At Freeman's Pools many of the birds were hugging the banks. These included 8 wigeon, 41 teal, 22 mallard, 17 gadwall, 3 tufted duck and 2 little grebes. Coot numbers remain steady at around the 40 mark. The upper pools were frozen over so there was nothing there.
I've been half-expecting a wandering bittern or Cetti's warbler to appear in the reed areas lately; they're my new favourite candidates in the 'Next New Bird For Aldcliffe' sweepstake...
|White-fronted geese with greylags & Canada geese|
Walking along Dawson's Bank I soon spotted a group of c450 greylag and Canadas grazing on the river's edge.
A quick scan through with binocs and I could just about pick out the 5 Eurasian white-fronted geese among them. Even at range they stood out reasonably well among the larger greylags.
There were few other geese around initially, though a decent sized skein of pinkfeet dropped in later.
Songbird activity along the cycletrack was fairly minimal with a handful of fieldfare joining the numerous blackbirds in the hawthorns. A party of 5 bullfinch were near the Wildfowlers' Pools along with a scattering of goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch.
A real sign of cold-weather movement was the flock of 31 skylarks in the stubble field - it's quite a rare sight to see numbers like this on the patch in winter these days!