Howdo, Jon here.
After yet another involuntary absence of sorts I managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to the patch this week for some much-needed Aldcliffe birding. It's good for my soul...
On Sunday I spent a good couple of hours checking all the usual haunts, but other than a few semi-notable birds-of-strictly-local-interest it was fairly standard fair.
2 pink-footed geese were among the many hundreds of greylags and Canada geese on Aldcliffe Marsh. Also on the marsh were good numbers of lapwing, golden plover and redshank, alongside smaller groups of dunlin and curlew and 2 black-tailed godwit.
21 gadwall, 2 wigeon, 3 tufted duck and my first 'patch' goldeneye of the season were on Freeman's Pools. The usual multiple little grebe, coot, moorhen, mallard and teal were also present, as was a young male roe deer.
At least 5 grey partridge were being very active, flying around the maize fields and constantly calling.
A water rail was heard squeeling in Reedy Corner but remained typically unseen.
A couple each of skylark and rock pipit were the only passerines of note other than a handful of redwing and a lone fieldfare feasting in the hawthorns.
Following an enjoyable hour and a half leading a bird walk around the FAUNA reserve and area on Monday morning I headed off to Aldcliffe once again to see if anything much had changed in the past 24 hours. (Click HERE for species list).
There were 4 snipe on the Flood and a small flock of 18 linnet nearby, while a couple of small flocks of fieldfare bounced from hedgerow to hedgerow.
A kestrel was hunting around the area and a sparrowhawk was patrolling the pathway hedges.
On Freeman's Pools a fourth tufted duck had dropped in as had 5 shoveler.
A kingfisher was on the upper pools.