Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Parish Of Aldcliffe.

On the best spring day we've had so far, I spent a pleasant couple of hours in the Aldcliffe area on Friday and was pleased to find the former Wildfowler's Pool has been transformed by the floods into a brilliant wetlands. The area held an impressive 11 species of waders and wildfowl, top of the pops being at least 50 Black-tailed Godwit, with 32 Dunlin, and a few scattered Redshank. Wildfowl were topped by 4 Shoveler seen as two pair, a pair of Pintail which I'd say were exceptional here, with Goldeneye, Wigeon, Tealand Mallard present too, and not forgetting the trusted Coot and Moorhen, 3 Long-tailed Tit were filing through the bushes. Four Goldeneye had taken to the flood which now resembles a small lake at the bottom of the field, and c.40 Black-headed Gull were for some reason patrolling the flood backwards and forwards like it was the power station outflow.  

Scaup with Wigeon. Jon Carter @ Birding Aldcliffe

The drake Scaup was showing well on Freeman's Pools, along with 6 Goldeneye, a few Wigeon and Tufted Duck, and a Little Grebe quietly in the corner. In the area it was good to see a Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush, with 2 Grey Partridge below the hedge in one of the huge stubble fields,  the last time I saw Grey Partridge was heading towards two years ago on 13 May 2014 when I had two birds at Cockersands.

I made a call to JC to ask - based on past sightings - precisely where I might see the long staying Siberian Chiffchaff if it was to be my lucky day, to no avail as I failed to locate the little eastern beauty, the bird was first reported at Aldcliffe on 28 February. 

Thanks to Jon for the Scaup image, and to Howard for the Dunlin/Ringed Plover header, much appreciated on both counts.

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