It's always a dilema when I want a pacy uphill walk to get the heart going and yet I know I often have to stop, wait and let the birds show themselves when ready. I had planned to pause amongst the bracken and then race up the hill and over the moor. The reality was that half way round I got distracted by a flock of 40+ redpoll and siskin, did the second loop in reverse and found it was trickier tramping downhill than up.... Also I couldn't walk quickly anywhere near White Coppice because I didn't want to stand on any of the hundreds of tiny emerged frogs / toads that were everywhere.
The rewards: a beautiful 6.30am mist, close sightings of the resident linnets (sad to say no juveniles, likewise last year), stonechats perched atop the bracken while wren stuttered through it everywhere and willow warblers too.
Elsewhere a pair of green woodpeckers, family parties of pied and grey wagtails, 2 kestrels, 2 ravens, swallows, brown hawker, blue damsels and lots of common birds and butterflies. That said, I didn't see any blue, long tailed or coal tits and only 2 great. I wonder what's going on there.
The photos for this post are by Richard Spencer. Left: linnet. Right: juvenile stonechat. Click the link below to see more.
http://www.chorleynats.org.uk then click on gallery link at the bottom of the page > members albums