Champion Moor - bleak.

ANOTHER GRIM DAY RAINED OFF BY LATE MORNING had started quite well with a Barn Owl over the A59 en route to Bowland, after which I added a few birds I had missed on New Year's Day at Stocks Reservoir, including Northern Pintail and Little Grebe but more notably Common Crossbill (4 over at the new hide) and a female Greater Scaup (another find by the Breaks family, thanks again!), my first in the ELOC recording area. This year has started quite well from that point of view! Two Jack Snipe were still present but unapproachable unfortunately and four Common Reed Buntings in the same area were new for 2016. I had a quick look for the reported Little Egrets on the way home at Skirden Beck without luck in the now pouring rain. A few pickups included Meadow Pipit at Bashall flood pool and both Common Oystercatcher and Tree Sparrow (10) at Parsonage Farm nearer to home. I also managed to see all the birds from yesterday, which had been 'o-o-a' so the year list is now 100% purely within the ELOC boundaries so far but still miles behind the Breaks family's first day total after three days. I'm not really trying yet though.

ELOC year list: 67. Western Barn Owl 68. Northern Pintail 69. Eurasian Jay 70. Common Reed Bunting 71. Eurasian Nuthatch 72. Common Crossbill 73. Greater Scaup 74. Little Grebe 75. Dunnock 76. Meadow Pipit 77. Common Oystercatcher 78. Eurasian Tree Sparrow.