The clock is running down on Winter birds and I hadn't visited Seaton yet this year. So better late than never, I headed for a morning stroll along the river. With no cattle to contend with I soon found myself looking down the main lake which was inundated with ducks.
Shoveler were present in good numbers, a few Mallard, plenty of Tufted Duck, a small number of Pochard and Teal, Wigeon at the far end and finally a couple of Gadwall. There was also a pair of Goldeneye with the male displaying, a true joy to watch, and perhaps a sign of the change in season. I also had the pleasure of watching a pair of Goosander. They appeared to be lazing on the water but diving Tufted Ducks caused some minor irritation and the swam around providing great views with the male clearly showing that hint of pink in its body.
Some days, you just feel it can't get better than that, but oh yes it can. With my eye on the Goosanders and savouring the moment, a Black Necked Grebe wandered into my field of view. Over thirty years I haven't got many BNG records and now I had two in a couple of weeks following the Cliffe Pools bird. It was a busy little bird constantly diving after food.
As I was passing, I dropped into Stodmarsh on my way home, the Penduline Tit was performing to a much reduced audience and that was about it. Very few ducks on the water with the Great Black Back Gulls still dominating the tern raft, a distant Marsh Harrier worked the reedbed towards Collards and a single Little Egret at the Oxbow.