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Post Info TOPIC: Darwen Moor


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RE: Darwen Moor


Darwen Tower - SE Edge - Bury Fold - Lords Hall - Fingerpost - Roddlesworth - Ryal Fold - Back. 8.55 to 13.25 - Part sunny & warm.

Meadow Pipit
Skylark (c.10)
Red Grouse (1)
Lapwing
Curlew (c.15)
Oystercatcher (2)
Snipe (1)
Redshank (1)
Willow Warbler
Blackcap
Whitethroat
Grasshopper Warbler (1) - Area No 4
Tree Pipit (1)
Lesser Redpoll
Mediterranean Gull (1) - Over, flying north
Little Owl (1) - Last night, somewhere local.

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Walked down to nearby Earnsdale Reservoir, out 6.10 to 7.30. Couldn't have picked a worse morning - a real pea souper. Managed to pick Common Sandpiper (1), Lapwing (1), Canada Goose (13) and Pied Wagtail (1) out of the gloom. Nearby Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Redpoll, Curlew, Goldfinch & Bullfinch.

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Out at 6.10 until 715 - was going to go onto the tops but rain stopped play. Ended up doing a circuit of Sunnyhurst Hey Res and coming back via the Water Board plantation, inbetween the res and Sunnyhurst Woods. Grey and cool, bits of rain.

Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Skylark, Red Grouse (heard), Lapwing, Bullfinch, LT Tit, Jackdaw, Swallow, Reed Bunting, amongst others.

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Sunnyhurst Hey Res - Higher Wenshead Farm - Stepback - Moors - Tower - Down.

5.45 to 7.45 am - Calm, fine, warm. Amongst other stuff :-

Red Grouse (6)
Skylark (3)
Meadow Pipit
Lapwing (14)
Curlew (3)
Redpoll (6)
Linnet
Whitethroat (4)
Grasshopper Warbler (1) - New Area
Willow Warbler (c.15)
Swallow
Swift



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3/5/10 (am)

After tickling the nearby Wood Warbler, and admiring the local Redstarts, I set forth ont Lanky moors for a good owd-fashioned mooch:

Ryal Fold/Tockholes/Tower area:

1 Raven
2 Wheatear (pr)
5 Red Grouse (4m)
1 Grasshopper Warbler (heard only)
4 Curlew
2 Skylark
1 Kestrel
1 Grey Wagtail
6 Lapwing
2 Lesser Redpoll
1 Goosander (drk) on Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir (the only thing on the Res...)
1 Nuthatch (Tockholes visitor centre)
2 Mistle Thrush
Meadow Pipits and Swallows aplenty...

First visit here in a birding capacity, and the views alone were well worth it - could even see the ship-yards at Barrow-in-Furness !

(Thanks for the recent info Mark wink.gif)

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Annual 'walk to work' day - out at 6.40, up to the tower and along southern edge, coming down via Bury Fold. High cloud, a bit windy and cool.

Red Grouse (7), Pheasant, Meadow Pipit, Skylark (5), Curlew (3), Lapwing (6), Willow Warbler, Swallow, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Grasshopper Warbler (1 - reeling at Upper Bury Fold).

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Grasshopper Warbler reeling at yesterday's spot and showing well. Male Wheatear on tops above Aggie's Staircase. Red Grouse (4), Redpoll and several Lapwing in fields below moorland edge.

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Quick walk onto moorland edge - Wheatear (3) and Grasshopper Warbler (1).

Talking to a guy that's up on the moors at least once every day. The Ring Ouzel count currently stands at six. A four and two singles.

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Been onto the moors two or three times this week and it has been very quiet with nothing really of note. On Tuesday it was bitterly cold and a one and a half hour walk provided nothing other than a Skylark. No signs of Wheatear in the Sunnyhurst Hey Res area nor any Ring Ouzel.

Today had a walk over to the Royal pub at Tockholes. Wheatear (2) in the fields below Higher Wenshead farm and another in the field adjacent to the res on the way back.

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Walk adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir looking for Ring Ouzel and Wheatear, without success. Plenty of Willow Warbler, a few each of Linnet and Redpoll, one each of Red Grouse and Pheasant. A couple of Skylark, two or three Lapwing and best of all, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler in usual spot just south east of the res.

Out from 07.00 to 07.45, cool, cloudy and very light rain.

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Wak onto the tops tonight, over the back of the moors for a mile and back down to Sunnyhurst via Stepback. Out for an hour and a half. Very quiet with a few Meadow Pipit, 2 Curlew, 3 Red Grouse, a coupe of Lapwing and nothing much else.

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The main 'torched' area, luckily, was just grass and was put out just in time before reaching a higher area of heather. The bad news was the brain dead burnt two decent areas of heather at adjacent Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

Told of recent Ring Ouzel by the field just up from the quarry that I mentioned last Wednesday.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 13th of April 2010 08:23:23 AM

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The moors were 'torched' yet again late yesterday afternoon. Me and a friend only commented on Thursday evening on how dry the grass was. The first really warm and sunny weekend of the year and you know what to expect from the town low lifes.

It's usually the area from Higher Sunnyhurst Res up the slopes to the tower. An annual event (at least) and it's been done so many times that around 70% of the heather has disappeared in that section of the moors. It's now mainly just grass.

Luckily, the best part of the area, immediately to the south east of the res, is damp enough not to catch fire. A reedy area by a small stream with various bushes, gorse and heather, the spot where Grasshopper Warbler is normally seen each year.

I'll have a mooch up there later on to assess the damage. furious.gif

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Walk around Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir then onto the tops and circular tour around the tower. Out 8.00 till 9.45, weather sunny and warm. Amongst other stuff :-

Kestrel (1)
Heron (1)
Meadow Pipit
Skylark (3)
Wheatear (1)
Lapwing (8)
Red Grouse (7)
Pheasant (4)
Curlew (2)
Jackdaw
Linnet
Redpoll
Willow Warbler
Raven (1)



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First field on lhs after the quarry - Wheatear (4), Skylark (2), Lapwing (1).

Field to west of Sunnyhurst Hey Res - Wheatear (1), Lapwing (3).

Linnet, Redpoll, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Pheasant and another Skylark also about.

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Quick walk up to and around Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir this morning. Very cold, very windy, very quiet. Skylark (2), Red Grouse (1) and Lapwing (5) only stuff worth mentioning. No Wheatear in usual field.

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Back home for a week. Had two walks over the moors and to be honest it has been extremely quiet. Two Red Grouse on Saturday and three Red Grouse & a pair of Goosander on Sunnyhurst Hey Res today were the only birds worth mentioning. A Short eared Owl was seen near Darwen Tower on Friday.

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Spent the hour leading up to dusk on the moors. No owls, although I saw a friend out fell running who had seen a short eared in the Cartridge Hill area. Nothing much around other than a pair of Goosander on Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

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Nice two hour walk this afternoon. Plenty of snow - stumbled off the path at one stage taking a photograph and snow level was up to my knees.

Not a lot of bird life - around 6 Red Grouse, 5 Fieldfare, 14 Jackdaw, c.15 Bullfinch amongst other stuff. No owls today although I was told of a Short Eared above Stepback.

Need to go up again shortly to check for Snow Bunting - seen in the past here - after 28 were today noted on (relatively) nearby Pendle.

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Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir, moorland edge, 18.30.

Red Kite flew over res, circled top end of Sunnyhurst Woods for a few minutes before lazily drifting away to north west. Local patch tick!

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Usual walk with dog this morning and amongst other stuff :-

Reed Bunting
Whitethroat
Redpoll
Chiffchaff
Swallow
House Martin
Swift

Walk at dinnertime in Jacks key area, southern end of Darwen :-

Garden Warbler
Blackcap
Cuckoo (heard from moors)

Hobby seen yesterday in Darwen area (not by me, unfortunately!)



-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 2nd of June 2009 03:43:58 PM

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Faint reeling Grasshopper Warbler last night adjacent to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Curlew present this morning in the lower Stepback Brook area and 7 Wheatear are in the usual field west of the res amongst other stuff.

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Set off to walk to work via Darwen Tower and the south eastern moorland edge. Had my first cuckoo of spring going up to the tower and in the upper Bury Fold area had two separate reeling Grasshopper Warblers, one on the moors and one in damp farmland. Also had a minimum of five Red Grouse in three different areas along with two Curlews. Having misjudged the length of time it would take, I arrived at work 15 mins late...oops, but who cares!

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A reeling Grasshopper Warbler in amongst the Redpoll, Stonechat, Linnet and Reed Bunting this morning, almost two weeks earlier than last years first arrival.

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Moorland edge 6.20 - 7.50 and 17.45 - 18.45 sunny & warm :-

Very quiet this morning, specifically looking for Ring Ouzel and Grasshopper Warbler but wasn't to be.

Additions to stuff seen yesterday were Red Grouse (2) and Stonechat (3). The single Wheatear had moved through by this morning to be replaced with another 4 this evening.

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Moorland edge 9.00 - 10.15 :-

Skylark
Meadow Pipit
Reed Bunting
Linnet
Lesser Redpoll
Swallow (2)
House Martin (1)
Willow Warbler
Fieldfare (1)
Wheatear (1m)
Lapwing (c10)
Redshank (1)
Snipe (2)

Amongst other stuff

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Moorland edge :- 17.50 - 19.00 Fine & mildish

Pretty much as yesterday with the addition of Redshank (1) near Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. Wheatear (4) in usual field.



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Moorland Edge :- 7.20 - 7.50 and 17.55 - 19.05 Pleasant weather!

Meadow Pipit
Skylark
Reed Bunting
Stonechat (3)
Red Grouse (2)
Pheasant
Lapwing (12)
Wheatear (3)
Lesser Redpoll
Linnet
Canada Goose (2)
Kestrel
Willow Warbler (1)
Curlew (2)
Heron (1)

Amongst other stuff.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Thursday 2nd of April 2009 06:29:48 PM

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Moorland edge, 6.50 - 7.50, cool & still :-

Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Green Woodpecker, Lapwing (12) & Wheatear (1) amongst other stuff.

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30-40 Meadow Pipit feeding in first field on rhs up from Sunnyhurst
68 Wood Pigeon feeding in upper field on lhs


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Hi Mark,

It was nice to meet you. Knew you had to be a birder when your first question was "have you seen any Wheatears up there?" Rather envy where you live as Sunnyhurst Wood and that area of the Moors adjacent to the Tower seemed to be teeming with birds and the views from the tops were fantastic yesterday.

Cheers,

Alan.

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Hi Alan - I was the guy in the cottage garden at the foot of the moors, if it was you I spoke to about the wheatears.

Glad you had a good day!

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Monday 30th of March 2009 02:46:29 PM

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Walk through Sunnyhurst Wood and up to Tower via Reservoirs from 9am to 12.30pm

Pied Wagtail (1)
Grey Wagtail (1)
Great Crested Grebe (2)
Kestrel (2)
Lapwing (8)
Curlew (2)
Redwing (3)
Wheatear (5)
Stonechat (2 Pairs)
Skylark (1)
Meadow Pipit (10+)
Red Grouse (3)
Mistle Thrush (1)
Song Thrush (1)

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Walk onto tops, past the tower & along northern edge, 17.45 - 19.00 cold & still.

Red Grouse (2)
Fieldfare (c50)
Raven (1)
Stonechat (1)
Canada Goose (2)
Kestrel
Skylark


Cracking views of Isle of Man and could just make out North Wales mountains.

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Walk up to Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir and part of moorland edge 8.50 - 9.50 cold and blustery :-

Wheatear (5) - Not same 5 as seen on 19th
Skylark (4)
Meadow Pipit
Curlew (2)
Lapwing (9)
Bullfinch
Heron
Kestrel
Jackdaw

Lovely clear views of Ribble Estuary, Blackpool Tower, Morecambe Bay, Howgill Fells, Bowland Fells, Three Peaks & Pendle.


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Ian McKerchar Wrote:

This gives me the opportunity to reiterate the guidelines of this forum:

During this time of year, March onwards no locations of potential nesting locations of any raptors or owls should be posted, they are all very sought after by egg and chick thiefs, some of whom undoubtable read these posts.



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Moorland Edge 6.50 - 7.45 :-


Wheatear (5)
Ring Ouzel (1f) Flyover northwards - very early record - never in March previously
Reed Bunting
Lapwing
Skylark
Meadow Pipit

Last couple of days :-

Stonechat
Lesser Redpoll




-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Thursday 19th of March 2009 07:54:35 PM

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Moorland edge :- Long eared Owl back in its favoured roosting tree, 2 Red Grouse, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Skylark, c8 displaying Lapwing and 4 Cormorant on Sunnyhurst Hey Res amongst other sightings.

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First sighting of Long eared Owl tonight for a good few weeks, sat right out in the open on a fence post. 17 Lapwing flew west.

Two Skylark holding territories on Sunnyhurst side of the moors. The odd Reed Bunting has returned, just waiting now for return of Redpoll, Linnet and Stonechat with the first Wheatear a week or so away along with Ring Ouzel thereafter.

After a quiet few weeks there's a feeling of anticipation again!

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Ten Red Grouse yesterday but, unfortunately, no owls.

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Two Short eared Owls yesterday with an adult male Merlin today at Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir which is on the northern edge of the moors above Sunnyhurst.

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Absolutely bitter today with wind chill taking it well below zero and the moors white all day with a heavy frost. But a good day for birds!

Three separate sightings of Short eared Owl, north of Darwen Tower, east of the Tower and also north east of the Tower near Sniddle Hill Farm. Barn Owl to the west of Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir by Higher Wenshead Farm and a roosting Long eared Owl at a nearby site. Two Raven and around five Red Grouse (against nine yesterday).

There has recently been a Tawny Owl at the foot of the moors, Sunnyhurst side but I'll not complain at not seeing it today!



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Two Short-eared Owls hunting, but twice in aerial conflict, on the west side of Darwen Moor, just below the Tower, at 2pm this afternoon. Only saw them when they were put up by a passing Peregrine!

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Terrific views biggrin.gif of single Short eared-Owl@1430 today,plenty of grouse and meadow pipits



Mike Horwood

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