BACK IN EAST LANCS spring migration is starting to pick up pace. Northern Wheatear and Ring Ouzel were back in one of their regular haunts last weekend, Common Chiffchaff was singing at work this week and shorebirds have returned to Alston, including Little Ringed Plover and Common Redshanks. An afternoon at Stocks today added another four, thanks to hanging out with the Breakses, notably an Osprey, which spent the whole evening at the reservoir including catching a large fish, which it had to swim to the shore with, it was obviously either too weak to take flight with, or the fish was simply too big? Fantastic stuff, albeit rather distant. Hirundines swarmed over the waters here - Sand Martins as well as a few swallows and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were my first of the year in ELOC. Other interesting sightings included roding woodcocks and a couple of oddities, a leucistic Carrion Crow and a presumed Lesser Black-backed Gull X Herring Gull hybrid. So my ELOC little year plods on but I will stay miles behind the front-runners as I'm not twitching any of the uncommon birds that have been turning up lately.
ELOC Year List: 91. Common Redshank 92. Little Ringed Plover 93. Northern Wheatear 94. Ring Ouzel 95. Common Chiffchaff 96. Sand Martin 97. Barn Swallow 98. Western Osprey 99. Red-breasted Merganser