I spent a couple of hours trying to dodge the downpours at Aldcliffe this afternoon...
Freeman's Pools were lively enough with quite a bit of wildfowl in situ - wigeon, tufted duck, gadwall and teal were all present along with little grebes and 30+ coot.
Nearby, 3 stock dove were by the bunds and a kingfisher was at the Wildfowlers' Pools.
A male blackcap was in the hedgerow between the cinder track and the cycle path: a late southbound migrant or a recently arrived winter visitor from the continent?
As I headed home, my attention was drawn to the activity of a gang of corvids over the drumlins. They were clearly mobbing something and as I got my bins on it I was pleased to see that it was a short-eared owl. The carrion crows and jackdaws were only going at it half-heartedly and the owl drifted off at height over Lancaster. Of note, Dan had seen a 'shortie' over Aldcliffe Marsh exactly a week ago.
Prior to my spell of Aldcliffe birding, a small but dedicated group of locals had joined me for a very wet bird walk around the FAUNA reserve this morning. The rain kept most things pretty quiet and out of sight but nonetheless we still managed to see a few bits and bobs over the hour and half we were out.
Earlier in the week we had done our monthly snipe count at the reserve and racked up a total of 43 common snipe and 1 jack snipe. Hopefully we'll have a woodcock or two to add to the list next month.
Following a recent report of a barn owl in the area I checked a few likely spots and located a roosting bird - hopefully it'll stick around for the winter.