Whinchat tops spring arrivals in Bowland

Saturday was a lovely spring day so it was an early start at Mark's to see if we could catch more of the hoards of Siskins that have descended before they migrate. In fact it was so nice, the bulk had indeed left but we still managed a good number of birds.

It was lovely to hear Redstarts singing again - they were back in force with at least seven birds in song around the farm but virtually impossible to pick out even in the bare trees. We had a walk down to the end of a neighbouring field where a Pied Flycatcher was proclaiming his territory and a Tawny Owl was sitting on eggs.

On the opposite side of the track, Wheatears were being disturbed as the sheep were being fed but the major surprise was a fine male Whinchat on top of a hawthorn.

We decided to try my garden in the late afternoon as I still had plenty of finches around and we weren't disappointed. Firstly I got a ringing tick with three Blackcaps including this female.
2cy female Blackcap
Then there were lots more Redpolls, Siskins and a really large number of Chaffinches which included amongst their number some large continental birds. the Siskins were full of fat and so probably stocking up for a long flight. One of the Redpolls was a controlled bird so it'll be interesting to find out where that one came from.

Rishton Reservoir has had some interesting birds over the past week. The twelve Mute Swans are invariably present along with the Black Swan still and the edge of the reservoir is well exposed following this prolonged dry spell. Gales and rain dropped 12 Ringed Plovers in on Thursday along with a Dunlin whilst the first Willow Warblers were singing on Friday (19th) - so late this year. Still no hirundines over the reservoir in the evenings nor any Chiffchaffs which is rather surprising. Three Common Sandpipers had returned by Friday and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers have taken a liking to the small reservoir.

I've even had the moth trap out a few nights - nothing special but 21 Hebrew Characters this morning was a record alongside lots of Clouded Drabs and Common Quakers and a few Twin-spotted, Powdered and Small Quakers, Early Greys and a Chestnut.
Some more warmer days coming soon hopefully.


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