BT day and I suggested it was perfect for taking a look over Dalton Crags to see if this Great Grey Shrike which gets a mention every now and then is going to submit itself to us. But these crags cover quite some area and OK its seen in and around a regular haunt but then it can be regarded as mobile. We didn't locate the bird but were compensated by a pair of Stonechat and 2 Coal Tit noted. On the way here we had called in at Swarthdale, lots of beech here and Brambling in the past but not today, again we were compensated by at least 24 Redwing - my first this winter - and a Coal Tit.
Back at Dalton Crag the day was so good weather-wise that we were able to have a 'buttie & coffee' at one of the table and benches in the picnic area, not bad considering the appalling weather of late and the fact it's mid December......quite a turnaround. Question now is, where do we go from here......after a bit of a circular tour we found ourselves at Burns Beck Moss, an attractive little reserve but I'm not sure the winter months are an ideal time to visit, last time we came here I threatened to come back in the summertime as I reckon this area is probably 'quite interesting' but I never carried out the threat but reckon I will this time as it looks the place not just for the Stonechat for example but also for Whinchat given a good going over......a days job at least.
So now we are on our way home but on the way had a look in on an area around Rigmaden and - blow me down - another 3 Stonechat and by now my faith in the species is being rapidly restored, also noted were c.12 Long-tailed Tit. A four species total, this is worse than being up Clougha for the day......still I don't do bird races!
An excellent Yorkshire view of distant Ingleborough courtesy of Pete Woodruff.