CONTINUING MY MOORLAND-MADNESS-MINI-LEAGUE-OF-ONE (thanks for the title Bill!) I hiked up and down Pendle in the dark on both days this weekend. Surprsingly I even got an ELOC year tick in the process, a Tawny Owl in the pines in the small plantation at Pendleside Farm. The first time I have seen one here! Sunday's walk was number nine this year and the worst yet by far in driving snow and sleet. Just perfect training for what is coming next month. A few stops on Saturday morning added a couple more species to my ELOC little year. See how it has taken me all month to overtake the Breaks's January 1st total! At Chipping Moss (there was no sign of the bittern again) three Eurasian Curlews on the moss itself were the first returning birds I've seen this year and a pair of dippers was on the brook by the road just downstream from the small stone bridge. Five Stock Doves and a lovely Barn Owl hunting on the moss were also notable here. A Redwing, several Greenfinches and a siskin also flew over and a Meadow Pipit, a Common Snipe and a pair of Canada Geese were on the moss. I couldn't find anything else of interest around Longridge and Alston and I gave up when it started to hail. It seems we're back to a succession of depressions again. Ugh.
ELOC year list: 85. Eurasian Curlew 86. White-throated Dipper 87. Tawny Owl