As I took an early lunch I noticed a lovely robin chirping merrily by the side of the car, with a walk planned for later the camera was fortunately close by.
My first call was at Elslack Forest, not too far from my workplace and home to crossbills. There are not a lot of these birds in the forest and as they flit around in the treetops they can be hard to spot.
On my way into the depths of the woods I spotted a distant kestrel hunting, too far away for crystal clear photo's but not too bad.
The way these birds can make tiny adjustments to their wing and feather arrangments to maintain their position in strong winds will never cease to amaze me!
Some sounds of birdsong emanated from the trees but the crossbills were elusive, a lovely view of a distant Ingleborough opened up through the trees though.
Time for my next location now and hopefully some short eared owls! Before leaving the car I added some windproof overtrousers and two extra fleeces, wooly hat and gloves to my garb, a sunny day in March it may be but 1100ft asl on the moors and sitting motionless in the cover of a wall it will feel pretty cold!
Not much to see to start with, a large flock of black headed gulls were heading back to their roosts by the moorland reservoirs and a few corvids were active.
The moon was clearly visible and quite beautiful in the blue sky.
In the other direction the sun was beginning to set, Pendle Hill visible in the centre is a fine sunset viewpoint.
Back to concentrating on wildlife now and I scoured the moorland through my binoculars, what I first took to be a pair of corvids revealed one of them was flying a little differently! The sun shone on the feathers and a short eared owl was recognised, it was flying quite high sometimes they skim and hover close to the ground. Swiftly it disappeared over the edge of a ridge, I had to make a decision now whether to sit my ground or try to follow. Calculating that the useful daylight was only fifteen minutes or so, and less if I dropped over the ridge, I stayed at my cold and desolate sentry post.
Working hard with the binoculars, scouring the edge of the ridge for a re-appearance I was eventually rewarded...flying fast though and very hard to photograph I got several superb sights as the sun lit up the beautiful feathers of the owl.
Just enough time to get back to the car now after a very satisfactory afternoon, the sunset was lighting up the sky and I could not resist a stop during the drive home to capture it.