Pink-footed Geese. Pete Woodruff.
I grilled a few of these today in search of the Red-breasted Goose, always trying convince myself if I did I was looking at the 'real thing' flown in all the way from the Taimyr Peninsula in Siberia. I know at least one other birder who did a similar search in a different and wide area to no avail.
I was a little 'late on duty' today and arrived at Conder Green around 11.00am to find the place somewhat void. However, the birds have claimed back Conder Pool from the iceman, but only 2 Goldeneye, 16 Mallard, and 13 Shelduck have so far returned here. On the circuit I'd estimate up to 200 Teal in the creeks, with a Little Grebe and 3 Grey Plover to note. The canal basin at Glasson Dock was also ice free but surprisingly much less quiet than when it was frozen over with just a small area clear around the boats in the marina but 3 Goldeneye, 6 Pochard, and 32 Tufted Duck were noted. The Lune Estuary viewed from the bowling green was equally quiet with no more than 320 Lapwing, 12 Dunlin, 8 - yes only eight - Golden Plover, and c.450 Wigeon. A Peregrine Falcon was picked up distant on Colloway Marsh quietly perched up and minding its own business preening whilst having the ability to put to panic several thousand birds in an instant as the most powerful and accomplished aerial hunter. From Bodie Hill overlooking Glasson Marsh and another section of the Lune Estuary 5 Bewick's Swans were my birds of the day, also to note, c.40 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Goldeneye.
Fieldfare. David Cookson
On Jeremy Lane short of stopping the car c.50 Fieldfare seen, and at the junction of Jeremy/Moss Lane the Black Swan was curiously accompanied by an immature Whooper Swan obviously detached from any parent birds. I went to Cockersands but had a change of plan soon after noting 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Goldeneye, and a Grey Plover. I went off to Pilling Lane Ends via Gulf Lane where I counted about 180 Curlew in a field, and a Buzzard. In the field opposite PLE up to 50 Greylag and 80 Pink-footed Geese. On Pilling Marsh 5 Whooper Swans, no more than 500 Pink-footed Geese, a Little Egret, and another distant Peregrine Falcon also quietly minding it's own business. At Fluke Hall yet more c.300 Pink-footed Geese and 5 Whooper Swan flying NE and out on to the marsh.
With my wanderings, and although I found no more than around 900 PFG to grill today, it's surprising how time ran away, but it was encouraging to note I got home at 4.20pm without lights on the motor, longer days....roll on spring!