This afternoon was my first opportunity to visit Aldcliffe since returning to university (and getting very jealous of all the good birds Jon has been seeing!). The main target was the Pink-footed Goose flock that was occupying several fields between Pony Wood and The Flood. After a bit of searching the Barnacle Goose was picked out from amongst them. The whole flock appeared to be in excess of 2500 individuals.
The high wind meant there were few passerines to be seen around the arable field next to Pony Wood so I failed to find the Brambling or the Chaffinch flock it has been associating with. The Flood held 100 or so Redshank and smaller numbers of Oystercatcher and Curlew, whilst just 2 Common Snipe were at Snipe Bog.
The tide was in on the river so the waders and gull flocks were confined to the edges of the marsh, all the usual suspects were present but nothing out of the ordinary yet. An unseen Water Rail was calling from Reedy Corner and a trio of Grey Partridge and a Little Egret were in the field adjacent to Frog Pond. Freemans Pool held 2 each of Goldeneye and Little Grebe and I waited here till dusk in the hope of any owls putting on a show; not tonight but I'll be back again soon in search. 53 species seen, a good start to the patch yearlist.