Birdsong and cottongrass defy the clouds

Cotton grass by Dave Earl

Breakfast shared with a pair of greenfinch, which were starting their day with high energy sunflower hearts.

A brief break from my cuppa as my two local blackbirds sort of dropped the hint that it was time I gave them their sultanas. All done and off to the moss.

Birdsong defied the overcast skies as the birds sang their summer song whilst a loose gathering of white tailed bees hung about on a bramble patch finding this lack of sunshine a little dispiriting.

A lightweight raincoat, a bottle of water and a bit of fruit and off I wandered with intent in my step to carry out this year’s final breeding bird survey on Little Woolden Moss Nature Reserve, notebook and map at the ready.

Patches of cotton grass looked as if summer had already swept them into standing down from seed production whilst others swished about in the breeze their white fluff of beauty lighting up the way.

A meadow pipit then came over to check me out. Was I a possible predator? “Hardly,“ said I, for my role in its life was to celebrate its presence upon this land of wildlife renewal and get it recorded for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

I then weaved about the site, recording all that sang, alarmed or simply trying to pass by me unnoticed.

The reed bunting stealthily fluttered from its nest but this old hand had an idea what was going on. A nest with three scribbled brown eggs recorded I move on to let it return.

Then the rain as if summoned by the reeling song of a grasshopper warbler, which likes dampened areas on which to raise its family, then reminded me that those clouds were there for a reason . . . coat fastened.

Notebook now less open to the weather I continued with my count of the Wild on day 12 of my 30 Days Wild odyssey.