WAITING FOR STORM IMOGEN

Trumpeter Swan, Ribchester (it's still here in case anyone is interested, unringed but wing-clipped it has been here for over 10 years now).

THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEKEND WAS A FLOCK OF FIVE SHELDUCK flying west over Alston Reservoirs at Longridge, while watching gulls arrive to roost on No.4 reservoir on Sunday afternoon. There were no scarce gulls amongst around 500 gulls of five species, one Great Black-backed was the most interesting. Oystercatchers have built up to 22, many must be getting ready to head upriver again and three Goldeneye was the only other notable sighting. I hiked up Pendle twice again, both times up and down in the dark during gaps in the rain, that's 11 times so far this year. I'm looking forward to being able to go up during daylight again soon. I heard Golden Plover on the summit both times as well as a Tawny Owl calling from Ing Ends in the valley below and a Barn Owl was sitting on a stone wall by the roadside on Saturday morning. Most peope now think I'm completely nuts but I quite enjoy hiking at night, the lights of the Colne Valley shining far below and the dark void of Pendle Hill make a nice contrast. I think it goes back to when I did the White Rose Walk on the North York Moors when was a kid in the 1970s. Storm Imogen is due to hit tomorrow, more strong winds and rain from the North Atlantic. Well at least it managed not to spoil my weekend walking.

ELOC year list 88. Common Shelduck