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Post Info TOPIC: Darwen Moor


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Darwen Moor


Back on my old patch again this morning, exactly one year to the day after my last visit. Out for around five hours from 7.50am in pleasant enough weather. Covered five miles, up to Sunnyhurst Hey Res (or whats left of it), Old Aggies, Lyons Den, Lords Hall, Fingerpost, Higher Pasture, New Barn (John Smiths Farm), Stepback and back to Sunnyhurst.

Highlight was a male Ring Ouzel in the field by Higher Wenshead Farm, same spot as Ians sightings on 30 April last year. Its a regular spot. Amongst others :-

Lapwing (22)
Curlew (5)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Buzzard (1)
Red Grouse (5)
Skylark (21)
Swallow (2)
Willow Warbler (26)
Chiffchaff (3)
Blackcap (1)
Nuthatch (1)
Ring Ouzel (1m)
Stonechat (5)
Wheatear (5)
Grey Wagtail (1)
Pied Wagtail (3)
Meadow Pipit (16)
Linnet (2)
Lesser Redpoll (19)





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This morning, field to west of "Barking Dog Farm" on road above Sunnyhurst. Three, possibly four female Ring Ouzel and a stonking mzle!

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Back on the old patch for just short of six hours from 9.30 am. Weather fine and sunnyish, 9-12*c, light winds. Started off by walking up to Higher Sunnyhurst Reservoir, on up to Stepback, Lyons Den, Bury Fold, the Tower before descending to Sunnyhurst. Of note :-

Buzzard (2)
Kestrel (2)
Red Grouse (5)
Lapwing (c.25)
Curlew (2)
Swallow (8)
Stonechat (3)
Wheatear (6)
Willow Warbler (c.10)
Nuthatch (1)
Raven (3)
Lesser Redpoll (12)
Skylark (5)
Meadow Pipit (c.15)
Grey Wagtail (1)

No Ring Ouzel which was disappointing given the numbers that are on the move at the moment.

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Back on the old patch for six hours today from 9am. Weather cold with a slight wind but pleasant at times in the sun. Walked up to Stepback, via Higher Sunnyhurst Reservoir, Lyons Den, Bury Fold, the Tower and back down to Sunnyhurst. Then drove to the southern edge of Roddlesworth Woods for the last hour. Amongst others :-

Buzzard (6)
Red Grouse (9)
Little Ringed Plover (2)
Lapwing (c.20)
Curlew (5)
Cuckoo (1)
Swallow (c.10)
Tree Pipit (1)
Stonechat (3)
Wheatear (4)
Blackcap
Willow Warbler
Nuthatch (1)
Raven (2)
Siskin (1)
Lesser Redpoll (c.8)

Nice views of a Cuckoo above Lyons Den, perched on a shooting box, then flying. Tried for Grasshopper Warbler at four previously known sites without luck. Very few Wheatear around which was strange. Also out of luck with Redstart and Pied Flycatcher in Roddlesworth, possibly a little early but both species barely hanging on. A Tree Pipit was seen in the southern most trees of Roddlesworth but not at the traditional spot half a mile away.

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Back on the old patch again, two hours from mid day. Adjacent to the moors rather than up on them, walked down to Earnsdale Reservoir, Donkey Brow, Fine Peter's Farm, the Royal, Stepback, Wenshead and back to Sunnyhurst. Of note:-

Raven
Skylark
Grey Wagtail
Cormorant
Little Owl
Whitethroat
Lapwing
Oystercatcher
Curlew

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Back on the old patch for a couple of hours or so from mid day. Walked from Sunnyhurst, up to the tower, Aggie's Staircase, Stepback, Wenshead and back to Sunnyhurst via Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Cool and cloudy. Amongst others :-

Red Grouse (5)
Skylark (1)
Raven (2)
Buzzard (2)
Fieldfare (c.25)
Curlew (1)
Oystercatcher (1)
Lapwing (3)
Grey Wagtail (1)
Stonechat (1)

Later spent half an hour at India Mill Chimney. This is a well publicised Peregrine nest site so should be OK to report here. The female was perched almost at the top of the 300ft high chimney, preening and observing. After 20 minutes the male flew in and for a few minutes circled the chimney several times, calling loudly as he did so. Great to see.

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Adult Hobby flew from the south purposely above Stepback Wood and down the valley. Also seen were a Raven nearby and four Buzzard soaring over the far side of Roddlesworth Woods quite high up.

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Amble up to Stepback Wood via Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir and Higher Wenshead. Reeling Grasshopper Warbler near the res with a few Whitethroat and a Reed Bunting nearby. Single Ringed Plover at the res, Nuthatch at Stepback and both Little Owl and four Oystercatcher in the Wenshead area.

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Singles of Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper at the reservoir today along with Oystercatcher and Lapwing. Whitethroat, Blackcap, Lesser Redpoll plus the usuals in surrounding habitat. Butterflies seen today and last few days include Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Green veined White, Orange Tip, Small Heath and Dingy Skipper.

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Darwen Tower - Bury Fold - Lords Hall - Lyons Den - Cartridge Hill - Roddlesworth Woods - Royal - Earnsdale Res - Home. Out from 6.25 for 4 hours, cool and dull, warmed up later. Amongst others :-

Meadow Pipit
Skylark (7)
Red Grouse (4)
Lapwing
Curlew
Oystercatcher
Raven (1)
Grasshopper Warbler (1)
Cuckoo (1)
Nuthatch
Blackcap
Whitethroat
Redstart (1m)
Pied Flycatcher (1m)
Wheatear (1)

Let's hope the latter two find mates and breed.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Saturday 23rd of May 2015 05:40:49 PM

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A quick walk around Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir proved to be a nice start to the day prior to the rest of the day at Leighton Moss.

Cuckoo, Lesser Redpoll, Grasshopper Warbler, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Reed Bunting & Skylark amongst others.



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Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir - Higher Wenshead - Stepback - Lions Den - Southern End Roddlesworth Woods - Slipper Lowe - Northern End Roddlesworth Woods - Fine Peter's - Sunnyhurst Woods - Home. Sunny and pleasant, out 9.45 to 15.30. Amongst others :-

Meadow Pipit
Skylark (c.6)
Raven (3)
Lapwing
Curlew (c.6)
Redstart (1)
Willow Warbler
Wood Warbler (1)
Chiffchaff
Blackcap
Tawny Owl
Treecreeper
Nuthatch
Jay
Dipper (1)
Great Crested Grebe
Lesser Redpoll
Linnet

No sign of Tree Pipit at Slipper Lowe which is/has been a regular spot althouth good to hear Wood Warbler in middle section of Roddlesworth Woods on north east slope up from the top reservoir. I met a birder friend of mine who had earlier had another Wood Warbler in a more southerly area. Certain spots look 'nailed on' for Pied Flycatcher (probably 1-2 pairs used to breed a few years back) but I suspect disturbance has caused their disappearance. I was surprised at just how many dog walkers were around bearing in mind that the woods are in the middle of nowhere and it was mid week.

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Two Grasshopper Warblers reeling this morning, one at south east corner of Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir, the other behind Higher Wenshead Farm.

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Turn Lane - Bold Venture - Bury Fold - Lords Hall - Lions Den - John Smith's Farm - Higher Wenshead - Home. Sunny & fine, cold wind, out 8.30 to 10.45 Amongst others :

Meadow Pipit
Skylark (c.6)
Red Grouse (3)
Curlew (1)
Lapwing (c.15)
Wheatear (14)
Stonechat (Pr)
Willow Warbler (c.50)
Blackcap (2)
Grasshopper Warbler (1)
Kestrel (1)
Little Owl (1)



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Yesterday evening and this morning at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir or at least what's left of it after drainage/ongoing works.

Grasshopper Warbler (1), Blackcap (1), Little Ringed Plover (2), Common Sandpiper (2), Raven (1), Red Grouse (2), Lapwing, Oystercatcher (2), Swallow plus usuals.

Moors torched earlier in the week for the 4th time this spring. Three hours for fire crews to finally put it out. Brilliant.

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Grasshopper Warbler this morning, reeling at usual spot beyond south east corner of Higher Sunnyhurst Reservoir.

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Male Ring Ouzel and two Wheatear this morning, second field up from Turn Lane quarry adjacent to path to tower.

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First Willow Warblers in now with (4) this morning. A further (4) Wheatear this evening with Redshank (2) over.

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Ring Ouzel (1m) seen this dinner time along with Wheatear (2). Red Grouse (5) early this morning and Little Owl (1) this evening. Sightings since last report on Tuesday have been, amongst others :-

Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Red Grouse, Kestrel, Raven, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Wheatear, Little Owl and Ring Ouzel (1). First Swallow of Spring tonight at Higher Wenshead Farm.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Thursday 9th of April 2015 07:59:25 PM

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Wheatear (9) today plus Red Grouse (2).

Wheatear (3), Ring Ouzel (1) and Little Owl (1) seen by David Pack earlier in the day at Stepback Wood.

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First returning Wheatear tonight with a male and a female, first field up from Turn Lane quarry. Flyover Snipe also.

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Couple of hours this morning in nearby Sunnyhurst Woods. Amongst others ;-

Great spotted Woodpecker (1)
Nuthatch (c.10)
Long tailed tit
Jay (3)
Dipper (Pr)
Goosander (3)

At the top end of the woods on Earnsdale Reservoir were Goosander (5), Cormorant (3) and Grey Heron (1) with Little Owl (1) at its favoured spot beyond Donkey Brow.

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Around 50 Brambling along Stepback Brook yesterday morning 11am

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Tower - Lords Hall - Fingerpost - Conyries Plantation - Cartridge Hill - Lions Den - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Out three hours from 9 am. Sunny, cool and clear. Amongst others :-

Red Grouse (9)
Raven (2)
Stonechat (1)
Siskin (7)
Jack Snipe (1)
Jay
Redwing
Kestrel (2)

Almost stepped on the Jack Snipe on the (extremely wet) plateau section south of Lords Hall en route to the Fingerpost. The Siskin flew out of Conyries Plantation.

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Turn Lane - Bold Venture - Bury Fold - Lords Hall - Cartridge Hill - Lions Den - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Out for two and a half hours from 7.30. Bright to start with then the clag quickly came down above Bold Venture, visibility 50 yards, rain for last half hour. Amongst others :-

Red Grouse (11)
Snipe (1)
Fieldfare (c.50)
Redwing (c.10)
Kestrel (1)
Brambling (c40)
Nuthatch
Bullfinch

Woodcock (1) and Tawny Owl (1) midweek. The day after the big Woodpigeon movement on Horwich Moors, there were plenty here moving east. Didn't have time to stay for proper vis mig but they were coming through in parties of 10-15 at around one hundred per five minutes.





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Originally posted this evening by J Buckley:

Great White Egret seen at 17.40 at Earnsdale Reservoir. Observed for 20 mins.

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Hi Mark

It has not been seen at Grane since Saturday 20th of September. I think it would have preferred to stay there but the Heron's really gave it a hard time. It was first recorded at Grane on Sunday 14th September early morning. Has it been sighted prior to that at Wayoh or anywhere else locally? Could it be the bird seen at Brockholes in early September? Is it by any chance the August Foulridge bird? The movements of the Egret is quite fascinating.

Here are some photographs I have taken :-

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarfrazh/15167181958/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarfrazh/15249532832/


It is really grand when it flies. I hope it comes back to Grane. How do the Heron's in your area react to it? I get the feeling Rossendale Heron's really see it as something very new, different and something not to be tolerated!


Sarfraz

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Great White Egret at Earnsdale Reservoir early evening 17.55 hrs, observed from up at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Could now well be an Earnsdale/Grane/Wayoh Egret.

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Jack Snipe flushed from field adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this dinner time.

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Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

Interesting the GWEgret was spotted on Sunday morning at Grane near Haslingden on 14th? I went to check 7pm to see if it roosts with Cormorants that day but it was not there. I wondered if it roosted in Darwen? The Herons really hated it! It is a very big bird, very beautiful.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 29th of September 2014 06:08:10 AM





Great White Egret at Earnsdale Reservoir around 18.00 hrs. Observed from Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Can't check whereabouts during the day as I'm at work but the roosting theory seems to add up Sarfraz and I'd be very surprised if it was not the same bird.

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Interesting the GWEgret was spotted on Sunday morning at Grane near Haslingden on 14th? I went to check 7pm to see if it roosts with Cormorants that day but it was not there. I wondered if it roosted in Darwen? The Herons really hated it! It is a very big bird, very beautiful.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 29th of September 2014 06:08:10 AM

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Great White Egret at nearby Earnsdale Reservoir tonight 18.20 hrs.

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Two hour walk in cool and cloudy conditions this morning. Not too much about - Red Grouse (4), Raven (1), Meadow Pipit (100+through south west), Curlew (1 south), Kestrel (1), Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Lapwing.

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Pink footed Goose (22) over south east 7.15 am.

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A single great white egret spotted at Earnsdale Res, below Darwen Moor, 7.30 pm on Sunday 14th Sept. A very good close up view of it in flight and searching for food. Lifer smile

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Single Wheatear at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir tonight. Nothing else to report other than 25-35 Lapwing on the mud at any given time.

Butterfly additions since last report, Comma and Peacock. A good variety out today including Green veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and the first two mentioned.

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Lapwing (26) on the ever increasing mud banks this evening plus a smattering of Gulls, in the main Black headed.

Butterfly additions since last post, Gatekeeper and Small Copper.

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Peregrine (2) high above Sough Road, Darwen early Wednesday evening with (3) in same location the following day. No bins so assuming latter sighting was a pair plus juvenile. Common knowledge that they've bred on 300 ft high India Mill chimney on and off over the last 25 years.

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Reeling Grasshopper Warbler (1) this morning. A veritable wader fest at normally wader-free Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this evening due to ongoing drainage. Common Sandpiper (2), Oystercatcher (2), Redshank (1), Lapwing (1) and Little Ringed Plover (Pr + Juv). Just going for a lie down!

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Reeling Grasshopper Warbler (2) this morning adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. The ongoing drainage of the res is now creating two small mud scrapes and this evening there were Common Sandpiper (2), Oystercatcher (2) and Little Ringed Plover (1).

Eventually the water will disappear altogether with the exception of a pool area that will be created at the western end. The main body of the res will be allowed to return to its natural state. I am told there will be no in filling so it remains to be seen what the end product will look like.

Butterfly additions this week, Small Skipper and Ringlet. A few Large Skipper, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown about today.



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Two Grasshopper Warblers reeling first thing this morning, 500 yards apart, approaching and adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Another reeler this evening up from the reservoir, no doubt this morning's second bird.

Butterfies over the last few weeks - Green veined White, Small White, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Dingy Skipper and Large Skipper.

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Greylag Goose (4) over, west this morning. Unusual here. All other suspects about, Skylark, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Lesser Redpoll, Lapwing, Linnet, etc etc.

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Turn Lane - Bold Venture - Bury Fold - Lords Hall - Cartridge Hill - John Smith's - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Sunny, clear skies. Out 7.00 until 10.00 Amongst others :-

Red Grouse (c.5)
Oystercatcher (1)
Curlew
Lapwing
Cuckoo (1)
Skylark (12+)
Swallow
Meadow Pipit
Stonechat (1f)
Wheatear (4)
Grasshopper Warbler (2)
Whitethroat (1)
Blackcap (1)
Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler
Bullfinch

One Grasshopper Warbler near John Smith's, the other at Bury Fold, both reeling. Cuckoo above Bold Venture.



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Jack Snipe tonight flushed from stream/ditch on south side of Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Zig zagged for 10 yards and back down. Couple of more sightings of Cuckoo since the 29th will have been the same bird, Wheatear still coming through but in much lower numbers.

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First Cuckoo tonight on wires adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Sightings over the last few days in the Sunnyhurst area include Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, several Whitethroat and several more Wheatear taking the number of the latter through the one hundred mark.

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Reeling Grasshopper Warbler this morning near corner of Sunnyhurst Hey Res. Whitethroat (2) nearby. Wheatear (6) in three areas tonight.

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First Whitethroat for me this morning near Higher Sunnyhurst Reservoir. Wheatear (8) tonight in two of the fields adjacent to Higher Wenshead Farm.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 22nd of April 2014 08:18:25 PM

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Turn Lane - Bold Venture - Bury Fold - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Out 8.00 until 10.15. Cool and murky to start with, warmed up a bit later. Of note :-

Wheatear (8)
Raven (2)
Red Grouse (4)
Skylark (c.5)
Stonechat (1f)
Sparrowhawk (pr)

Plus usuals, Lapwing, Curlew, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, etc.

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Nice productive one hour walk this morning to the tower via Turn Lane and Bold Venture and back down to Sunnyhurst. Of note :-

Ring Ouzel (1m)
Sparrowhawk (1m)
Stonechat (1m)
Wheatear (1m)
Raven (3 min)
Red Grouse (2)

Plus the usuals. The Sparrowhawk caused brief mayhem amongst the Lapwings above Turn Lane. Ravens seemed to be calling everywhere with several sightings above Bold Venture and Sunnyhurst. The male Ring Ouzel was in the level field within the water treatment plant adjacent to Higher Sunnyhurst Res. Flew off after being mobbed by a crow but ten minutes later flew back to the bushes surrounding the field.

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Turn Lane - Bold Venture - Bury Fold - Whitehall Plantation - Mid Cadshaw Valley - Hanging Stones - Fingerpost - Roddlesworth - John Smith's Farm - Higher Wenshead - Home. Out 8.15 until 13.45. Sunny, warm at times but a cool breeze. Amongst others :-

Grey Heron
Kestrel
Buzzard (4)
Red Grouse (2)
Oystercatcher (1)
Golden Plover (1)
Dunlin (1)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Curlew (c.25)
Lapwing (c.15)
Tawny Owl (1)
Skylark (c.15)
Meadow Pipit (c.40)
Swallow
Pied Wagtail
Wheatear (24)
Ring Ouzel (1f)
Grasshopper Warbler (1)
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff
Raven (3)
Linnet
Lesser Redpoll (c.20)
Bullfinch
Reed Bunting

I missed the Ring Ouzel at Higher Wenshead by about one minute. Seen by Mavis Smith. I hung around for a while but it didn't reappear. A cracking day nonetheless.

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