Bazzo and I went to give the geese a hammering in the biting wind today - checking out Downholland and the Withins.
It wasn't too bad - first scan of 800 or so Pinkies on the west side of Downholland revealed nothing out of the ordinary, so I drove round onto the Withins, where large numbers of geese were piling into the fields between there and Lydiate, hidden by the drainage ditch banks.
A short stroll up the track revealed them grazing away - at least 7,000 birds, but distant.
As we scoped the geese, a fine Barn Owl came by, hunting the ditches, passing no more than 20 feet away , until it saw us and picked up speed.
A short while later, it gave up hunting and took shelter from the wind in an overgrown ditch, showing pretty well it must be said, for a Barn Owl.
We scoured through the Pinkies for a good 20 minutes before we found the Tundra Bean Goose - it's swollen orange saddle on the bill clear enough in the scopes as it moved through the flock.
Bazzo likened it to the bill of a Black Scoter - which isn't a bad comparison.
No contrast between the head and neck feathering, but it was that big orange beezer that made it stick out.
The large race Canada Goose that Phil Smith saw yesterday was in with them too - no way of knowing where that has come from, but an interesting record nonetheless.
Red Legged Partridge, Fieldfare, Redwing and Buzzard about too, but we retreated to the car to take shelter from the windchill.
We went to recheck Downholland and found more geese in the grassy fields than earlier - at least 3,000 birds there, with one juv Eurasian/Russian Whitefront amongst the horde.
Hard work trying to scope them from the car, but they'd have flown if we got out, they were that close to the road.
Dropping Bazzo off at the Legless Arms at about 2.15pm, I gave Marshside the last hour or so of light - it was quiet, but the Green Winged Teal was in front of Sandgrounders Hide, where it has now started displaying to female Teal like last year.
Fewer waders about today, and several GBBs were spooking the Wigeon and Teal as they searched for an easy meal.
The Pochards were all huddled in under the bank of the Sandplant Lagoon and the young male Scaup was dozing with Tufties on the Junction Pool, or it was until a Barn Owl came hunting up the bank and perched up on the fenceposts - my second of the day.
It only got a few seconds peace, before the local Magpies began hassling it and it drifted on down the fenceline.
Not long after, it started snowing - as good a sign as any to head for the hills.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...