Next time I start trying to look wise and begin nodding sagely when someone says: “Well, we haven’t really had a winter yet this year”, I’ll remind myself about this afternoon.
It was the day winter came to say hello.
A brutally biting north westerly showed no mercy on the fields at Hundred End and Banks, when I called in to look at the swan flock – it was my own fault, next time I’ll wear gloves, thermals mebbe a hat or a coat, possibly even billies.
Luckily the swans were fairly close to the road today and while I didn’t get a clear view of the whole flock, at least I could shelter in the lee of the wheels.
Counted 176 swans, mainly Whoopers of course, but at least 20 Bewick’s, probably more.
Always strange to think that 40 years back the Bewick’s were the commoner swans on Crossens Inner and Marshside Two, and then, I longed to see a Whooper!
Common Buzzard flapped through while I scoped the swans and a few finch flocks, but it wasn’t long before I wimped out and headed inland with the car heater on full.
Stopped off to say “Happy New Year” to an old friend at a well-known Little Owl stake-out before turning back to the coast and Southport Marine Lake.
Pretty nippy at the Marine Lake too, but only 5 Goldeneye at the top end including the two adult drakes.
The Twite flock was on the west side commuting between the seaward parking strip and the foreshore.
A count of 11 Little Grebe was the best I can remember managing here – the birds were in two flotillas.
No sign of last weekend’s drake Scaup though.
A very quick scan over Crossens Outer was tough too, but at least Peregrine and Pinkies stuck their heads up against the snow-dusted Pennines as the afternoon light faded.