A thick hoar frost whitened the landscape and left a film of ice over still waters. Most of the morning was in that subdued winter grey light, brightening up for an hour later on.
Started off at Newton Pool. It was 'lifting' with wildfowl including 105+ Teal, 94+Wigeon, 30+ Mallard, and more unusual for me, proper freshwater ducks - 3 Shovelers and 2 male Gadwall. 100+ Greylags fed in the field behind the pond until a wildfowler fired off a couple, flushing everything around.
Down on the beach a few waders gathered ahead of the tide - 10 Sanderling, 5 Dunlin, 15 Oystercatcher, 5 Bar tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone and a Rock Pipit. Back at the car thawing out blue hands, a Willow Tit was calling near the Tin Church.
Moving the car along to Newton Links, where the car park is still free ( noteworthy in itself), I walked to the Long Nanny burn and back. An immature female Peregrine hounded a Redshank off the burn, unsuccessfully, as was I when I tried to get a photo and found I had cocked up the settings and couldnt remember what to do! Bloody novices....By the time I put that right, the bird was back on the breeding grounds....
A large gathering of Gulls on the beach didn't hold any surprises but the light was better anyway...
|Common Gull taking off...|