder Green yesterday, and it was good to see all three juvenile Common Tern which have soon learned the skills of fishing for themselves, and were hovering and dipping to take small fry out of Conder Pool. There was some interesting behaviour between two adult Common Tern, whilst one of the young had gone back into the pontoon which was guarded by an adult, another adult came in and dropped into the pontoon and was soon joined inside by the guarding bird which was obviously one of the parent birds, some serious loud and aggressive vocals, with necks stretched, heads up and drooped wings were on display when the vis...

Putting The Record Straight.

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Erratum.I need to correct the records I published in my last post with regard to the Lancashire Keeled Skimmers. It was an oversight that a record of this dragonfly in 2015 was missed off the list I drew up in the post.Keeled Skimmer. Birk Bank 22 July 2016. Pete Woodruff.Starting with the first Lancashire record, the corrected list....Grindleton Ponds/Levi Well 8 August 2013Birkdale Dunes 3 July 2015Birk Bank Bog 12 August 2015Birk Bank Bog 22 July 2016Birk Bank Bog 6 July 2017As I've previously expressed, the Birk Bank Keeled Skimmer records are excellent news for our area having now been found there for three consecutive years. That said, my reporting of ovipositing being seen can only be accepted with caution with no photographic evidence available. Four-Spotted Chaser. Steve Graham.  I'm grateful to Steve for s...

Terns, Sandpipers, Skimmers, & Butterflies.

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Yesterday was one of those....'just had time to nip out and take stock at Conder Green'....days, and it was good to see all three young Common Tern now out of 'the box' with one presented with a large fish on Tern Island by an adult which needed some effort to down, one of these young birds was able to take off with ease from middle of the pool, don't take long to learn do they. The 26 Common Sandpiper I found at Conder Green yesterday, is by far the best ever autumn count here, 15 were in the creeks, with the other 11 in the channel downstream from the iron bridge. A few Swift were noted over, and a Kestrel was hovering over the marsh.Come in No 4 your'e times up!The first record of a Comma in our garden this morning, also a Red Admiral was good.Keeled Skimmer.Excellent news that the Keeled Skimmer has been found again ...