Sunday, 28 December 2014

Winter Of Discontent

Following sightings of the 5 white-fronted geese on Christmas Day (Pete Crooks) and Boxing Day (Graham Jones) I headed off to Aldcliffe Marsh yesterday with expectations of getting a few snaps of the birds. Unfortunately, someone had seemingly pre-warned them and the Aldcliffe area was completely bereft of ansers.
Well, not completely - there were 5 Canadas and single greylag. Great.
In fact I probably spent two-and-a-half of the most boring birding hours I've endured for ages. This has got to be the dullest winter since, well, last winter. Even the drop in temperature hasn't been significant enough to drive anything in and the number of birds on the pools has barely altered in weeks.
A few redwing and fieldfare brightened up the morning as they flitted about the hawthorns.
The recent high tides had thrown up a decent rack of stuff for smaller birds to forage in and tideline feeders included goldfinch, chaffinch, pied wagtail, meadow pipit and a couple of reed bunting.

Minus 0 temperatures overnight had me stepping out again this morning, as always in the hope that there might be something 'new in' on the patch. Freeman's Pools were much as I'd left them the previous day; the only 'good' bird was a woodcock flushed from the pathside in Freeman's Wood.
I met Pete Crooks at Marsh Point and we headed along Dawson's Bank once again noting the absence of geese. A couple of small groups of pinkfeet and a small skein of greylags were the only geese seen. Presumably the whitefronts have moved off with the large groups of Canadas and greylags - maybe into the Lune Valley? I expect they may yet return...
On the estuary and the surrounding fields were good numbers of lapwing, golden lover, curlew and redshank plus a few dunlin here and there. We couldn't dig out any Meds from the assembled black-headed gulls and had to make do with getting excited about a couple of sparrowhawks and the occasional little egret


No comments: