It was good for me to pick John up this morning for a day on the patch for the first time in an unbelievable four month's plus a day or two. I'm sure JB would feel a little more than good about this and we had a most enjoyable day....as always.
But first - and with a good start to the post - my thanks go once again to Mike Watson for the image of the female Black-throated Thrush which has been/is still present west of Whitby at Newholm in North Yorkshire. Please visit Mike's website here http://mikewatsonsdiary.blogspot.com/ to read the latest account of his trip to see this excellent record.
And now for today....At Conder Green the first bird's we saw were 2 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank, and better still a male Stonechat which represents another survivor of the ice-age the result of which I'm reading some pretty disturbing reports of mortality rates. Also noted here, on Conder Pool 7 Snipe, 9 Wigeon, and just one Little Grebe which is the sole returning one to the pool which held 12 on one count in December before the freeze. At Glasson Dock on the canal basin I noted a Goldeneye and 3 Pochard drake's which poses the question....why are the Pochard on the basin at GD virtually (99%) always drake's?
On the Lune Estuary I noted - not as comprehensive as JB - at least 1,150 Bar-tailed Godwit, c.550 Knot, just 6 Goldeneye, and 4 Little Grebe, a Merlin was distant on Colloway Marsh. From Bodie Hill, 16 Goldeneye, 140 Black-tailed Godwit, and a Little Egret was on the marsh. From Jeremy Lane 6 Whooper Swans and spread over about six fields in the area at least 300 Mute Swans were the highest count I ever made.
At Cockersands I would express myself as 'delighted' to find another ice-age survivor in the male Stonechat here again having failed to do so on the last two visits, though otherwise quiet here I noted c.55 Dunlin, just 3 Eider, 2 Goldeneye, a Song Thrush, and a Little Egret in a ditch here again. A drive to Pilling Marsh resulted in a bit of a non-event with just c.350 Pink-footed Geese and 3 Little Egrets of note.
Thanks to John Bateman.
I can only hope the sign's of today were....its business as usual John!