Splendid November day in East Lancs and a Great White Egret to finish off

The weather forecast had predicted Friday to be a calm and sunny day so as I wasn't required at work I decided I'd try and do the two Barnoldswick timed tetrad visits (TTVs) that I'd committed to. I'd only just taken these on as I had offered Tony (the BTO organiser) to fill in the remaining gaps of tetrads that no-one wanted to do. So these two together were assigned to me.

I'd arrived at Letcliff Park on the outskirts of Barnoldswick at 8:15 - it seemed a good spot to park my car as it was bang on the edge of each of the two squares. I was greeted by a very nice flock of Siskins and Goldfinches feeding in the birches and Blackbirds abounded in the park. I made my way down through the park and town centre towards the soccer (that's my daughter's state-side influence, sorry) pitches and the sewage works. Plenty of common bird interest at the latter but my attention was drawn to the trilling of Waxwings near the football club and I could see three in the trees. Happily buoyed on by that I continued around SD84T and started the long climb up out of the town towards the more upland tetrad of SD84S but as I got up to the moorland areas, birds became really scarce. I came across John Plackett walking in the opposite direction with some companions and he commented on the total dearth of birds too. Ah well!

Forty minutes later, and with just a couple of corvids and a single Meadow Pipit to show for my exertions, I started down the long rough track back to the car.  Half way down, I stopped as I heard an odd call. It took me a moment to get my head together, but, yes, it was a Snow or Lapland Bunting calling overhead with a faint doodleloo and a 'breeeee' trilling. I initally thought it to be the latter on the first call, but on reflection and with reference to the trilling calls, I reckon it was a Snow Bunting. Definitely don't get to hear enough of them, but nevertheless, a great record for a TTV!

Great White Egret
Anyway, I headed back home to but was soon greeted by the news that the Great White Egret was now on Fouldridge Reservoir - I could see the water from where I'd been. So I headed back along the M65 and after a tortuous period stuck in traffic in Colne, I eventually got onto Lower Foulridge. There were 22 Wigeon, 12 Teal and four Pochard, but no Egret. A call to Gareth confirmed that it had been on the upper reservoir earlier so I headed back and sure enough, there it was. It headed down towards the causeway so me (and Nigel Leeming who had arrived) headed down that way. Even though we approached carefully, it soon took flight but eventually settled on the far bank.


So what a day. TTV's done, three good birds and a very good walk. Bird Fair tomorrow.

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