The miserable weather last weekend and also yesterday (Good Friday) put a halt to any outdoor ventures so with a fine forecast for today I rose early to make the most of it. I decided the night before that I’d try Pendle Hill, it’s a good time of year up there and now it’s Spring things are starting to happen – in nature that is!
First bird of the day was the reliable Kestrel, they are always to be found in good numbers on the local moor.
The dry stone walls can be a magnet for wildlife, the Meadow Pipits are a regular feature..
Once the top of a very misty Pendle was reached, the first bird to be seen and of course heard was the Skylark (see top of page), in fact there’s quite a large number of them up there, singing their song as they rise in flight.
Meadow Pipits are usually described as streaky buff brown which sounds quite boring but they were shining brightly in the dark heather..
Other notable birds seen up there were a flock of about a dozen Golden Plover and the usual Red Grouse, in fact I nearly stood on one right by the side of the Downham path, it flushed at the last second and nearly gave me a heart attack!
The sun came out in the afternoon so I took a stroll along the local river, Grey Wagtail and Dipper were both very active. I was also treated to a Kingfisher flypast, no chance of a photo, it happened in a flash, quite literally!
Finally, an unexpected but welcome surprise. A little further on my “circuit”, something to my right caught the eye. A pale large winged bird was flitting between the trees at the edge of a plantation quite some distance away. I was pretty sure what it was and so I hung around in hope that it would come out into the open…sure enough it did, if only for a few short seconds. I managed a few distant in flight photo’s but the distance was a bit of a stretch for any decent quality. Typical that for the afternoon I’d decided to use my lighter, shorter length lens although I did capture a couple of decent shots when it perched in a far away tree.
The two photo’s are both large crops but I quite like how they show the bird in it’s natural habitat – it ain’t all about close-ups… Anyway, to close, here they are…
…it was a Barn Owl, of course!