THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE

BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE was one of the jokes my Hungarian friends used to make in the 1990s before they had joined the EU. That is 'Britain, which is near Europe'. Part of the European Union but always on the sidelines and never really 'mucking in' or feeling 'European'. It was strange walking around East Lancs today contemplating the reality that pretty soon the situation will be reversed and they will be IN and we will be the outsiders. How times have changed? Meanwhile the ELOC area was quiet again today. I checked Stocks and Alston in the hope of a Common Scoter to no avail. Very strange that Stocks did not have one yet by the way! Again there were no additions to the ELOC little year. I am seriously running out of steam for that at the moment. However, there were a few interesting sightings, notably eight crossbills in the plantation on Gannow Fell. Other notable things were: Common Cuckoo (one over Gannow Fell); Eurasian Curlew (four flew high west over the fell, calling, presumably on their way to the coast); Common Sandpiper (a pair with a fluffy chick at Ribchester Bridge, where there was also a Common Whitethroat songflighting); Kingfisher (one flashed past the new hide at Stocks and headed into the forest!); Great Crested Grebe (eight adults at Stocks was my highest count there); Barnacle Goose (22 flew up the Hodder Inlet - where do they come from and where are they going to?); Garden Warbler and Blackcap were both still singing at Stocks but the cuckoos seem to have gone quiet now. Earlier in the week a crossbill over Longridge Fell and a Little Owl at Wetter's Bridge, Waddington were notable. On the insect front a Bilberry Bumblebee was stranded on bramble flowers by the new hide at Stocks, first one I've seen this year.