More Redpolls in Bowland

A sunny and calm morning was the cue for a walk in the Trough today and having called in to see the Great Grey Shrike at Waddington Fell, we made our way to Langden Valley in the hope that there may be some Ring Ouzels about.

Along the entrance road my ears pricked up at the sound of Redpolls in the tops of the larches. There seemed to be several moving about up there and coming in from several direction. I estimated that there were between 15 and 20 birds - I could see some Lessers and two large pale Mealies at least. However, as they moved around, views were obstructed and neck ache hit in after a while.

We headed up past the intake where Pied and Grey Wagtails strutted around, past the trees with several Willow Warblers singing and out onto the track that leads towards Bleasdale. Ouzels are often seen in this first area but not today. I picked out a high-circling Peregrine whilst a Wheatear sang from a nearby hillside. A very pleasant walk was accompanied by relatively few birds apart from Meadow Pipits. As we approached Langden Castle, I picked out a male Hen Harrier on a distant hillside and that was followed soon after by a female crossing the valley and a Buzzard. However, that was about it so we headed back to Dunsop Bridge for lunch.

We made a brief call to Stocks on the way home to have a look at the gulls on the island. A pair of Mediterranean Gulls were busy preening in the centre of the picture below (honestly!) whilst more Willow Warblers sang along with a Chiffchaff. The island was surrounded by fishermen in boats so there weren't all that many gulls on the island. Spring is certainly on its way and the forecast for the next few days looks good for a large arrival of birds.

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