LOCAL PATCHWORK

Eurasian Curlew on its breeding territory in Ribchester - I can hear this one calling early each morning from my bed!

A MORNING WALK OF HAIL AND SUNNY INTERVALS along the riverbank added three new birds to the Ribchester year list - Common Redshank (one on the river at the water treatment plant bend), Common Linnet (a pair on the riverbank opposite Osbaldeston Hall) and Peregrine (a long expected addition, flying north over Preston Road). The count was a surprisingly good 45 species and included four Common Goldeneye still on the river, although no Goosanders today for the first time this year. Buzzards were in evidence with at least five included four, two pairs, soaring together to the north of Singleton House suggested some migration but there was also a single bird sky dancing over Old Park Wood, while a couple of Grey Wagtails had paired up on the riverbank there. There appear to be three pairs of Common Oystercatchers along this stretch of the river, at least four lapwing territories and a pair of curlews just to the south of Singleton House. A Goldcrest was singing from a lone conifer opposite the school and there were still at least 11 Sand Martins along the river despite the snow on the car this morning. A couple of flocks of Fieldfares were still in the Boat House area and other birds on the move included at least five Meadow Pipits. The year list for this walk now stands at 65!