Yesterday afternoon found me back on the patch after a weekend away on the Lancashire coast. We fancied a weekend away, but the middle of March isn't really a good time for anywhere, so as I'd never been to the Ribble estuary we headed for Lancs.
The highlight was the RSPB reserve at Marshside, an amazing place, featuring two freshwater wet meadows and some small pools, not unlike Druridge in some ways but much bigger. It has about 100 pairs of breeding lapwings and there were already about 20 avocet there when we visited. Get this though...they maintain the wet meadows as suitable wader breeding habitat by grazing them with cows...amazing!
The day before we were there, a spotted crake had been seen (early?) and a scaup was reported, which we didn't see, which by Sunday had turned into a lesser scaup!
Anyways, back to the patch and no new migrants. I was hoping to pick up at least a chiffchaff or wheatear, maybe a puffin or sarnie tern. Offshore, there was a razorbill and a single great northern diver amongst the red throats.
A young seal pup had plonked itself onto the beach, it looked perfectly happy and healthy until the dog walkers gathered around it, this really annoyed it. It amused me when it tried biting the man who tried touching it, he deserved that. Someone had obviously called the RSPCA, as an inspector arrived and ushered the young seal back into the sea.
On the pools, a pair of pintails were the highlight, shoveler, teal and wigeon all still present. Five Canada geese on the big pool were new for the year.
A chifchaff was singing outside my office this morning, so I fully expect to hear one at Druridge on friday when I start my territory mapping surveys again.
83 Canada goose