Linnets reach new peak

I've finally sorted everything out with the Lancashire Bird Report and it's now at the printers - an envelope stuffing session required in a couple of weeks time I reckon. I debated long and hard about whether to go for the Bonelli's Warbler at Bempton yesterday but after the session on Monday I decided to stay local.

There wasn't much to shout about unfortunately; and influx of Lesser Black-backs to the reservoir with 50 birds split 50/50 adults to juveniles was the only thing of note. However today, as I arrived, a juvenile Sparrowhawk headed over the reservoir so I thought it would be a good opportunity to count the small birds that were flushed up on the far bank. To my delight, a flock of at least 90 Linnets went up - a very good number in these parts as they tend to disappear from the region for the winter. A few Swallows, four Jackdaws and a single Redpoll passed overhead.

The reservoir level is finally rising slightly. The culvert from the small res under the railway is becoming less visible and the rain forecast should build it up a bit more. There's plenty of exposed mud and sand for any waders that might care to drop in.

Back home, the Swallows are starting to leave. This morning about 20 flew up high overhead and headed south but a few remain. With the forecast for strong South-westerlies over the next couple of days, I reckon a visit to the coast will be necessary - perhaps tomorrow or Wednesday.

During the torrential rain of the late morning, a Chiffchaff burst into song. Otherwise it was the usual finches and tits on the feeders as well as an increasing number of pigeons.

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