I will shortly be in talks with Jon Carter to extend the ancient Aldcliffe parish boundary to include Milking Stile Lane, which is only about 250 metres from Freeman's Wood.
I was hobbling home down Milking Stile early this afternoon when I heard loud firecrest calls emanating from the bushes adjoining Jon's street. A couple of minutes and a bit of pishing later the culprit flitted out from deep cover and gave me a mean look.
Over the next twenty minutes I caught a few more glimpses of this splendid female as it motored around this unpreposessing patch of planting.
A secondary surprise was the number of migrant songbirds alongside this busy stretch of pavement-- with a minimum of four chiffchaffs, 5 goldcrests and up to 10 coal tits rubbing shoulders with the posh kinglet. A few redwings were knocking about too.
Two chiffchaffs looked rather like the continental abietinus race.
This suburban firecrest is the only one I've ever found in Lancashire (glad Ray Hobbs got a look too)-- what a shame it wasn't quite inside the parish patch--or was it?!
Given that I start birding the minute I leave my house to walk to Freeman's Wood and on to Aldcliffe (as I'm sure you do, Dan), I suppose we could include it... only problem is, where does it end? I recall taking the p*ss out of Mark Prestwood and John Reddish a few years back 'cause they raced to Teal Bay in order to 'scope a razorbill I'd found off the Jetty and they wanted to get it on their Leighton Moss list! By that logic we should be able to count stuff in the Trough of Bowland and Conder (well, you can see both sites from Aldcliffe) :-)