Friday, 8 February 2013

Thank Godwits Friday

I couldn't locate the redhead smew at all today. As it happens the pools were still hosting plenty of dabblers but there were no diving ducks to be seen at all. Gone were the goldenenye, gone were the tufted ducks and gone too was the smew. It was a mild and bright day, and there were lots of dog-walkers around so perhaps someone had been less than sympathetic to the 'please keep out signs' and been lolloping around Freeman's Pools' edges, as quite occasionally happens...

Black-tailed godwits on the Lune
On the plus side, there were 52 black-tailed godwit roosting on the river by Marsh Point at low-tide. They were joined by a many lapwing, looking resplendent in the sunshine, along with redshank, curlew, dunlin and a selection of gulls including lesser-black backed and herring.
Near the Wildfowlers' Pools I came across a goldcrest among a party of long-tailed tits, the first 'crest I've seen since my return.

Nearby a pair of bullfinch played hide and seek, giving their presence away with their lovely soft, somewhat melancholic call. I managed a quick snap of the male before they bounced off, white rumps waving me goodbye. 
Around the pool edges were a dozen or so feeding pied wagtails, which were joined by 6 meadow pipit. Also here were the usual snipe, teal, moorhens and little grebes etc. Everywhere I looked I saw little egrets today; the Flood, Freeman's and Wildfowlers' Pools, Snipe Bog, Aldciffe, Heaton and Colloway marshes. By contrast I saw 2 grey herons. My how time shave changed!
Out on the marsh there were a couple of hundred pink-footed geese.

In the evening I popped back down to Freeman's to see what the barn owl was up to. Same as usual as it turned out, appearing just after 5.30pm and showing beautifully.
Both yesterday and Wednesday, the smew was parading around on the main water at Freeman's Pools much to the delight of visiting birders.
Also yesterday I had a peak count of 104 dunlin on the Flood. A couple of dazzling sulphur-bellied grey wagtails at Stodday Wastewater Works certainly brightened the day.


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