Nothing of interest was reported over the weekend so today it was once again back to the Meadow for my late afternoon visit. The floods are still absolutely heaving with birds and each time as I peer into the gloom trying to make out the distant birds on the far shore I tell myself that I should come earlier to check through the Golden Plover flock for American vagrants. Today there were at a guesstimate about one thousand Golden Plover as well as several hundred Lapwing. I did spot a single DUNLIN in amongst them but as they were behind the gulls it was impossible to see them properly and there were almost certainly more. The gulls roost was once again vast in numbers and held at least 3 adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS as well as a nice 2nd winter bird. With the winds turning northerly and cold we might start to expect some white-wingers some time soon - they're just starting to appear in the country now.
The highlight of the day was just as I was packing up: a flock of a dozen or so Geese came in, making a call I didn't recognise. These were neither Greylags nor Canadas and a quick re-assemblage of my scope revealed 13 WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and one BAR-HEADED GOOSE. These are going to be the feral flock that turn up from time to time - Dave Doherty saw them a few weeks back flying over the Meadow. I think that there's a bit of hybridisation going on with some of the birds which seem to have too much white on the top of their foreheads - a bit of Bar-head in there perhaps? Anyway, it was nice to see them again.
|The 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull|