With the last bird I found today in mind as far as I'm concerned its spring and the pic I took last year - in a private wood I was kindly given access to - is worth a reminder of whats around the corner. It was bloody cold still today and the aforementioned bird and the pic will help put us on for a while yet.
At Conder Green 2 Spotted Redshank today, a Greenshank, the Common Sandpiper - how much longer will we be able to call this bird 'the' - on Conder Pool 2 Little Grebe, 16 Wigeon, and a Snipe to note, and no more than 50 Teal in the creeks seems to bear out the opinion that numbers have been/are down here this winter. I had set a programme and decided to skip Glasson Dock and went on to Jeremy Lane where there was 12 Whooper Swans and 2 Bewick's Swans, on Moss Lane another 9 Whooper Swans and a Little Egret having a change of scenery from Jeremy Lane. I did the circuit at Cockersands but ended up wondering why, the tide was well up by now so the place was void of waders of significance and I finished up with just 4 Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser noted for my efforts.
At Fluke Hall I found a flock of at least 60 Linnet which - void of a records search - represents the best number of the species for me in a long time. Bird of the day - and right on cue with the date - was the male Stonechat returning from 'the south' and hopefully the first of many, this was the very bird I had gone to Fluke Hall for and my hunch turned out to be the right hunch....next bird up will be the Wheatear unless the Sand Martin beats them to it.
I met three people today who - in the case of two of them - informed me of a Stoat just coming out of ermine on the far bank of Conder Pool, and in the case of the other of a Grey Wagtail seen here early in the morning, the significance of this being that I've not seen a GW at Conder Green in something like 9 months.