Didn't get out till late this morning, 07.15, was stuck trying to get through a very difficult level of Angry Birds, but eventually got to Big Waters when it was light. Bumped into Malcolm so went direct to the hide with him where Charlie was already in situ. Everything was up by the hide trying to keep out of the nithering (now why should nithering come up as an error on spellcheck when my Gran use to say it all the time) wind.
Now my first pic was taken when I first arrived at some bloody ridiculous ISO and other settings which I hadn't changed from taking my last pics on this blog, the starlings.
Started doing my count of the birds on the pond and for the first time since the Whoopers arrived they outnumbered the Mutes, there was only 5 in view and 5 Sygnets with the Whoopers numbering 14. The next bird in was a Kingfisher which landed on the nearest perch. Got a few pictures of it but wont bore you with them as everyone seems to put up stunning pics of them which will outshine anything I do. So after counting I came up with 4 Shovellers, lots of Wigeon, Mallards, Teal, 6 Goldeneye, about 100 Lapwing floating around with about half of them dropping onto the North Field for a late breakfast. Also floating around was a small flock of about 20 Fieldfare and a larger one of about 40 Goldfinch which dropped into the Feeding Station. Also spotted 4 Little Grebe which I didn't think anything unusual about that at the time. Then I got back to watching the Whoopers, a great past time, who were very active today.
I then went for a quick trip up to Prestwick Carr, there had bean geese there but they bean gone now. No Shrike could be seen, was probably there but the low sun meant you couldn't see to where it normally hangs out. I did see a Short Eared Owl in a tree and 2 flocks of about 50 Fieldfare. Headed back to Big Waters after 30mins and sitting in the bushes by the entrance to the car park was this gorgeous Robin not 3ft from my drivers window who did a few poses then left.
As I got out of the car Alan J arrived and we set off for a walk together, first thing we saw were 4 Goosander (3 Male, 1 Female)pass only about 20m away coming into land on the pond, one of them decided he didn't like the look of the landing strip so off he went but the other 3 stayed. We then started discussing what I had seen earlier and when I mentioned 4 Little Grebe Alan looked at me and asked that dreaded question "Did you have them under constant observation at all time" as if there was 4 that will be a December record since records began. Yes I had as he stared at me and this banter went on for quite a while. Anyway we got to the bit of the path round the lake where we would be out of the nithering wind and get warm when suddenly the birds we were going to look at, Greylags, took off from the North Field and flew onto the pond, a quick look at each other and we turned round and retraced our steps all the way to the 1st hide. From the hide we got a count of 82 on the lake and 19 still on the Field but they were all Greylags. The 2 Barnacles were still with them. Alan started counting again, checking on my counts and actually getting more than I had earlier and he even pointed out the 2 Little Grebes he could see and reminded me of the Constant Observation Rule. About 5 minutes later I did draw Alan's attention to 4 birds on the other side of the pond - 4 LITTLE GREBES - we then spent about 20 minutes trying to morph them in to 5 but failed miserably. Anyway a pic was taken of 2 of them as they came over to the hide but I could never get the 4 of them together.
A canny blowy cold visit was made better by quite a few birds and good company, forgot to mention Martin (hope I got the name right) and his wife who were in the hide with us. Nice couple.