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Very little to add to the reports for today on the moors.
Male Stonechat along Burnt Edge, 2 Willow Warblers along Coal Pit Lane.
No Hirundines apart from the mentioned Swallows at Holdens and no Raptors apart from one Common Buzzard coming off the moors (us not the bird) along Coal Pit Lane and very low numbers of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.
Walk Coal Pit Lane, Holdens, Burnt Edge, George's Lane, back via path up near Three Lads and Holden Plantation, 9.00 - 12.30
2 Willow Warblers, 1 Swallow
1f Kestrel, 2Curlew
1m Ring Ouzel on the pasture alongside the barn with 14 Fieldfares, 2 Redwings, 1 Wheatear and a pair of Pied Wagtails.
2 Swallows flying around the farm.
Rained most of the time, with patchy visibility, although it brightened up as I was leaving.
No sign of Wheatears or any Stonechats throughout.
3 Bullfinches and 1 Lapwing, otherwise just crows and a few Black Headed Gulls.
Lots of Meadow Pipits, showing well, allowing close approach and displaying, but no other passerines
3 Ravens and a flock of 19 Fieldfares.
There was a carnival taking place beyond the kennels on Georges Lane, so there were few birds about, and certainly no Wheatears.
Wilderswood/ Georges Lane : 1 singing Skylark, 1 Lapwing and 1 Kestrel.
Meadow Pipit displaying was in full swing throughout the moor, with 6 birds parachuting along Burnt Edge alone.
Whilst flying over were 1 Grey Heron, 2 Curlews and 4 Ravens. A Buzzard patrolled high above Walker Fold.
2 Goldcrests were in Sugarloaf Plantation, A male Reed Bunting appeared to be on territory by Holdens Plantation.
1m+1f Stonechats by the kissing gate where the path from Holdens reaches Mast Road.
Heard a red grouse , flushed a woodcock on top of winter hill , 2 heron hunting frogs in a small pool next to mast road , 4 crossbill flew from wilderswood area towards the pike .
Amongst visible migration totals from Georges Lane this morning were 32 Chaffinch, 17 Siskin and 3 Crossbill NW over plus another 6 Crossbills (including 5 males) briefly down in trees just on the Lancashire side of the road.
Info thanks to Andy Makin
I have been sent details of a survey on future usage of Smithills Estate conducted by the Woodland Trust who have recently taken over administration of part of Horwich Moors. Regular visitors may be interested in taking the survey:
Near Two Lads - this afternoon, only three birds seen Carrion Crow, Red Grouse and Barn Owl (15.30)
Yesterday (31.12.15) 10.00-13.30
1 Kestrel, 1 Goldcrest (with a couple of Robins on the conifers), 82 Fieldfares mixed with lesser numbers of Starlings moving South.
Walker Fold Wood
A charm of 12 Goldfinches, a single Blue Tit, and all gathered together on a small hawthorn bush 5 Magpies.
Coal Pit Lane
24 Fieldfares, again mixed with Starlings, on an adjoining pasture, but very nervous and often flushing and settling on overhead wires.
Late news for yesterday when three Snow Buntings were flushed from the moor on the top of Winter Hill within Lancashire and flew towards the rocket shaped mast but could not be relocated.
Two female/immature Snow Buntings south over Scout Road this morning.
Visited the moors on Saturday from 11.00 until 2.30. The conditions were dreadful! However, I still managed to see:
Stonechat (in 3 seperate areas- Burnt Edge, both on the right end and left end, and up on mast road.
Kestrel (Hovering over Burnt Edge)
Redwing (Start of Walker Fold Wood)
Mistle Thrush (Start of Walker Fold Wood)
But the highlight was a Raven on my way back down just off Mast Road. The cloud had completely descended on me by then so visibility was poor. A raven was on the path around 20m in front of me before I could even see him (or him me for that matter!)
I was hoping to see some Brambling in Holdens Plantation as I have seen them there for the last 2 years but no such luck!!
PM (Initially misty, which then cleared but soon afterwards came the rain)
1 Woodcock, 2 Kestrels, 1 Mistle Thrush, a flock of 8 Fieldfares, 3 Meadow Pipits and 1 Reed Bunting.
1 Raven and 1m Bullfinch.
Saturday 9.00 to 12.15, Coal Pit Lane > Mast >Mast Road > Holdens> Coal Pit Lane
Generally very quiet with highlights:-
Black Redstart around main mast compound but proving elusive and only a very brief view.
1 Goldfinch, 1 Kestrel, 2 Raven and 1 Pied Wagtail the only other birds in the mast area.
Appx 50 Fieldfare along Coal Pit Lane with a further appx 20 nr Holdens
Small flock appx 20 Goldfinch nr Holdens with 4 Reed Bunting in same area.
Min 6 Kestrels throughout the walk.