I decided to give Cockersand and the howling cold wind a miss on Friday, instead I cut the estuary visit short and got my nose in on the parish of Aldcliffe for a couple of hours where wildfowl was the main feature.
With 3 Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser all there was to note on Conder Pool, up to 450 Black-headed Gull dropped in, presumably a fragment of the couple of thousand seen off Jeremy Lane in the large recently sprayed field, on their way back to the Lune Estuary.
I legged it along the coastal path from Conder Green to Glasson Dock to find the low tide estuary pretty much the same as Wednesday, with just 75 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Goldeneye of any significant note. On the canal basin, 9 Goldeneye, 2 Goosander drake, and a Great-crested Grebe, with the two drake Pochard 'missing'. A mooch along Jeremy Lane had me find 22 Whooper Swan in a field, split down the middle adult/juvenile.
Shoveler. Bob Bushell
On Freeman's Pools, 56 Wigeon, 10 Gadwall, 8 Goldeneye, and 2 Little Grebe. A wander in a straight line with no detours along the road as far as Aldcliffe Hall Lane, found the Wildfowler's Pools like a series of lakes, 2 Goldeneye seen, with 10 Shoveler a notable count. A loud croaking Carrion Crow overhead, drew my attention to the Buzzard it was mobbing.
Pintail. Bob BushellI'm not all that well versed with the history of Aldcliffe, and had thought the drake Pintail I saw on the Wildfowlers' Pools was something of a scarcity there, but have since noted it on the Aldcliffe List for 2016/17, and my seeing six 2 years ago on Tuesday 15 March 2016, but I've no doubt it ever rises above occasional here, as the thirteen seen last Wednesday off Plover Scar.
A bird with Red List status seen at Aldcliffe was the lone Grey Partridge which I watched heading away from me below the hedgerow in a stubble field.
Grey Partridge. Geoff Gradwell.
The last Grey Partridge I saw was almost 2 years ago on 13 March 2016, and by quite a coincidence my record then reads....'seen below a hedgerow in a stubble field at Aldcliffe'. My previous record to this one was 4 years ago, when there was two birds seen at Cockersand on 13 May 2014.
Many thanks to Marc for the header, and to Bob and Geoff for their Pintail/Partridge images, all excellent, and all much appreciated.