9 a.m.: The mist has cleared and we can see the conifer plantations of the Greenfield Valley again.
Two fieldfares settle on the rushy pasture in front of the farm. With their grey rump, greyish head and slithers of white on the front of their folded wings they’re more strikingly smart than the resident mistle thrush and the female blackbird which are also about this morning.
When one of them perches on the power line and starts preening, we see the dark band at the end of its tail and two tear-shaped streaks of chestnut on its breast.
A male great spotted woodpecker probes every crevice on the stout timber corner post of a wire fence. Having checked all around it, it perches on top then flies to the adjacent fence post. The slimmer post evidently doesn’t offer the same possibilities so it flies off, with bouncing flight, to the power line post and continues probing.
Two dippers are working their way down the beck towards Oughtershaw this morning; one wades in then completely submerges.
Pausing to take a closer look at some crushed limestone on a forestry track, I find this complete fossil of a funnel-shaped coral amongst the more common macaroni-like lithostrotion corals and the stout toadstool cap-shaped shells of brachiopods (which I’m assuming are Productus).
The funnel-shaped coral is Zephrentis phrygia, given its species name because of its resemblance to the Phrygian cap, a tall, pointed felt cap which was worn with the point tilting forwards.
Harebell, yarrow and herb robert are still in flower on the banking below the drystone wall on the road immediately to the south of Oughtershaw.