With the temperature getting milder, it nearly reached double figures today, things have been rather quiet. Today I did get a local year tick however when a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over this morning. Apart from that, not very much but there has been a noticeable increase in Waxwing records in the NE the past week so I'm hopeful some will turn up in the next few days. I have also noticed an increase in the number of Common Gulls both around the fell, and later today at the Riverside Park.
No sign of the Whooper Swan down there, as that has now moved off to Brasside Pond in Durham apparently, with a group of 30 Mute Swans, now the waters have thawed. The Scaup, 9 Goosanders and the female Mandarin were still present amongst the mass of Mallards but a lot of the Tufted Ducks have also disappeared, presumably to stiller waters. A nice mixed flock of Redwing with a few Fieldfare and Blackbirds were on the grass near the feeding station. Wandering down river, past the sewage works to the A1 but no sign of any Dippers. I could blame this on the water levels still being very high but on the bend past the sewage works there is a little island in the river, and there perched up was, not only was a Kingfisher but also rather more unexpectedly a Green Sandpiper. As this stretch to Chester New Bridge gets rather less disturbed I carried on hoping for the elusive Mealy Redpoll in a Lesser flock. A mixed group of 40 Siskin & Goldfinch unfortunately did not hold any, nor was there any Hawfinch in that corner of Lambton. Still I'll not give up. With the gull and sandpiper, that brings me to 76 bird species for the year in the Waldridge area..