Today I came across 8 such birds and managed to read the numbers on 5 of them. The info has been sent on to those involved in the research and I will post on here any interesting feedback that I get concerning these geese.
I've been scouting around the Aldcliffe / Freeman's Pools patch a fair bit recently but it's been fairly unremarkable in many ways.
Wildfowl numbers seem pretty low on the whole. Gadwall numbers seem to be sticking at 5, although there were 9 present one day last week. Teal are averaging around the 50 mark while at least 94 wigeon were on Frog Pond for a day, boosting the usual 20+. A first-year male tufted duck has arrived on Freeman's Pools in the past couple of days, joining the female that's been there for a while and a single goldeneye has been in residence for a day or so.
Coot are down with fewer than 10 birds present, and just a couple of little grebe are sticking around at the moment.
A lone drake shoveler has been hanging around at the Wildfowlers' Pools and up to 3 goosanders have been on the river.
The majority of geese in the area comprise the feral masses; greylags and Canadas. Today there were just 9 pink-footed geese in total on the ground, 5 in the fields and 4 on the marsh. A skein of c180 headed north.
I suppose things will change significantly once we get a decent cold snap.
|Ring-billed gull - not at Aldcliffe...|
A few goldcrest can be found in the hedges too, along with flocks of long-tailed tits.
A small flock of 9 meadow pipits were in the fields near Frog Pond this morning and another 3 were on the tideline with pied wagtails.
A single siskin was in Freeman's Wood this morning, close to the cycle track near the Freeman's Pools watchpoint.
Wader numbers continue to remain pretty stable with lapwing, golden plover, curlew, redshank and dunlin all present on the Lune - though it looks as if we may have a blank year as far as over-wintering green sandpipers goes. I haven't seen one since October 16th, but it's possible one's around somewhere off the beaten track?
An adult Mediterranean gull on the river at high tide this morning, was almost certainly the same bird that I saw feeding in nearby fields with about 600 black-headed gulls on Friday. Given the possible ring-billed gull seen at Torrisholme recently I scrutinised every common gull but they all turned to be just that.
I've attached a pic of a ring-billed gull that I took in Canada a while back just in case you need reminding of what to look out for!