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Post Info TOPIC: Darwen Moor


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RE: Darwen Moor


Still very quiet around these parts. A few recent sightings of Red Grouse and the odd Raven. Small numbers of Lapwing have returned to fields on the moorland edges and a Skylark was heard yesterday. A Little Owl was seen tonight in the Higher Wenshead area and 4 Crossbill were reported a couple of days ago near Darwen Golf Course.

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Two walks of around 1.5 hours each on Saturday and Sunday mornings to the Cartridge Hill area and back. Extremely windy albeit dry. Not a great deal about.

The odd Red Grouse and a handful of Meadow Pipit yesterday against a cracking Raven today. Had a walk past Sunnyhurst Hey Res plantation this evening at dusk looking for Woodock and one obliged flying down towards Sunnyhurst Woods.

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Home - Tower - Cartridge Hill Cairn - John Smith's Farm - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Sunny, cold with heavy frost. 09.00 to 11.00.

Very quiet bird wise, nothing of note other than :-

Red Grouse (8)
Jay (2)
Nuthatch (3)

Tawny Owl calling from Sunnyhurst Hey Res plantation, early evening.





-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Sunday 15th of January 2012 06:39:25 PM

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Home - Aggie's Staircase - Cartridge Hill - John Smith's Farm - Stepback - Home. Cold & Sunny. Out 8.50 to 10.30. Amongst other stuff :-

Red Grouse (5)
Snipe (1)
Brambling (6)
Lapwing (1)
Nuthatch (1)
Jackdaw (2)

Over last few days - Tawny Owl calling from Sunnyhurst Hey Res plantation, Cormorant (4) on Earnsdale Res and a mixed flock of Starling/Fieldfare (75) at Wenshead.

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Walk round Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this morning. Nothing on the water, a couple of Reed Bunting by the stream and two Raven flying west.

Flock of around 150 winter thrushes, mainly Fieldfare in large field below Wenshead Farm. Half a dozen Redpoll seen.

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Home - Tower - Lions Den - Stepback - Home

Wet, cold and windy. Been off the radar for 6 months with back problems, hence no trecks over the moors and no reports.

Very quiet today and nothing of note other than half a dozen Red Grouse.

I'll try better next time!

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Heard a Cuckoo early this morning, calling from the plantation area by Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

Healthy numbers of Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat around.

Had a Whimbrel at Sunnyhurst Hey Res on the morning of 5 May.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Friday 27th of May 2011 08:17:52 PM

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Home - Lions Den - Conyries Plantation - Roddlesworth - John Smith's Farm - Higher Wenshead Farm - Home. Out 2.5 hours, suuny, windy.

An almost identical cast to last week, amongst others :-

Meadow Pipit
Skylark
Red Grouse (4)
Lapwing
Curlew (6)
Stonechat (1m)
Wheatear (5)
Lesser Redpoll
Linnet
Reed Bunting
Willow Warbler
Blackcap (2)
Whitethroat (2)
Grasshopper Warbler (2)
Swallow

Another Grasshopper Warbler site at the top end of Conyries Plantation is number seven of spring. The male Stonechat still about at the bottom end of the Plantation.


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Home - Tower - Bury Fold - Fingerpost - Conyries - Roddlesworth - Lion's Den - Stepback - Home. Warm, sunny, out 3.5 hours. Amongst other stuff :-

Skylark (c.6)
Meadow Pipit
Red Grouse (4)
Wheatear (4)
Redshank (1)
Curlew
Lapwing
Kestrel (2)
Stonechat (1m)
Swallow
Willow Warbler
Whitethroat (1)
Grasshopper Warbler (3)
Lesser Redpoll
Linnet

Neither Redstart nor Tree Pippit at Roddlesworth but I suppose there's still time. Good news re the Stonechat at the bottom end of Conyries Plantation. Grasshopper Warblers near S H Reservoir, Pasture Barn and in the field at the very southern end of Roddlesworth.


-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Sunday 24th of April 2011 01:27:28 PM

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Walks over the moors, this morning for two and a half hours plus yesterday, amongst other stuff :-

Red Grouse (6)
Skylark (5)
Meadow Pipit
Lapwing
Curlew
Wheatear (2)
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff
Blackcap (2)
Whitethroat (1)
Grasshopper Warbler (2)
Kestrel (1)
Lesser Redpoll
Linnet

Wheatear numbers went through the 100 mark last weekend and I've now stopped counting. Talking to other local birders, the Ring Ouzel count is around 8 birds although none seemed to have lingered.

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Higher Sunnyhurst Res - Wenshead - Stepback - Lion's Den - Bury Fold - Above Whitehall - Cadshaw - Cadshaw Valley - Hanging Stones - Turton Moor - Fingerpost - Roddlesworth - John Smith's Farm - Wenshead - Home.

Weather sunnyish, pleasant, cool wind at times. Out 8.40 - 16.40. Amongst other stuff :-

Peregrine (1 Pr)
Buzzard (3)
Wheatear (c.45)
Meadow Pipit (c.35)
Skylark (c.10)
Red Grouse (c.6)
Ring Ouzel (4)
Golden Plover (6)
Lapwing (c.25)
Curlew (c.15)
Blackcap (1)
Willow Warbler (50+)
Swallow (c.6)

Bird(s) of the day undoubtedly Ring Ouzel. Initially one seen, at distance, in bush above Bury Fold. Edged closer to find another three, so all four birds together. Good views of a pair of Peregrine, earlier, above Stepback. Healthy numbers of Skylark and very decent numbers of Wheatear throughout with many in Cadshaw Valley. Six Golden Plover put up at Hanging Stones which, technically, is Turton Moor and an extensive plateau above Cadshaw Valley. Also here two unidentified waders, quite probably Dunlin. One Buzzard at Bury Fold with another two flying north, north of Belmont Reservoir. Good company with Alan and Dave who had earlier had White Wagtail (2) at Earnsdale Reservoir.



-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Saturday 16th of April 2011 06:03:01 PM

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Several more Wheatear through since 2nd April bringing the total now to 37, mainly around Higher Wenshead Farm, also the field inbetween the farm and Higher Sunnyhurst Res and the field on the left going up to the tower.



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Quick walk on moors this morning, back via Stepback and Higher Wenshead.

Skylark (6)
Meadow Pipit (c.20)
Red Grouse (3)
Lapwing (c.15)
Linnet
Lesser Redpoll
Pied Wagtail
Canada Goose (2)
Wheatear (7)

The Wheatear at Higher Wenshead on the 30th March had moved through, today's birds being new arrivals. Total Wheatear now at 19 although 2 of these most likely duplicated.

Early evening walk to Sunnyhurst Hey Res and Higher Wenshead - another 5 Wheatear.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Saturday 2nd of April 2011 08:36:42 PM

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Ring Ouzel called twice this morning, a third of the way up the diagonal path above Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Went up but couldn't locate.

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Wheatear (3m,2f) below Higher Wenshead Farm tonight. A few Curlew around with the usual Lapwing in several of the adjacent fields. Quick walk on moors seeing Red Grouse (3).

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Female Ring Ouzel sighted mid day in field immediately north of Earnsdale Reservoir. Info thanks to David Pack. Had a 30 minute mooch at the spot this evening without success. Suspect the bird moved on through with the improvement in the weather early afternoon.

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Another 3 Wheatear in the area (2m, 1f). Path to the Tower from Sunnyhurst, first field on lhs after quarry.

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To Cartridge Hill and back this morning. Out for three hours. Similar birds seen to those yesterday with the addition of a pair of Little Owl in the Wenshead area. Wheatear (2m) again in field to west of Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir, possibly yesterday's birds.

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Home - Wenshead - Stepback - Bury Fold - Fingerpost - Conyries Plantation - Cartridge Hill - Stepback - Wenshead - Home. Out over 3.5 hours, weather cool and blustery, warmed up a bit later. Skylark (3) Meadow Pipit Red Grouse (3) Lapwing (c.15) Lesser Redpoll Linnet Tawny Owl (1) Wheatear (2) A lot of activity in the last few days with the milder weather - Nuthatch, G S Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Fieldfare, Curlew, Redshank and Chiffchaff.

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Similar walk to yesterday without taking in Cartridge Hill. Strangely no Red Grouse. Had Skylark in two different areas. Raven (1) above Stepback, Curlew and Lapwing in the Wenshead area, Lapwing again above Sniddle Hill Farm, a few more Meadow Pipits appearing now, Reed Bunting, Bullfinch, Nuthatch and Lesser Redpoll amongst others.

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Tower - Cartridge Hill Cairn - Lions Den - Stepback - Higher Wenshead - Home. Fine & cool, out two and a half hours, amongst other stuff :-

Skylark (2)
Meadow Pipit
Red Grouse (10)
Lapwing (20)
Curlew (4)
Bullfinch (2)
Reed Bunting (1)

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Sunday 13th of March 2011 10:57:00 AM

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Aggie's Staircase - Cartridge Hill Cairn - Lion's Den - Stepback - Higher Wenshead - Home. Fine, cool, blustery - out two hours. Amongst other stuff :-

Skylark (2)
Red Grouse (c.6)
Curlew (5)
Lapwing (11)

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Usual evening walk around Sunnyhurst Hey Res - Goosander (10), Canada Goose (4) and Mallard (c.6). Woodcock (1) that flew out of the plantation down towards Sunnyhurst Woods. Red Grouse (1) on the adjacent moorland.

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Walk around Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir last night, 17.45 to 18.30 :-

Goosander (2)
Mallard (5)
Woodcock (1)
Tawny Owl (1)

Darwen Moors this morning 9.30 to 11.00, damp and misty :-

Skylark (1)
Red Grouse (1)
Lapwing (9)
Lesser Redpoll (2)
Canada Goose (2) (Res)

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Another long walk over the back of the moors this morning. Very quiet other than 15 Red Grouse.

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A couple of Raven this morning above Stepback Wood, nothing much else about on the tops.

Around 75 Waxwing on the corner of Westminster Road and Lyndhurst Road adjacent to Avondale playing fields in Darwen. Flighty and they had gone when I went for a second look around midday.

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Home - Top Aggie's Staircase - Cartridge Hill - Conyries Plantation - Fingerpost - Top Cadshaw Valley - Brown Lowe - Lords Hall - Tower - Home. Cold, fine, out 3.5 hours.

Like last time, not much about. Good views of Raven (4) at Brown Lowe. Red Grouse (15) in various areas.



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Home - Top Aggie's Staircase - Lords Hall - Fingerpost - Conyries Plantation - Cartridge Hill - Top Aggie's Staircase - Home. Fine & Cool. Out 3 hours.

Raven (3) single and a pair, Red Grouse (11) various areas, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting and not a lot else.

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Home - Top Aggie's Staircase - Lions Den - Cartridge Hill Cairn - Lions Den - Stepback - Home. Bleak and bitter. Out two hours.

Not a great deal on the tops - Raven (2), Red Grouse (10) and that's about it. Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll in plantation near Waterman's House later on.

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Merry Christmas one and all!

Walk round Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir and then down to Earnsdale Reservoir. No sign of yesterday's Hen Harrier. Sod's Law prevailed, as expected!

Little Owl (1), Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Reed Bunting (25+), Bullfinch, Goldfinch, LBB Gull, Herring Gull, amongst other stuff.

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Just been on the East Lancs site to notice a male Hen Harrier was seen today, mid day, roughly between Higher Wenshead Farm and Earnsdale Reservoir.

Typical! Done several long walks over the back of the moors recently to try and get Hen Harrier as a local patch tick and one is seen 20 minutes up the track from where I live.no.gif

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Long walk over moors this morning. Cloudy, cool and blustery.

Sunnyhurst - Top Aggie's Staircase - Lords Hall - Fingerpost - Conyries Plantation - Cartridge Hill - Above Stepback - Sunnyhurst.

Not a great deal about but good numbers of Red Grouse. Amongst other stuff :-

Redwing
Mistle Thrush
Jackdaw
Meadow Pipit
Raven (1)
Red Grouse (16)

There were 11 Red Grouse together on the eastern side of Cartridge Hill.

Yesterday morning, another sighting of Woodcock with half decent flight views in the murk. Most probably the same bird(s) around the Water Board plantation adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.



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Two Tawny Owls calling yesterday morning, one at the top end of Sunnyhurst Woods and the other in the Water Board plantation next to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Also a Woodcock flew from the woods area in to the plantation.

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Walk over back of moors today to the north east area of Cartridge Hill. Fairly quiet other than 3 or 4 Red Grouse, half a dozen Reed Bunting at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir and 4 Raven above Sunnyhurst. Told of 2 Golden Plover seen on nearby Great Hill.

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Is this code for a new George Bush torture location!? wink.gif




Well there were several blokes wandering around in those orange overalls, but don't tell anyone. I got out of there pdq.blankstare.gif

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Mark Jarrett wrote:

Water Board plantation.






Is this code for a new George Bush torture location!? wink.gif

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A male Goosander on Tuesday, followed by a male and two females on Wednesday. A female Sparrowhawk on the edge of the Water Board plantation yesterday and a Woodcock this morning in almost the same spot.

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Six Red Grouse this morning with a male Peregrine in the Lions Den area, which is just south of Stepback. Otherwise quiet.

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News given to me yesterday of a Hen Harrier seen the previous day in the Fingerpost area, which is just south of Cartridge Hill. I was in a rush to get back to work so forgot to ask the sex of the bird.

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Several winter thrush flocks through last couple of days, all south, mainly Redwing.

Short eared Owl this morning (in the murk) en route to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

Whooper Swans had moved on by Wednesday tea time.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Friday 22nd of October 2010 02:22:44 PM

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Whooper Swan (4) on Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this dinner time. Used to winter at nearby Earnsdale Reservoir in the early 70's so this is a welcome sighting, albeit they'll be passing through.

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Osprey through south west 18.00 hrs, high above Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

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Around 75 House and 10 Sand Martin feeding over and adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir early evening before moving through south.

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Yellow Wagtail (2) and Wheatear (2) in field to west of Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this evening.

Talked to the owners of the Eagle Owl this dinner time - they failed to net it yesterday and it is still at large!

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Took the dog for his usual 25 minute walk at dinner time. Came off the moors and just before we reached our house (foot of moors) stood face to face with an Eagle Owl, sat on a fence at head height, three paces from me. Got out of its way just in case! Couldn't see any rings/tags etc., but to cut a long story short (and as expected) it was an escapee. Grrrrrr! smile.gif



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Nothing much happening over the last few days. A dozen or so Meadow Pipit moved through west this morning (I know,nothing really to write home about!), 3 Lapwing at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir with a few Canada Goose and Mallard. Plenty of Swallows building up around the res and on the tops. News of a Spotted Flycatcher just east of Earnsdale Reservoir.

A dusk walk over the moors tonight yielded a Kestrel, 3 Red Grouse (5 yesterday) and nothing much more other than a few Meadow Pipit. An extremely distant B of P went unidentified. Long wings, lazy wing beat, possibly a Shortie, heading west with Winter Hill mast in my bins, so you Manchester lads could have got it! 4 Bats at 900 ft, species unidentified.

But what a view tonight.....as the sun dipped below the horizon at 8.15 ish, clockwise from the south west - Snowdonia, Southport, Ribble Estuary, Blackpool, Isle of Man, Lakes, Howgills, Bowland Fells, Three Peaks in Yorkshire & Pendle. Superb!

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Buzzard in fields below Higher Wenshead Farm this morning with a single Red Grouse on the tops above Stepback. Otherwise, fairly quiet.

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Been fairly quiet over the last few weeks. Red Grouse being seen in two's three's and four's with a few Meadow Pipit and Skylark here and there. Linnets have dispersed now but there have still been several Lesser Redpoll around. Water levels dropped on Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir and have left attractive (you would think) muddy areas to no avail - only waders seen being the odd couple of Common Sandpiper and a post breeding flock of Lapwing numbering up to 45 birds. These alternate between this reservoir and Earnsdale Reservoir where again waders have been non existant. An adult male Sparrowhawk put in an appearance at Sunnyhurst Hey and a Stock Dove was noted in fields above Sniddle Hill Farm. Around 60 Swift moved through south a couple of weeks ago and in the last few days Swallow, and to a lesser degree House Martin, numbers have built up up nicely. Thirty odd Mistle Thrush have been seen with a good number of Starling in the fields below Higher Wenshead Farm. Yesterday, a single Wheatear was seen opposite the small quarry up from Sunnyhurst and tonight another three west of Sunnyhurst Hey. Best of all, a juvenile Peregrine was seen tonight flying very low adjacent to the reservoir.

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Stuff around last few days - Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover (2), Common Sandpiper, Kestrel, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Whitethroat, Swallow, Swift, House Martin amongst others.

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Nice Barn Owl whilst out last night somewhere in the Darwen area.

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