Another gloriously bright sunny morning, and another day off. Grand! The tide was forecast to be reasonably high at 9.2 metres but not quite high enough to cover the marsh - so little chance of water pipits or jack snipe today!
Nonetheless, I headed out for the rising tide just in case something interesting got pushed up out the creeks or came floating down the Lune.
First off, I checked Freeman's Pools but they were disappointingly quiet with just the usual coot, little grebe, heron, mallard, teal and such on show.
Frog Pond was hosting 26 wigeon plus a pair of mute swan.
Darter Pool was bereft of birds while 20 or so each of teal and moorhen were the only things on the Wildfowlers' Pools.
A flock of thrushes came over; 12 mistle thrushes and 5 fieldfare. These are the first fieldfare that I've seen here this winter. The berry-filled hedgerows were positively bustling with blackbirds and smaller numbers of song thrush.
A couple of distant gamebirds caught my eye up on the drumlins. They looked very pale about the head so I got my 'scope out and confirmed what I thought - red-legged partridge! Not a terribly common species in these parts they are almost certainly released birds, as opposed to ones that have arrived here from a viable population elsewhere.
Out on the river there were hundreds of black-headed gulls milling around. I couldn't locate any adult Mediterranean gulls among them but I did eventually find a 1stw bird that I picked up as it flew in, before landing on the water.
Also on the estuary there were several hundred golden plover and curlew, c160 dunlin and a couple of thousand lapwing. 4 common snipe flew off Snipe Bog.
Walking back along Dawson's Bank I spotted a kingfisher as it flew off the marsh and toward the Wildfowlers' Pools.
I checked the length of the tide rack for foraging passerines but only came across a party of 7 meadow pipit and a single rock pipit.
A lone pinkfoot and 'that' snow goose were the only things amongst the mass of greylags and Canada geese. Even last week's whooper swan had cleared out.