Now as warm as toast


Remarkably mild for December, with Mallards and Coot getting frisky when I called into Sands Lake at Ainsdale this morning.
The Great Crested Grebe (by no means a regular bird here) was still present at the north end of the lake, where it has been hanging around for at least a week now.
Best way to recalibrate my sense of season on such a warm day was to head up to HoM (it’s always cold there) for a stroll along the bank, especially as Neill and Trops had Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Barn Owl there yesterday.
Herd of about 100 Whooper Swans on the approach road, including a nice peat-stained bird, possibly the one Neill, Trops and I saw on Guide Road last week.
Peregrine perched up in between occasional forays to terrify the Teal and Redshank, usually just after two GBBs had taken a break from scaring the pants off ’em.



Mipits and Skylark overhead and a few Fieldfares in the hawthorns before I drove back towards Marshside, past another herd of Whoopers on Shore Road (couldn’t stop).
At the marsh a Grey Wag was flitting around the bath/trough on Crossens Inner just down from the water treatment works and a young Marsh Harrier was circling over Marshside Two and Crossens Inner, even managing to spook the “Ross’s Goose” into flight.
Two Ravens drifted over the outer marsh at the Sandplant, croaking, tumbling and laughing in the blue sky – looked like they were having fun.
A Merlin sped south.
Later in the day a Mistle Thrush was in loud, full song by the Asda car park in the middle of Southport at 1630.