EAST LANCS MIGRATION

Eurasian Curlew flying west up the Ribble Valley at Ribchester 

THERE IS A LOT OF MIGRATION TAKING PLACE ACROSS THE UK RIGHT NOW including reports of thousands of Redwings from watch points in southern England. A pre-dawn walk up Pendle Hill in a howling easterly wind was hard work in the low cloud but a single Fieldfare sheltering behind peat hags right at the summit was my first on the ground here. Martin Naylor managed to twitch it and told me later that he has occasionally seen them and Redwings in weather like today. I could hear Redwings going over Pendleside in the dark on my way up the hill and three Fieldfares were near the shelterbelt at Pendleside Farm. As I was watching a pair of Common Ravens skirting the hill a small passerine came into view in the sky, it gradually flew closer before diving into the bracken on the hillside, it was a greenfinch. Back in the valley I watched from the benches by the river at Ribchester for around 40 minutes and in that time five Whooper Swans flew east, 316 Redwings flew northeast over the town, two Eurasian Curlews flew east and a kingfisher and Goosander were on the river itself. Migration is an amazing spectacle, even on a small and local scale.