MIDSUMMER IN EAST LANCS IS USUALLY QUIET like this. It is becoming difficult to add to the little year total and my wanderings this weekend did not produce anything special but more notable sightings included 31 Common Crossbills at Gannow Fell, some of the red males singing. They were roaming around the moorland this time rather than migrating and were feeding on both spruce and Scots Pine cones. Also here was a Common Cuckoo mobbed by Meadow Pipits, a pair of Common Stonechats with at least 2 juveniles but there wasn't anything on the move over the fell today. The curlews still seem to have young but there was also a dead young jay by the roadside. Yesterday morning produced an amazing brood(s) of 18 Goosanders being tended by one mother on the river at Alston, one LRP and four Gadwall at Alston Wetland where the Lesser Whitethroat was still singing on both days along Pinfold Lane. Common Whitethroat was also still singing there. However, the low point was not managing to catch up with the Common Scoter on Clowbridge, which had moved on but the time I got there. Plenty of time left for that one though!
Viewing entries tagged
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!