Trip reports

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey
Goosander - Jill Islam

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Having met up at the car park at Barden Bridge we started our walk downriver on the eastern side.
A couple of grey wagtails chased around under the bridge and numerous mallards floated about on the slow moving water.
On the farm pasture land, among the cows, were a few carrion crows and jackdaws, along with some greylag geese with young, while some swifts, swallows and numerous sand martins looked for aerial food. On the hillside on the opposite bank were woodpigeon and a couple of pheasant, plus a few pairs of oystercatchers piped away at each other. A curlew was seen further up the hillside and lapwings performed their aerial displays.
On the river a pair of pied wagtails fed in the shingle and a pair of dippers were busy collecting food for their young watched by a mandarin duck resting halfway along the branch of a tree.

As we entered the woods the woodland species began to make themselves known by song helping to pinpoint them in the leafy surroundings. These included goldfinch, chaffinch, willow warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, blackbird, and song thrush.
A pair of treecreeper were collecting nesting material, and there was plenty of activity from wrens, nuthatches, blue tits, great tits and the odd coal tit. A tawny owl was heard calling and a great spotted woodpecker put in an appearance before we came across the first of our target birds for the day, a redstart, quickly being followed by a second, a pied flycatcher.
As the river opened up again common sandpiper and goosander made belated appearances.

While we ate lunch a number of black-headed gulls flew up and down looking for food from the many picnicking visitors, while jackdaws and mallards did the same around their feet. A raven flew over and a kestrel was spotted further downstream, as were some starlings and
a couple of stock doves.
On the way back we saw many of the same birds but added goldcrest, and finally spotted flycatcher to the day list.

As it was still early afternoon, and with a few hours to kill, we relocated to nearby Barden Moors for a short walk. Here we were greeted by a skylark singing overhead and a couple of meadow pipits flew off as we set off to walk, though strangely neither of these featured again until we returned back to the cars.

A dozen or so red grouse made their presence known by calling and lifting their heads to have a look around. A few curlew and lapwing flew around the area, and on the nearby reservoir greylag geese and Canada geese could be seen.
A pair of lesser black-backed gulls patrolled the air but it was a kestrel that was sent fleeing by a pair of grouse, presumably having gone too close to their young. A calling cuckoo was heard in the distance and located on the electricity wires, and finally, a rambler coming off the moors told us of a ring ousel, but unfortunately it was a bit too far off for that time of the day, so off home we went.

48 species seen, 6 attended