It may not be a Rufous-tailed Robin...

... but two Tree Sparrows in the garden on Saturday were a first for Rishton Bird Observatory. We were just enjoying a cuppa in the sunshine when I heard a chirrup that wasn't quite right for a Chaffinch. A moment later, this bird came into view in the plum tree.
Tree Sparrow
That's 105 for the garden list and though I was hoping for a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sycamore, I guess this species was more likely. The nearest breeding site is about three miles away on the edge of Great Harwood - they've been spreading up the Ribble and then the Calder but no further. Steve Grimshaw's had them in nest boxes at the Brownsills Caravan site for years now.

The morning had been mixed. The passage of Redwings that I heard overnight was continuing - around 120 over in an hour along with around 25 Fieldfares. Blackbirds and Robins were very common whilst finches, pipits and wagtails passed overhead. A couple of Skylarks was good for the time of year along with Reed Buntings passing. A chiffchaff 'sweep'ed in the waterside bushes, a Buzzard called from the copse and a flock of 45 Jackdaws flew west. Jays have been very active these past few weeks and the clear skies encouraged more high flying antics.

However, hunters on the far bank again ruined the day. As soon as the Canada Geese started passing over the gunshots started. That ruined the WeBs count! Several residents are up in arms about this but we seem to be getting nowhere and the regularity of their presence is ruining the site for waterbirds.

There may be another chance to get to the east coast in the next week or so. Lets hope for some easterlies next weekend!

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