the way with wildfowl and a coastal raptor in the records book.
At Conder Green this morning the best record in the book was the amazing sight of up to 300 Goldfinch which are eight days ahead of last years c.400 on 22 September. Three Kingfisher ran a close second to that record with a bird on Conder Pool and two having a real 'ding dong' about something, up and down the creeks for ten minutes that I know of. A Spotted Redshank was seen again, and the Little Grebe count went to three today, 3 Red - breasted Merganser and 4 Long - tailed Tit were all to note.
On the Lune estuary at Glasson Dock an adult Mediterranean Gull, 3 Greenshank, c.320 Golden Plover, and the 5 Wigeon I saw were today's first sign of winter. At Cockersands another c.70 Wigeon were off Plover Scar with 4 Eider, last Wednesdays 11 Linnet were still round, and the first record of a coastal winter Merlin was perched on the gate post in the top picture above, and thirty minutes later on my return from Plover Scar plucking at the result of a successful strike. I should really add that these are the best results I could get from my improvised photographic equipment these days. At the caravan park end of Cockersands I found another adult Mediterranean Gull which still retained a decent - albeit moulting - hood. The Mallard number seemed so large that I decided a count would be a good idea (I worry about myself sometimes) and I found them to total at least 400 with no apologies for nice 'round' figures, c.450 Curlew were also to note, 4 Goosander (unusual here) and 2 Little Egret were the last to come into view before I left.
By now I was running out of time so I applied Plan B and did a circuit of Aldcliffe where I found absolutely nil until I walked back to Aldcliffe Hall Lane along the bank and saw 3 Little Egret on the marsh, 4 Wheatear which were not as big a surprise as the Kingfisher stood on a nearby piece of driftwood to them and appeared a little out of context I thought. I found the Green Sandpiper difficult to assess in number today as I had three sightings all on the wildfowlers pool about 30 minutes apart, so......one or three?
With seven hours excellent local birding under my belt I could have found absolutely nothing better to do with my life today.