I'm not sure if it's because I've become accustomed to the largely bird-less expanses of Central London, but my old patch at Baston & Langtoft Pits seemed really 'birdy' on each visit. Most rewarding was a pair of Grey Partridges, a species I almost never see these days and one I've not seen at Langtoft in many years. Presumably reintroduced stock, but fantastic nonetheless. Up to 35 Yellowhammers and 10 Corn Buntings (but no Pine) was also nice, as were stunning views of a hunting Barn Owl one evening. Good numbers of wildfowl included hundreds of Wigeon, a Pink-footed Goose among the Greylags and a fine adult Whooper Swan among the Mutes. Returning shorebirds included an impressive count of 10 Oystercatchers.
Male Grey Partridge
Of course no trip back 'home' would be complete without paying homage to Peterborough's gulls, and it was nice to find a second-winter Iceland Gull at Dogsthorpe Tip, as well as an imposing first-winter Caspian Gull. Large gull numbers were in general quite healthy, with perhaps 3,000 or so of the three commoner species (~ 90 per cent Herring) at Dogsthorpe.
Pale Herring Gull
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