The hounds of hell were singing fit to burst

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After calling at the NW Bird Fair this morning I decided to nip in at Mere Sands Wood – the sun was shining and once I’d said howdy to a few folk and decided I didn’t really need to buy “The Field Guide To The Pseudo Saw-wings of Sulawesi Vols 1 & 2”, I felt I’d done what needed to be done at Martin Mere.
Mere Sands was looking fine – nice and autumnal, although the mutts in the kennels next door were going berserk – someone must have told them the loudest barkers got double rations….don’t think I’d fancy sneaking through there with a pound of snorkers in my pocket!
At least nine Goosanders on the water, with Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe and the regular dabblers.
Feeding flocks were a bit thin on the ground, although a male Sparrowhawk perching prominently by the water may have had something to do with this, as might the vital rhodedendron clearing work (chop it! burn it! kill it!) going on at the moment.
Still came across Tree Sparrows, Greater Pecker, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Jays, finches and titmice though.

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Water Rails shrieking round the Redwing Hide and plenty of funky Candle-Snuff Fungi to play with.
I like Mere Sands – mebbe it’s ‘cos I spend so much time in the open habitat of the dunes or staring at the sea, that this patch of deciduous woodland is so attractive, but I always enjoy a walk round here.
Made my way back over the mosses, stopping to watch the winter flock of Fieldfares stuffing their faces with hawthorn berries on Plex in the fading afternoon light.