More good times in Bowland

On Thursday, I spent the morning along the Slaidburn - Bentham road and got a few more migrants. A couple of Redstarts were singing at the woods around Kenibus but my main stake out was up on Catlow Fell where a pair of Wheatears sang and fed actively. Over the fell, a Buzzard sky-danced and another pair were display-flying together. This coupled with a female Hen Harrier, adult Peregrine and a pair of Ravens made for a very enjoyable morning's birding.

Today, I met up with Graham Clarkson and a group from SW Lancs for a walk up Langden Valley again. On the way there I stopped up on Marl Hill where there were plenty of waders in evidence with a displaying Golden Plover the most interesting. The Redpolls were again in the larches along the entrance road but I could only pick out one definite Mealy; others in the bright sunshine showed characteristics of Mealy but I favoured Lesser or Redpoll sp. A Peregrine circled above us as we set out.

We were serenaded by several Willow Warblers and a Blackcap as we made our way up the valley but there were no Redstarts unfortunately. A female Stonechat put in a rare appearance (well this year at least) and a  Grey Wagtail was singing and displaying along with numerous Meadow Pipits. As we neared the 'Castle', we were rewarded with a pair of Ring Ouzels that perched up on the far hillside for a little while. Soon we were sat at our vantage point and almost immediately had a fantastic male Hen Harrier on the near hillside sky-dancing - a beautiful sight. A further three Harriers put in an appearance in a very pleasant hour or so.

The morning ended with a welcome bacon butty at the burger van with the calls of Redpolls all around.

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