Not the nasty type of “weekly shop” when you are supplied with a huge list and loadsa bags, then dispatched in search of obscure and predictably unavailable herbs – no this was the easy, “just pick up these bits” type of shopping.
Which meant there was more than enough time to detour to Crossens Outer to enjoy the goose fest in warming February sunshine this morning.
Occasionally you come across an almost perverse pleasure in “goosing” on the type of damp, raw, misty days that only Lancashire can conjure up in its murkiest winter mood, but it’s much nicer watching the geese like they were today.
A few thousand were strung out across the cropped turf of Crossens Outer, perfectly lit, with Skylarks singing overhead and flurries of Pied Wags and Mipits dropping in as if rehearsing for spring.
The first Avocets can’t be far away.
Further out in the deeper vegetation of the marsh were thousands more geese, and small groups were coming and going all the time, promising surprises amongst the Pinkie horde.
Graham Clarkson, Stuart Darbyshire et al were already on site and enjoying the spectacle when I arrived.
A dark bellied Brent was a good distance out, but much closer to the road were a fine Tundra Bean Goose and a young Eurasian Whitefront.

You can just about make out the Brent, head down in the middle of this picture above, but the others were far more co-operative.

The big Bean was a real star as it sashayed amongst the smaller Pinks… far better than shopping, no matter how short the list.