The smell of gas and the sound of geese…and raptors.


The blue skies and bright sun lured me out and down to Marshside mid-afternoon in a bid to ease myself back into winter.
Thousands of Pinkies up at Crossens Outer, but while they look cool wheeling about, you need ’em on the deck to work through, and while the birds did pitch down, they were a bit too far off to ‘scope effectively.


It didn’t stop me from trying though, as Little Egrets, Wigeon and Teal buzzed about as I got re-acquainted with familiar smell of carbon monoxide and the drone of engines.
The Golden Plovers on Crossens Inner and Marshside Two were frequently freaked by Merlins, while Mipits and Skylarks got the same treatment on the seaward side.
Actually raptors were pretty good for a quick afternoon stroll – a fine ringtail Hen Harrier (seemed a small one, a male mebbe? it was a fair distance from me, although was hunting quite close to the road); Marsh Harrier on the edge of the vegetation north of the Sandplant, two Merlins, a Kestrel and a Peregrine.
Couldn’t see any Cattle Egrets though, perhaps they were sheltering from the cold somewhere sensible.