A rather casual and leisurely stroll around some of the local haunts this morning produced some typical winter fare. A single Barnacle Goose with Mute Swans north of QE2 where two were reported yesterday. Small numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Gadwall back on one or two local ponds. A single notable Shelduck at Castle Island, notable because when I was 'doing' Castle Island religiously as a patch 88-91 January was the only month of the year in which I didn't record Shelduck.
After chewing the cud with an endless stream of birders at Woodhorn (three) I headed off with a couple to look for the reported Greenland White-fronted Geese. As had been suggested they were in the grass fields with 68 Pink-footed Geese opposite the old windmill. Four adults, the smart thinking this morning from those with good knowledge of these things (not me) was that these are probably last year's 1st-winter's returning and may again linger until mid-April, so plenty of time to catch up with them.
High tide at Newbiggin was a wader-fest with 11 species in a short stretch including 2 Purple Sandpipers, 13 Grey Plovers and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit. Guillemots were prominent offshore and a very quick glance on the south beach produced 3 Med Gulls.
A colour-ringed Whooper Swan at Linton roundabout close enough to the road to read the ring (Yellow S55 if you must know) was my final sighting of the morning.
Edit: As Frankie Laine used to sing "like a streak of lightning streaking cross the sky, like the swiftest arrow whizzin from the bow" no sooner have I posted and an answer arrives. Many thanks to Mike Hodgson for taking the time to drop me a mail with the details for S55. A female ringed at Flukie Fishing Lodge on the River Tay on 29 January 2010, she has been present at Linton since 18th December 2010 and Mike believes it's the first time she has been seen away from Tayside (in the UK).