The reality of my birding today was the fact that in 5.5 hours in the Bowland uplands fringe of the Clougha/Birk Bank area I found nine species and - excluding the counts of just two of them - totalling just seventeen birds, just as a reminder....this is in 5.5 hours no distractions and serious searching.
Windy Clough. Pete Woodruff.
Having found no Stonechats again on here I have decided to give the area a break perhaps until next April. Particularly with the Stonechat in mind there seems little if any point in pursuing an already established fact that there are no birds on here or almost all other upland locations, in fact from personal observations and the reports of Stonechat in coastal areas amounting to no more than three/four birds with a pair seen at Cross of Greet Bridge the other day, it remains to be seen how long it will take to 'build up stocks' again. The pic above is a small section of Clougha known as Windy Clough, an area I only once ever attempted to attack which I found to be not much fun but a little adventurous.
I decided to note everything - other than a very few corvids and gulls - I saw today, otherwise I was in danger of returning home with an empty notebook. The best results were up to 200 Fieldfare - of course some could very well have been Redwing - seen distant on Littledale Road from Birk Bank, and an excellent count of 48 Red Grouse including two flocks of 15 birds in flight, something I've not seen here or anywhere before and I think the total being the highest count ever in my book. Also noted, 5 Blackbird, 4 Robin, 3 Wren, 2 Blue Tit, a Coal Tit and Mistle Thrush.
It will always be easy to find this kind of disregard for our countryside and is a war we'll never win, but in my opinion these kind of people are just as big a threat to our heritage as any other type of threat. This example was in the car park on Rigg Lane and although admittedly causes nothing nor anyone any harm it simply shows no respect for such areas which demand it.
I note with interest of a Willow Warbler seen today south of Freckleton, apparently near Freckleton Boatyard along the Lancashire Coastal Way.