Trip reports

Croasdale Valley

male stonechat perched on bramble
rspb images

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A party of 13 meet in the car park at Slaidburn, 9 from the RSPB group and 4 from the Friends of Bowland group. We then set off to the valley in 3 cars as parking is very limited up there The weather forecast for Wednesday was for thunder and torrential rain in various parts of the country but the local forecast for Slaidburn was for dry weather until late afternoon. We started the walk with a cloudy sky hoping the local forecast was correct and that is how the day turned out. We began the walk looking at the flowers along the track with Roger as our guide. We saw 3 species of thistle, 2 species of heather, 2 species of cotton grass, tormentil, eyebright, heath bedstraw and a common spotted orchid amongst a total of 22, some plants common on acid soil and others on limestone. There were plenty of meadow pipits about and soon the birds began to show. We viewed a snipe, a linnet and a lesser black-backed gull, then, as we approached the bridge, the ring ouzels started to put on a show for us. We had lunch at the bridge and got good sightings of stonechats, a wren and more ring ouzels. We wondered down the track to the stream where we saw a red grouse in the heather and caught a glimpse of a grey wagtail on the stream, then we heard and saw a willow warbler in a lone tree, a raven and then a buzzard flew over. On the way back we saw a family of starlings, a skylark, a reed bunting and a curlew on a wall. Other sightings of note were a dark green fritillary and a golden-ringed dragonfly. This was a joint meeting with the Friends of Bowland group and quite different to their usual meetings but they enjoyed the various wildlife sightings we showed them. Our group were thrilled that we had such good sightings of the ring ouzels and agreed that Croasdale valley had been a good choice for the outing.

Valerie Hall