Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Longridge Fell

Today I went up to Longridge Fell with my dad for a walk.

We only went for four hours, but that was enough time to see many species. We were hoping to see some deer, but none were around. However we weren't disappointed as the views from this place were spectacular.

Also I got to tick off The Famous Grouse. After a flock of Bullfinches flew over the pine trees, we heard some strange calls coming from the heather. I managed to spot the bird stood on a stone wall about 200 metres away. unfortunately the sun was facing us, so the photos I got weren't as good as I hoped for. nonetheless I am still glad I saw it. There wasn't just one in the area, there was about six all calling every so often. They have a great call, almost sounds as if someone is laughing. Some kept taking flight then landing to never be seen until they took flight again. I managed to get a couple of pictures of them flying, which I am pleased with.

The sun was setting and I managed to get the warm sunset lighting up one of the red grouse coming into land.

There were a few other species which we saw. A Goosander flew over quickly and startled some crows, which began hoping around the stone wall. There were two Stonechats flitting around the heathland with the Red Grouse. The female kept flicking her tail when she was perched and the males striking orange, black and white plumage stood out amongst the dull brown and green.

A strange small, pale bird was seen darting from branch to branch calling continuously DaDeee DaDeee. I am unsure what this bird is, but have had some suggestions; from the call Twite or Lapland Bunting (mostly sounds like the lesser). Or Linnet, Snow Bunting, Goldcrest, Firecrest. This bird was alone at the top of the trees and has a forked tail and dark crown. It would be great if anyone could put a species to it. the image below shows it, however it isn't focused, although it can be seen.
 Another birder - Phil Lowe, has just pointed out that it could be a Siskin. the audio he had does sound like the one I heard. so thank you Phil. You have helped me tick off Siskin (90% sure), as there are not many near me. However still up for other ideas. He has a blog with many photos if you want to take a look

  The day turned out to be a good walk, hardly anyone was around and the Vimto stayed hot, although my legs are aching! I really want to visit this place again, and hopefully spend a bit longer there.

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