A NAKED-EYE-VIEW OSPREY AT STOCKS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF TODAY'S DADDY ADVENTURE. I will have to be careful to explain to Alexander that days out in East Lancs are not usually as exciting as this week's. We started off with two Pied Flycatchers singing at a usual spot and then a couple of male Common Redstarts singing from the car near Slaidburn in Bowland. This was going quite well until BOOM (in memory of dear Martin Garner)! It got much better. We saw an osprey fly past the new hide at Stocks as we were walking down the path towards it. That's twice this week that something good has been in front of this hide and we've seen it before we've even gone inside. The osprey continued north and I thought 'ah well that's it, would have been nice to be sitting in the hide at the time but never mind, at least the little one saw it'. He's not doing too bad for four years old now. Then after a few minutes of watching tits on the feeders it was back and coming right at us, a rat-a-tat-tat of the camera and there you go. Blue MU. Will be interesting to find out where this bird comes from. Mark Breaks tells me that this bird was present at Stocks on four days in July 2012 around the time the Montagu's Harrier was on Champion Moor. It was ringed at Monymusk in Aberdeenshire as a nestling on 22 July 2010 so it is a Scottish Osprey! It caught a fish for Tony Cooper, which it took hours to eat, Margaret Breaks reporting it still present late evening. I wonder if it arrived in an exhausted state? I think everyone in the East Lancs little year league has now seen one of the seven or so birds in the ELOC area so far this year and this is the fourth at Stocks already this year by the way. A Common Sandpiper in front of the hide was also new for the year. A Barnacle Goose flew over Stocks with a Greylag (haven't seen one here since January) and a noisy flock of about 110 Fieldfares was at Parrock Head. Finally a female Brambling was still on the feeders at work after 7PM, it must be getting ready to leave as both chiffchaff and Willow Warbler are singing in the lane there at the moment.
ELOC year list: 105. Pied Flycatcher 106. Common Redstart 107. Common Sandpiper