Sunday, 3 April 2011

Set off this morning for a stroll

Set off this morning for a stroll around the fell. With the thermometer showing 11C and very little wind it was surprisingly cold. The NW wind that there was did cool things down a lot.
Still, four hours later I had a nice little tally, nothing exciting, just a few new things for the first time this year, improving by OFFH (On Foot From House, remember) list.

My circular walk around the fell today produced.

Wanister Bog - looking good

4 Mallard (on Wanister Bog - looking rather good, in fact the best for many years now the the cattle had a good trample.
1 Sparrowhawk (a soaring female until chased off by some gulls)
2 Curlew (displaying)
1 Coot (on the Pit Pool)
3 Lesser Black-backed Gull (adults)
7 Pheasant
1 Grey Partridge
2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (no Greens today)
16 Meadow Pipit
3 Skylark (gone are the days of dozens)
1 Stonechat (male at Daisy Hill)
2 Blackcap (singing males)
22 Chiffchaff (seemed to be everywhere)
4 Willow Warbler (now two can be heard from the house)
3 Reed Bunting
2 Yellowhammer (1 singing)

1 Jay (in the middle of Wanister Bog)

Meadow Pipit (above) and Skylark (below) at Daisy Hill


Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) 4+
Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) 1
White-tailed Bumblebee  (Bombus lucorum) 3
Comma 1
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Peacock 1
Still waiting my first White Butterfly

Primrose (above) and Cowslip (below) seen today

Flowers - newly in flower

Primrose (South Burn Woods)
Cowslip (On fell)
Sweet Cicely (Opposite Pit Pool)
Hedge Garlic (South Burn Woods)
Wavy Bittercress (On Fell)
Bilberry (On Fell, most of it has flowers now)
Crack Willow (South Burn Woods)
Grey Willow (On Fell behind Nursery)
Lesser Periwinkle (South Burn Woods, at entrance)

Bilberry now in flower all over the Fell
Lesser Periwinkle at South Burn Woods
Tribley farm ponds - the little white dot at the back of the pond is the Shelduck - Honest

I had a quick look at Tribley farm pools, too much water in for any wading birds but still had

2 Mute Swan (pair)
12 Mallard
4 Teal
1 Shoveler (a nice drake)

1 Common Shelduck
1 Curlew
3 Sand Martin (First of the year)

Chiffchaffs have arrived on force now, some in very unsuitable habitat and most will be moving on quite quickly.On individual by the pit pool instead of the normal 'Chiff-chaff, Chiff-chaff'  was doing a constant 11-note 'Chiff, Chiff,  Chiff, Chiff, chaff, Chiff, Chiff, Chiff, chaff, chaff, chaff'.  Very unusual, I've never heard this before, Always the same 11 notes and rather melodic. Thoughts had crossed my mind about Iberian Chiffchaff but it never had the tit-like notes at the end of the song like that species. No, I'm sure it's just a Chiffchaff with a funny song, perhaps a first year bird leaning how to sing.

The melodic Chiffchaff 

So my OFFH yearlists currently stand at

Birds - 87
Butterflies - 3
Moths - 19
Bumblebees -3
Flowers - 43
Mammals - 6


  1. The lists are ticking along nicely, Keith. They`re relatively similar to my totals.

  2. Yes Dean, coming on very nicely like yours, though I must admit I'm rather jealous of your Porrittii Water Carpet.

  3. Mmm, OFFH I seem to have heard that before somewhere... :)