After spending the day today out wandering around the Lyth Valley area with Jenny I squeezed in a quick late afternoon visit to Aldcliffe for a spot of leisurely, if blustery, birding.
Three little egret were on the island at Freeman's Pools, alongside a couple of stately grey herons. There wasn't much else showing bar a few mallard, coot, moorhen, the resident mute swan family and a tufted duck.
I could only see two green sandpipers at the Wildfowlers' Pools. A few snipe, around 60 curlew and another little egret were also here.
On the Flood there were 4 little ringed plover but perhaps more interesting was a single ringed plover. Although considerably commoner on the whole, ringed plovers are pretty scarce in the Aldcliffe area, usually preferring the wider sandier stretches of the estuary.
We came across it while trundling around near Crosthwaite. Or rather it came across Jenny's face after she flushed it, much to her delight (not). It crawled into a dry stone wall where it posed badly and made getting a decent shot all but impossible.
The Magpie is a really smart looking insect though I have to say that I'm not all that familiar with the species, despite the fact that it is apparently reasonably common.