Dark Clouds Over The Shire
Probably the best bird I had today was Redstart, or should I say Redstarts as I had 7 in total. The mature hedges on the margins of the uplands in the Ribble Valley are perfect for Redstarts and my 7 birds ranged from a stonking male, like the bird pictured below by Simon Hawtin (thanks Simon), through to a female and several juvs. Nice.
I had a number of Siskins around some of the conifer plantations as well as a few singing Goldcrests. Grey Wagtails were around the very dry looking rivers and streams and I had 4 Willow Warblers at various wetland locations.
Garden Warblers and Blackcaps sang from suitable habitat and mature woodland held 3 Nuthatches. Walking across a recently cut field I was buzzed by about 10 Swifts as they chased low flying aerial insects that viewed me as lunch! Lesser Redpolls 'buzzed' everywhere and I had 2 soaring Buzzards as I sat eating my lunch enjoying the spectacular views across to Pendle Hill.
Unfortunately I couldn't 'stop and stare' for long as I had a job to do and I had a lot of ground to cover.