Closer to home now and I`m fortunate that my local patch includes a good stretch of moorland, which incorporates the Pennines.On a good clear morning one can see as far as Blackpool towards the West and the 3 Peaks of Ingelborough,Pen y Ghent and Whernside to the North.I always like to be up here late March early April looking for migrants returning from Africa.The Wheatear is one of the first to return and good numbers stop here to refuel on their journey North.The most birds Ive had together was 24 one morning.
I was in the right place here, as this bird landed only 5 metres away on a lichen covered wall.
The male is such a handsome individual isn`t he.
One early morning, I located this Ring Ouzel in one of the meadows but it was super alert and this was the best I could manage.In fact he stayed for 5 days , but I didn`t hear him sing once,obviously only passing through to his breeding grounds.
He was always feeding on the sheep mown meadow and never wandered far.I was sad to see him depart, as he is not a common bird round here.A few pairs breed up in the Bowland fells but numbers have been diminishing!
A pair of Pied Wagtails seem to be setting up territory nearby and are to be found hunting insects amongst the sheep!
Raptors are usually thin on the ground, but this Buzzard sauntered North early one morning.Once over, Merlin used to breed up here amongst the heather but I`ve only seen them on passage and are very difficult to photograph,,,, but one day!!!
There was only one pair of Curlew up here last year,but at present, three pairs are setting up territory.Their bubbling calls complimenting the rough moorland.Lapwings on the other hand have all but disappeared with only the odd pair in evidence.Its hardly surprising with the amount of corvids knocking about!
Unfortunately all is about to change on my local moors,for as I speak, 12 no, 100 metre high windmills are being erected to scar the beautiful landscape.How nature copes with these remains to be seen,I`ll keep you posted on the events....