Pendle Hill at dawn from the A59 near Clitheroe

ANOTHER DAY OF HIKING on Pendle Hill and later around Ribchester added a few more newly arrived migrants. On the hill the Grasshopper Warbler was still present reeling from a bed of rushes on the lower slopes, where two male stonechats were staking their territories, a couple of golden plovers were in the mist at the summit and two more redpolls flew north calling. My usual circuit at Ribchester added four new migrants - Common Sandpiper on the river at Osbaldeston Hall, three House Martins flying north over fields near Boat House, a Common Whitethroat singing near Parsonage Farm and two singing Willow Warblers along the stream north of there, taking me over 70 species for the year and still plenty of quite easy ones left to see. However, the biggest surprise was a couple of Noctule Bats hunting insects with the hirundines along the River Ribble in the sunshine just after midday. I have never seen this before but Bill Aspin tells me it is not uncommon at Brockholes just downstream. There were quite a few butterflies around today, almost all Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells but also a couple of Speckled Woods at the Willow Warbler site.

Noctule Bat hunting in midday sunshine at Ribchester