Common Crossbill (male), Gannow Fell.

MIGRATION CONTINUES. Although most birds are breeding in East Lancs at the moment, either incubating or feeding young in or out of the nest, some are still on the move and today it was crossbills again. I had another eight today in a tight flock that flew east over heather moorland at Gannow Fell. Fortunately they gave me plenty of warning they were coming, with their loud 'chup-chup-chup' calls, so I was ready for them with the camera. Crossbill flocks always potentially have something really rare amongst them but these were all clearly Commons and all appeared to be adults, at least four of them red males like the one last week from the same spot. Bill Aspin tells me that some crossbills have been reported from Darwen Moor lately too. I wonder where they are coming from to be heading east at this time of year? A male siskin and three Lesser Redpolls also flew east over the moorland here. I have even seen a raptor on Gannow Fell now, albeit only a kestrel. Stocks was very quiet part from some breeding activity. A mother Goosander had nine ducklings in tow, there were also at least six juvenile Grey Herons around the reservoir too. The pair of Great Black-backed Gulls fortunately do not appear to have produced youngsters this year and a lone first summer Common Gull was noteworthy. Alston Wetland was also very quiet with no passage migrants. Only a pair of LRPs and six Gadwall of interest on the pool and a Lesser Whitethroat singing from the hedgerow in the field behind the viewing screen. No new birds for the ELOC little year despite some effort, hopefully that will change soon!