I did my regular walk in the Kem Mill area of Cuerden and the first thing I saw was a mink on the west bank. I continued down stream and heard pheasant, several wrens, goldfinch, mallard, greenfinch, and blackbird. A sparrowhawk soon caused alarm amongst all the other birds with Jays and blackbirds making most of the noise. Moorhen, magpie and long-tailed tits were present but the dog mercury for which I was searching was still not in flower. There was however a daffodill just exposing its trumpet to announce spring. A dipper was also on the river. At Woodend there were several siskin and at least 20 bramblings.
Later in the day I visited RSPB Hesketh Outmarsh. Shelduck were the overwhelming bird species present with a few mallard, curlew, linnet and wigeon. Raptors seen were Marsh Harrier, merlin and a kestrel by the car park. Large clouds of waders were too distant to recognise except for the lapwing flock, ( I still do not have my scope). The cold was just getting to my bones when I was delighted to see the bird I had come to find - tyto alba