Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Lichens, Mosses and Goldeneye.....

Had a walk with Charlie Payne around the Calf Hey Reservoir and took a few photos. On the res was two Male Goldeneye and a Male Goosander, a pair of Mallard and several Black Headed Gulls.
(First two photos are of mosses on the car park approach wall, which also retains the old burial ground. The third photo (top right) is the old Grane Village area closeby the bird hide. The bottom left photo is: Hypogymnia physodes and then the next is Evernia prunastri and these are found close to Top O'th Knoll, and the bottom right hand photo is of Bryoria fuscescens growing on tree near to bird hide...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Hutch Bank Quarry...

It was great knocking about up there in the 50s. There used to be two long dark tunnels which had train lines (a narrowguage) running through them, I can remember clammering through them it was really great fun, and dark and spooky..... . They must have carried the stone from different parts of the Quarry with trains in those early days. In the 50s it was also closed down for production like it is today. In the 50s there was also grass snakes up there... none been around now for years in fact probably since 50s... so rare!!! Here's a old photo of the train at Hutch Bank which was called "Ant".


Went up Underbank, Cob Castle and Hutch Bank on Sunday March 15th 2009

Meadow Pipits where going North over Hutch Bank at the rate of about 40 per hour and also there where odd Pied Wagtails again heading North. First big bumblebee of the year at Cob Castle. Checked out Underbank, Cob Castle and Hutch Bank. Here's some photos of some of todays findings of Ferns, Mosses and Lichens which I have yet to identify. Also photo of old Hutch Bank Crusher. I have also included a very old postcard showing the old Hutch Bank and Cob Castle area when it was well inhabited. (Photo: Top right and also centre is the Male of the Polytrichum piliferum moss species. The Photo Middle left is: Narrow Buckler Fern (Dryoperis carthusiana) Bottom left photo is a lichen of the species Lecidea - sub species unknown).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Vintage Grane Photo - Heap Clough Mill

The first photo on the left shows the Heap Clough Mill, and the photo above shows the demolition of the large chimney in c1913.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Heap Clough to Crowtrees....

0930hrs - 1130hrs. It was great to map out the old Heap Clough Mill, and take lots of photos one here shows the west boundary wall of the old mill which also backs up against the small brook and the other a distance shot, which shows the outline of the old mill). Birds are still going through OK. I had resident Grey Wagtail, a party of about 30 Redwing heading West and two parties of Starling 25 & 50 heading West and 6 Chaffinch and a Reed Bunting behind Crowtrees and calling... also here a photo of some Gorse well in flower and closeby to the ancient Holt Clough Quarry shown here .. (Click over photo to enlarge).. Also had a Red Admiral Butterfly at Heap Clough today, never had one so late in the year before......

Friday, 7 November 2008

Vintage Grane Photo - Group of Grane Quarrymen..

Here on the left is a very old photo of the Grane Quarrymen.......and on the right is a steam-wagon which was used to transport stone from the quarries to the various recipients... (Click over photos to enlarge..)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Still Starlings are the main mover...

0730hrs-0845hrs from Heap Clough...
Redwing: 16 (1E)
Starling: 235 (6 parties, best parties: 120,40,30,30)
Fieldfare: 81 (5 parties, best parties 30,24)
also: Chaffinch: 18 (3E), Goosander: 4N, Woodpigeon: 7 (one party), Mistle Thrush: 1, Jackdaw: 4, Great Spotted Woodpecker: 2....(This is a photo of a hawthorn tree at Heap Clough across on the banking leading to Crowtrees and lots of Thrushes especially Redwings, Fieldfares & Blackbirds will take advantage of feeding on these berries over the next few weeks. ..) Click over photo to enlarge..

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A quiet bird count but Starlings still going through...

0700hrs-0830hrs from Heap Clough
Not a lot this morning but here we are:
Starling: 128 (5 parties, best parties: 45,25)
Redwing: 51 (9E also only one large party of 20 all others between 1-9)
Fieldfare: 31 (one party 30)
also: Mistle Thrush: 1, Chaffinch: 41, Blackbird: 5, Goldfinch: 1, Greenfinch: 2, Grey Wagtail: 1, Jay: 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1, Black Headed Gull: 2, Cormorant: 1, Kestrel: 1....

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A Black Cloud of Starling... but going the wrong way!!

0700hrs-0900hrs from Heap Clough...
Wind ENE 10 mph
Movement: All West unless specified (today also East played a part)

A bit better day with some Thrush movement (mainly Fieldfare). The highlight was a solid packed party of Starling (est: 500 could have been far more) but going East.

Fieldfare: 554 (19 parties, best parties: 40,50,60,50,40,40, also but included 30E)
Redwing: 62 (8 parties, best parties: 10,13,12)
Starling: 682 (11 parties, best parties 500+E, 25,60,30,15)
Blackbird: 8 (5,1,2,)
Chaffinch: 47
also: Pied Wagtail: 1, Cormorant: 2, Green Woodpecker: 1 (local).

Monday, 3 November 2008

Still some Thrushes going through Grane...

0700hrs-0900hrs from Heap Clough....

Starling: 223 (8 parties, best parties: 20,50,40,60)
Redwing: 107 (6 parties, best parties: 25,50)
Fieldfare: 205 (7 parties, best parties: 60,70)
Others: Redpoll:2, Kestrel: 1L, BHG: 8E, Blackbird: 3, Greenfinch: 11 (6,4), Grey Wagtail: 2, Pied Wagtail:2, Chaffinch: 35, Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1, Green Woodpecker:2, Woodpigeon: 29 (one party 25SW), Sparrowhawk:1 local, Kestrel: 2, Siskin: 3, Jackdaw: 20E....

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Thrushes gone quiet after yesterday but Starlings still going for it..

0700hrs-0900hrs from Heap Clough.....
Movement: NW unless stated otherwise.
Wind: N 10mph and freshening..and very cold..
Spotty rain at first then OK..

Not a lot going on this morning. Starling still going through with one cracking party of 150 which where so close overhead I felt the draught as they went by......

Fieldfare: 195 (best parties 50,50,15) 18E
Redwing: 85 (best party 20) 35E
Starling: 320 (one party 150)
Chaffinch: 43
Others: Blackbird: 2, Mistle Thrush: 1, Greenfinch: 2, Redpoll: 2, Woodpigeon: 2, BHG: 6,
Photos: l: looking SE towards the windfarm on Ashworth Moor, and r: a mossy/liverwort species at Heap Clough - found yesterday - click over photo to enlarge).

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Fieldfare dominated todays watch and also had Pink Feet..

0645hrs-1200hrs - Stoney Rake then Heap Clough....
Wind: N 5mph-10mph
Movement all West or North West unless stated otherwise..

Superb morning with Fieldfare dominating. Also Pink Feet making a appearance and all going NW-SE, one party of 90 seem to double back and then head West.. It soon became apparent that 95% of all thrushes where going through the valley of Deep Clough (a sort of funnelling down to 200ft wide corridor) so from 1000hrs I made my way down to Heap Clough & Deep Clough, so that I would have a better vantage point and then it wasnt necessary to use the bins as much, the birds by then where more or less going directly above me... and brilliant move it turned out to be wish I had done it a couple of hours earlier.....

Fieldfare: 5820 (Breakdown below) 77 parties, best parties: 200,150,200,160,200,200,240,280,300),
Redwing: 733,
Starling: 732,
Pink Footed Goose: 785 all SE (7 full skeins = 200 @7.55, 305 @ 8.20, 190 @8.40, 90 @ 8.50)
Cormorant: 3, Chaffinch: 42, Meadow Pipit: 15, Goldfinch: 11 (one party), Greenfinch: 1, Blackbird: 1, Green Woodpecker: 2 (local), Woodpigeon: 3, Snow Bunting: 1, Grey Wagtail: 1, BHG: 3, Pied Wagtail: 1, Brambling: 1E, Stonechat: Several local at Heap Clough.. Jay: 1 local.

Fieldfare (breakdown) 0645-0700hrs= 213, 0700-0730hrs=234, 0730-0800hrs=730, 0800-0830hrs=720, 0830-0900hrs=1070, 0900-0930hrs=885, 0930-1000hrs= 600, 1000-1030hrs=128, 1030-1100hrs=170, 1100-1130hrs=540, 1130-1200hrs=590

(photos: l) Skein of 49 Pink Footed Geese coming from NW and heading SE which I had this morning going over Stoney Rake. r) photo showing Deep Clough to the right hand side and thats where the main Thrush movement took place - going through Deep Clough coming in from the SE and heading over Haslingden/Oswaldtwistle Moor to a NW direction ... click on photos to enlarge..

Friday, 31 October 2008

Starlings On the Move today... and other Thrushes..

Wind: N 10mph
Movement W/NW unless stated otherwise.

Starling day without doubt!! kept going steadily all morning, even at 1100hrs on leaving I had a party of 100 approx going through.. it was nice and steady with other thrushes to...

Starling: 1520 (46 parties, best parties:100,130,170),
Redwing: 1148 (30 parties, best parties: 126,80,90,70,80,
Fieldfare: 1291 (26 parties, best parties: 120,120,120,80,80,80,120.
Chaffinch: 50 (best party 14), Goldfinch: 7, LBBG: 2, Common Gull: 18, Greenfinch: 9, BHG: 19, Woodpigeon: 1, Meadow Pipit: 3, Carrion Crow: 21, Jackdaw: 12, Linnet: 30 (one party), Kestrel: 1 probably local

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Lots of bird movement W but at Cloudbase altitudes....

Wind: NE12mph and very cold..
Movement: W unless stated otherwise.
Also got tip off yesterday evening and again early this morning by the radar people currently based at Skegness and from another contact in Holland that thousands of Starlings and Thrushes where coming in off from the North Sea all night, and from this information it was expected to be a burster here in Rossendale. However a funny sort of morning developed with only dribs and drabs going all over the place in various directions. After about one hour I realized what was going on. I thought where are all these birds, we're not getting them... but it soon become apparent after looking high into the cloudbase that thats where they were going through with haste and on several occasions when I could bear to look up with the glasses into these high levels, I could see good large 30-50 parties going through, so thats where they were and obviously thousands will have been missed, with just a sampling actual recorded going through at ordinary levels...
Redwing: 221 (best parties: 20,32,20,30,30,30,30) and will have missed thousands going over in the cloudbase.....
Starling: 121 (best party: 50) again they went quiet after the opening hour and again then went high into the cloudbase.....
Fieldfare: 43 (some even going E and SE) but again the main would be going high over...
Woodpigeon: 3SW, Cormorant: 1 probably local, Meadow Pipit: 1, BHG: 12, Mistle Thrush: 2, Greenfinch: 1, Blackbird: 7 (2,5), Goldfinch: 1, Redpoll: 1. (photos: l: Shimmering over Calf Hey Res at 3pm today.....r: another strange cloud pattern over Calf Hey at 9am today - click over photos to enlarge)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Thrushes on the Move today but soon fogged off....

Movement: West unless stated otherwise.
S 4mph

They where definately going for it
this morning sadly mine came to a ubrupt end with rolling mist which before long had made up a pea soup.... and consequently stopped play...Fieldfare: 1140 (best parties: 200,120,300,120).Redwing: 62, Starling: 58, Chaffinch: 45, Meadow Pipit: 13, Woodpigeon: 11, Goldfinch: 1, Green Woodpecker: 1 local.....

Who's that peepin? Click over photo to enlarge... also Steve Duckworth (farmer) rounding up is sheep ready for market at 2pm today...

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Today was the first proper frost of the year. It did start to bring a few more birds through on movement, however by 0745hrs a rolling mist had completed engulfed the area and stopped any migration.

0700hrs-0830hrs Wind: SW 2mph all movement West unless stated otherwise.
Best Chaffinch party today with 15 party and best Fieldfare party today 150. Here is full list: Redwing: 26, Fieldfare: 261, Meadow (25,30,7NE,150,40,plus), Meadow Pipit:14, Chaffinch:40 (7S), Pink Footed Goose: 2, Siskin: 2...

also today a couple of photos of sunrise, and one showing that rolling mist, and also a photo of a late Foxglove. (Click over photo to enlarge)

Monday, 27 October 2008

Chaffinch still going strong and Woodies making a move..

0730hrs-0830hrs... all west unless stated... Wind was very light maybe SW 3mph..

Chaffinch: 24, Starling: 22, Meadow Pipit: 11(party of 10), Fieldfare: 12, Greenfinch: 3, Siskin: 3NE, Reed Bunting: 2.. Woodpigeon: 100.. On leaving house there was a couple of parties of Woodies going over and then when up at Grane I had a further party, probably there would be far more going through but you need to be at a North to South routing eg: Hutch Bank or the Accrington Valley.. you never get many on a E-W valley like Grane..

(Photo: approach lane to Calf Hey (bad bend) click over photo to enlarge)

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Thrushes about in odd parties and Chaffinch still going strong...

Starling: 55 (3 parties 30,20,5), Redwing: 123 (one party 100), Fieldfare: 65 (50 blogging on Haslingden Moor and then 1 party 14E plus a single one going W. Meadow Pipit: 8, Greenfinch: 4, Chaffinch: 26, Goldfinch: 7, Pied Wagtail: 1, Siskin: 1, GSW: 1, Green Woodpecker: 1 Local, Kestrel: 1W, Sparrowhawk: 1Local....Woodpigeon: 1

Friday, 24 October 2008

Chaffinch moving through steadily and lichen and sunrise shots...

0800hrs-0930hrs - Watching from Stoney Rake (Calf hey)...... Chaffinch being the main mover... Pied Wagtail: 1, Goldfinch: 4, Meadow Pipit: 9, Chaffinch: 28 (one party of 8), Fieldfare: 3, Redwing: 7 (3,3,1), Starling: 6, Jay: 1 -local, BHG: 4 local, Green Woodpecker: 1 -local.... Click over photos to enlarge. 3 Lichen (Cladonia Macilenta) photos from earlier this morning on walls at Stoney Rake, and two sunrise photos.....a tree near to Fairy Glen with plenty of fungi, mosses and lichens growing on it...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mining or Quarrying? plus Lichens & Fungi....

0900hrs-1030hrs. Observations from Stoney Rake (Calf Hey).... Still quiet on the bird front because of the windy wet weather, hope it gets back to normal soon..... did have a few bits and pieces eg: Fieldfare: 20E (one party), Redwing: 11 (one party), Chaffinch: 21 (best party 9) going through fairly regular, Starling: 9, Goldfinch: 4, Meadow Pipit: 10 (6 of these where bloggers!!), Siskin: 6, Mistle Thrush: 1, Woodpigeon: 1.

Not got round to photo identification yet but for now here is six shots taken this morning of old soil heaps (between Stoney Rake and main road) I wonder what went on here.. would it be mining or quarrying?..... some superb lichens growing on trees near to Calf Hey and some fungi's in the meadows..........

The fungi on the bottom left photo is a well spent Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellia). The 2x orange fungi in moss on the bottom right photo have now been identified as Scarlet Caterpillar fungi (Cordyceps militaris). Although not rare, they are very seldom seen, because this particular fungus only grows on the dead remains of insect larvae, and if you were to dig down below the fungi, you would certainly see whatever dead larva it was growing from. (Thanks for kind information and identification supplied by Mike Valentine on both of these fungi.