PENDLE CALLING!

Pendle Hill above a sea of mist in the Ribble Valley on Thursday had me looking forward to the weekend

A CLASSIC MORNING ON PENDLE STARTED WITH A BUZZARD over the rough pasture at the foot of the big end at dawn. A pair of ravens over the Downham scree slope was quickly followed by a fine Peregrine Falcon fly past. Eventually Martin and I managed to find the Snow Bunting flock by the path at the top of the slope just north of Hookcliffe Plantation. Our attention was drawn to them by a scattering of tiny droppings and not far away two birds popped into view feeding in the long grass, followed by another. Sadly they quickly took flight, towering above us to reveal a total of 14 birds this time, the highest count of the autumn so far. Also on Pendle today were four European Golden Plovers and around 15 Red Grouse. This is about as good a day as can be realistically expected on Pendle in winter, barring something really special. I live in hope and Martin described how he found one of Pendle's three Shore (= Horned) Larks amongst a flock of Snow Buntings on the Downham scree slope. Now that is something!

A fell runner reaches Pendle summit the hard way, straight up the Pendleside slope.