Freeman's Pools, now ice-free, was a little livelier than of late though a few regulars had yet to return. Five tufted duck were present along with just 6 gadwall, 3 wigeon, 5 teal and 8 mallard. Coot numbers were a sullen 16. A little egret and 2 grey herons were stalking the pool edges while a single oystercatcher was on the gravel island.
|Neck-collared pink-footed goose (centre)|
In the distance, large numbers of geese were wheeling around over the Heysham / Sunderland area and after a while some 3,500 or so came to alight on Aldcliffe Marsh. I 'scoped through them but found nothing but pinkfeet.
After some time grazing on the saltmarsh groups took to flying into the nearby fields where I later got another opportunity to scan through them. Still, there were no orange legs to be seen but I did find a neck-collared bird (pictured).
I'll post details of this goose's travels on here when I hear back...
A trio of black-tailed godwit were feeding on one of the marsh scrapes too (also pictured). A fourth godwit was on The Flood along with a dozen teal and a handful of redshank.
The Wildfowlers' Pools held another egret, 10 or so teal, a couple of snipe and little else.
50+ curlew were feeding in the fields immediately east on the upper cinder path.
A pair of grey partridge were in the stubble field, where there was also a brown hare lolloping about.
On Frog Pond there was a pair of tufted duck and 16 wigeon.
After being escorted by two garrulous jays along the footpath, I was pleased to discover a flock of 14 siskin feeding in the alders by Willow Lane.