I set off resolutely up to Soil Hill early to seek out Wheatear but DP kindly kidnapped me en route and we visited Fly Fly Flatts briefly, then Cold Edge Dams and Mixenden Res.
3 Golden Plover were at Nolstar and my first Wheatear of the year was a fine male in a farm field opposite the wind turbine site car park.
Fly Flatts was hard work in the blustery wind: couple Lapwing, Skylark, chipping Snipe. Had a natter with BS before moving back down to Cold Edge. A pr Red Grouse were flushed at close range here and a Snipe seen briefly with Curlews very much evident. Barnacle Goose with leg ring TA8 or BVT was in company with a few Canada and 3 Greylags. A pr Redshank were moving around, 4 WW were in the small plantation and a Swallow briefly zipped across the track never to be refound. This inspired a move to Mixenden in order to get DP his first annual Swallow.
Mixenden Res turned up trumps with Swallows seemingly moving in; first count 5 then after a 15 minute watch we both agreed there was a total of 11 birds skimming across the water. Also here was a pr Grey Wagtail, a Redshank wading just offshore and a singing Song Thrush performing with gusto. 1 singing Chiffchaff heard.
PS I searched EURING which shows the Barnacle Goose was ringed in the Solway Firth Scotland and probably originated from Svalbard Norway.