Trip reports

Walk on Warton Crag

Chiffchaff standing on gorse

Saturday, 9 May 2009

In spite of a rather dire weather forecast, 28 people gathered in the quarry and spent a few minutes looking at about one feather of a sitting peregrine. Luckily, the weather itself didn't seem to have seen the forecast, because we had a dry and fairly sunny (though windy) walk around some of the most beautiful scenery in our area. How lucky we were! As I write this at 2pm the rain is lashing against the windows!
Unfortunately, the birds were not singing very well, probably due to the wind, but on our way up the RSPB land we heard Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap as well as Blackbird, Chaffinch, Robin and Song Thrush, while Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine and Kestrel were seen hunting. Richard explained some of the methods of management carried out by the RSPB in this area.
A breather at the top allowed us to admire the lovely view and to see Leighton Moss from a new angle, before walking down through woodland to the West Field where we met the cattle used by the Wildlife Trust as part of their management scheme to control the bracken. We admired the new drinking troughs which were placed at strategic points in the field (and saved the lives of 3 moths which were bent on watery suicide). In this area we had our first Garden Warbler and the first of a number of Bullfinches.
Occupation Road took us down to Potts Wood, hearing Wren, Great Tit and Blue Tit on the way. Walking along the edge of the woodland back towards the quarry, a Goldcrest was seen and heard, also Mistle Thrush and Magpie.
Our final list also contained Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit (seen from the top of the Crag), Jackdaw, Pheasant and Swifts.
Many thanks to Richard for his great help in leading this walk.

Jill Blackburn