A scan of Freeman's Pools this morning revealed no sign of yesterday's garganey. Mind you, these fabulous little ducks are masters of disappearing into even the smallest clump of waterside vegetation so who knows, maybe they're still around.
One thing I did notice as I trundled around the patch was the number of singing lesser whitethroat. It would appear that there has been something of an overnight arrival. Common whitethroat too were positively omnipresent in the hedgerows.
I finally scored my first on-patch whimbrel of the year (better late than never I suppose) on Aldcliffe Marsh, as viewed from the end of Aldcliffe Hall Lane. A further three were feeding in the traditional whimbrel hotspot near The Channel. What was presumably the overwintering greenshank was still present on the marsh flashes.
At least 11 eider and a trio of red-breasted merganser were on the river along with the expected flotillas of shelduck.
A fine whinchat was bug-hunting from a stone wall and nearby hawthorn not far from the Walled Meadow.
Other stuff of note around the parish included a pair of grey partridge on the tideline and three little ringed plover.
And, significantly I'm pretty sure I can confirm what I think is surely a patch first: breeding stock doves. I wonder if it's the same pair that were paired up and prospecting for nests in the Fairfield Orchard / nature reserve area recently? I'll be keeping my eye on those.
As I walked home via the FAUNA reserve I clocked a corking male redstart near the allotment perimeter and I later heard that patch regular Jonny Scragg also had a whinchat there.