Tuesday 8th January was as you know a much brighter day but very cold with that westerly adding to the chill factor I headed up the coast via Lynemouth stopping at the flash which held about 100 BH Gulls but the field had a few hundred Wood Pigeons and a flock of Corvids with 3 Redshank being the only waders ,passing Cresswell Pond several cars in the car park as usual these days so I headed to the next one Long Tailed Duck noted just on the edge of the reeds buty could not make out much else in the strong light, I could hear Pinkfeet so immediately looked up in the sky seeing non I realised they where in the field going up the hill ,Greylags in the foreground but hundreds of Pinks behind and disappearing over the hill , a succession of cars pulled up along the fence I waited till they moved on and with camera and scope in the car and the window down parked along near a small pool.
Eventually they moved closer and many started to bathe in the pool ,with so much water around they probably are spoiled for choice, There cackle was loud and constant along with a low groaning or moaning sound which I've not heard before obviously some form of conversation was going on . I checked as far as I could see but no neck collars or colour rings could be seen , so I just enjoyed the spectacle till another car pulled up and they all moved off again so I headed North.
Pulled up the field that usually holds the Twite but no sign for me only Goldfinch flock with a few Greenfinch in, I got talking to farmer who was dumping manure in the field (this may bring something down as it spreads out)as he could not get to his usual site due to the flooded fields , I asked if the geese posed any problem "yes" was the reply the field with winter wheat in was there evening roost he said it was now like a ploughed field and would probably be lost "but what can you do you just have to get on with it" was his last words.
Druridge Pools by the screen held good numbers of Teal & Widgeon I scanned through them but further north just beyond the old coal road a huge number of geese , I walked along with the scope but checked the outfall are on the beach for Snow Buntings first just in case , got myself on a slight hill and scoped the geese they just went on and on covered the field then into the next and even more in the adjacent field no way could I count these so I counted 100 and multiplied it as I went through them I reckon up to 5,000 probably way off the mark but it's not science its just an observation , again no neck collared birds to be seen and as far as I could tell all where Pinks, another flock of about 30 Goldfinch with a few Greenfinch fed around the cattle field(which is always worth checking) and a single Stonechat sat on the fence in front of me .
Called again at Woodhorn on the way back no geese on the way up although you could miss them as they where down in the dip nearer the rail line Picked 2 Greenland Whitefronts in with the Greylag why they keep returning here is a puzzle , I found another bird with a few Greylag in-between the South flash and Summerhill Pond .