Monday 3rd January.
Sticking to local patches today, starting at Uttoxeter Quarry. It really was a quiet start with everywhere still frozen up. That was until about 200 Greylag Geese flew into the field next to the main gravel pit. At the same time, a skein of 28 Pink-footed Geese flew over and to the south-west.
Back to the Greylags, and a scan through revealed not just one White-fronted Goose, but two! Whether one of them was "Wagner" the feral one, as featured in this blog last summer, I don't know. But both looked like adult birds, unringed and were wary enough. Difficult to digiscope as well, as they were pretty distant and constantly grazing.
Other birds around included a Green Sandpiper, Goosander, 30 Wigeon and 2 Teal.
The afternoon was spent having a look round various spots in and around Cheadle. Which was pretty productive as well. We managed to find a flock of about 20 Lesser Redpolls, with a skein of around 60 Pink-Feet going over them, a drake Mandarin, a few Song Thrushes and to finish, a hunting Barn Owl as it got dark.
And with that, it ended quite a successful christmas period of birding, and not had that much time available either. With the Northern Harrier and a good selection of stuff in Norfolk, and a hat-trick of decent finds.
I don't know if any other birder feels the same way, but when you find a good bird do you have a little punch of the air in triumph, or dance a little jig? I must confess to dancing a little jig sometimes, in the style of these darts fans!