Regular readers of this blog will know that two years ago I invented the so called grand slam – the best three Pennine birds you could see in one Winter’s day. These being Jack Snipe, Waxwing and Woodcock. It is a special day when you achieve sightings of all three, well this weekend I have had two consecutive grand slams. On the twenty seventh of November I encountered a Jack Snipe in the Thornham fields followed by thirty Waxwings in Bolton. At dusk in Hopwood woods I found three Woodcock to cap the day. On the twenty eighth of November a Jack Snipe was still in the Thornham fields and four Waxwings were feeding in Rochdale. This was followed by fifty Waxwings in Bolton and and a further three Woodcock on Hopwood. Apart from the birds the weather was perfection for Winter with unbroken sunshine, no wind and minus seven and minus nine at dawn.
On the twenty seventh I gave a filmshow to Bacup Natural History Society and when I arrived at the venue it was minus six degrees – the coldest temperature I have ever experienced before giving a filmshow in forty years. What was more remarkable that a man in the audience had travelled from Burnley on the bus for the filmshow. Nothing unusual in that you might think but this gentleman was aged one hundred and one! Making him the oldest person ever to have attend one of my shows. I felt quite humbled in his presence.
In the garden a Reed Bunting has made a return to feed and the Nuthatch is a regular visitor. Two Long Tailed Tits have fed but where are all the others from that record breaking season that they have had?