Hello. Dan here.
This evening I returned to the parish in the kind of rainstorms that would have had Noah phoning out for more supplies.
As the deluges subsided I had a brief look around and to my surprise dozens of Swallows were nattering in the hedgerows. Some were emerging from deep in the foliage and heading off, while others were drying out on more exposed perches as pictured below.
Whether they were passage migrants driven into the nearest cover, or local-ish breeders feeding at Aldcliffe thinking the rains had set in for good and were bedding down, I'm not sure. However, I've not seen spring roosts of this species here before, and a few minutes later they were dispersing (with three or four Sand Martins in the mix too). No House Martins were noted.
At least twenty Swifts were hawking over the patch as dusk began to fall. I checked the pools (old and new) but what few waders I saw were on territory. A rainbow showed up to the south east and Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Chiffchaffs and Dunnocks began to sing.
Steve Ryder of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (which manages Freeman's Pools) e-mailed me to say that two Avocets were present there a couple of days ago.