Of course I was well aware that a lesser yellowlegs has been hanging around the area, and despite the fact that I just came from a place where they're pretty much 'trash birds' I was eager to add this American vagrant to my Aldcliffe list. Perhaps more interesting still in a national context was the highly exceptional presence of a wintering wood sandpiper at the Wildfowlers' Pools.
Today (Friday) I met up with old Aldcliffe regular Greg Potter but we came away without sight nor sound of either bird.
For me, the thrill of re-connecting with common birds I used to take totally for granted has been a real highpoint. Even such naff birds as robins and blue tits have been giving me a little tingle, while the soft call of a bullfinch or sight of a bunch of lapwings roosting on the estuarine mud has had me in near rapture!
And I've really been scrutinising those coot undertail coverts...
I was also fortunate enough to see a couple of (Bohemian) waxwings at the end of my street a couple of days ago. Not exactly on par with the sizeable flocks doing the rounds this winter but a pleasure to see nonetheless.
As the weeks go by I'm sure the novelty of the commoner species will wear off as I encounter them on a near-daily basis, but for now I couldn't be enjoying the birds of Aldcliffe and beyond more.
And I must thank Guy, Steve and Dan for maintaining this blog and keeping us all up-to-date with the avian goings-on at Aldcliffe.