Crikey O’Blimey, I’d no sooner parked up on Hesketh Rd this morning for a check of the golf course than I saw Stuart Darbyshire walking off, beaming happy having just discovered a male Pied Flycatcher.
Moving quickly past many singing Willow Warblers, Chiffies and Blackcaps, I got to the area the bird had been seen and watched it with Bazzo and Neill for ten minutes or so as it zipped around the spring branches, a real cutey.
Not everyday you get to savour a Pied Fly at the marsh, the bird was a good sign for a bit of long overdue spring busy.
There were certainly many more Willow Warblers about this morning.
As more birders arrived, Neill, Baz and I moved on to check the rest of Marshside.
Reed Warbler and the Cetti’s Warbler were squawking and spluttering in the SSSI ditch, and a few Redpoll went through.
A Gropper was reeling in the corner as we ambled down to the Hesketh Road platform and plenty of Swallows, House and Sand Martins were on the move – this was more like it.
The wildfowl on the pool didn’t seem overly phased by a fine Fox that trotted about half-heartedly thinking about breakfast before she melted into the cover of the SSSI.
From there I drove up to the Sandplant, where a stonking male Whinchat glowed amongst the Wheatears on the lorry road – having texted the troops, we watched it zipping from perch to perch, but we never got particularly close before it headed into the old Sandplant compound.
I counted at least nine Wheatear in there this morning, and with Mipits and Linnets joining them and the Whinchat, it felt good and birdy, even though there isn’t that much of the old place left now.
I heard a distinctive call and a Little Ringed Plover swept in, and landed for a few seconds before taking flight again, only to drop down in front of the Sandgrounders Hide (two Med Gulls on the pool this a.m.) a few minutes later.
Two Common Buzzards circling over the outer marsh and another two perched on the old fenceposts, while up at Crossens another seven Wheatear ran about on the turf.
Marshside getting its spring vibe on at last.