Well abandoned birding actually as will be seen below. But thankfully Brian Rafferty has been performing with his camera in the Forest of Bowland again with the resulting excellent images below. Thanks once again for allowing me to plug your skills and showcase a couple of your brilliant photographs Brian. Please do visit BR's website here to see some superb wildlife photography.
Well any right thinking birder would wish to see either or both these birds on any visit to the Forest of Bowland which is precisely the kind of good fortune Brian Rafferty had on his latest visit there. At the top is the superb Short-eared Owl which you have to say has been caught at a moment in time when it appeared to be looking at BR, you could add a dozen fitting captions to this picture, quite amazing split second stuff. And below is an image of another of Bowlands treasures the male Hen Harrier, both these species are probably up there to breed hopefully with success.
As for my hoped for four hour birding session today, well the weather once again waited for me to arrive at Conder Green before deciding to turn nasty and came on to rain quite heavy, but it did ease off a little and convincing myself I wouldn't drown I set off in the rain to do the 'nooks and crannies' circuit thing with the determination of someone with a mental disorder....but isn't that what birders are/do anyway?
A Spotted Redshank was in the creeks, whether or not there are still two birds here this one was the paler of the two seen recently, 2 Greenshank were also in the creeks as was the solitary Black-tailed Godwit which obviously prefers its own company away from the flock, a Little Grebe was on Conder Pool which made me to ponder what happened to the other ten on here prior to the big freeze. From the west corner of the pool - with just my binoculars round my neck - I saw two very brief birds, a Sand Martin was disappearing out of sight at the far east end whilst another bird was also disappearing out of sight and was almost certainly a Common Sandpiper, a Raven was also over the pool going south....I threw in the towel at 12.30 quite dampened when the weather showed no indication it was going to change....and did'nt until late afternoon.
I hope to do the Clougha Stonechat - and anything else - survey tomorrow, if not on the next decent day hopefully before the end of the month, but tell you what....I have a prediction I'm keeping to myself until the end of April.