A remarkable change in the weather this morning, I set off from home in a gale, arrived in rain and within an hour it was almost flat calm and sunny. Looking out from the Tern hide first thing there was a group of 12 goldeneye, including three adult drakes. Yesterday there were just three redheads, so they had obviously arrived overnight. Given the dreadful weather in the latter part of the night they must have set off early. There was also a steady movement of woodpigeon heading east, I saw some 700 in about fifteen minutes, they usually tend to move west at this time of year. I also saw 3 dunlin flying about, later there was one on Ibsley Water, possibly one of these three. There were also 2 black-tailed godwit which flew over heading south.
It turned out yesterday that there was a report of an adult ring-billed gull, along with an adult Caspian gull on Iblsey Water during the mid-afternoon. Despite a tentative claim today it did not seem to have returned and the only Caspian gull was the second winter bird that has been seen a few times recently. There were also at least 8 yellow-legged gull, I saw 7 adults and a first winter bird, along with 2 common gull. The lesser black-backed gull roost included a variety of shades from dark mid grey to nearly black. Some of the last must be intermedius type birds, who knows perhaps some might even be the elusive Baltic gull, although the best candidate birds for this that I have seen have all been much earlier in the autumn.
Finally and only long after I got home I read of a large white bird with long neck and legs seen flying towards Blashford at the end of the day, perhaps a spoonbill? If it was and it is still there tomorrow we might have another bird for the BTO Challenge. I could also do with confirming the ring-billed gull and firecrest records made recently as both of those would be new for the year as well.