It was great to meet fellow Woodcock, Emanuela, on site along with James Robson and Mark and Ellis Lucas. After a look at the redhead Smew and female Scaup nearby on Lingham Lake, Emanuela joined me to head north to have a look for the Ring-necked Duck near Bolton-on-Swale. The viewing was tricky until another birder said we could look from the car park, which we did. A handsome bird as ever, the Ringo was very active, swimming about, preening and diving. Makes a change from the usual sleeping posture!
After a bit the wind got up, so we drove down to Bolton-on-Swale Lake YWT as I was keen to see the results of the project I designed and secured funding for in my day job. It is looking good and it was great to see lots of birds sitting on the new gravel islands. Hopefully, Little Ringed Plovers will find them to their liking when they return in spring. The contractors had done a good job scraping the bank too, so hopefully Sand Martins might colonise. c400 Pink-footed Geese heading west, two Goosanders, 17 Little Grebes and nearby, c600 Curlews (!!!!) were the highlights.