The balmy autumn sun meant even Hesketh Out Marsh was bearable today – the place only felt summer tundra rather than permafrost cold.
The hedgerows around the car park were jumping with Robins as I walked out and down the bank, with Tree Sparrows, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.
The sound of Pinkies overhead was still fresh and hirundines zooming through had a passage urgency to them.
I was hoping for a spot of wader action and it was looking good with 380+ Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, Curlew, 6 Greenshanks, Ringed Plover, 20+ Dunlin, 60+ Blackwits, Lapwing, too many yelping Redshank (making it hard to sneak up on the birds, even when using the bank as cover) and flurries of Snipe, until a young Marsh Harrier flapped through and spooked the lot!
Sprawk, a few Common Buzzards and a zippity Merlin hardly helped things relax while I was there, but the Kingfisher and two Great Crested Grebes went about their business as usual.
Wigeon and Pintail dropped in too, and as I chatted with Keith Hiller, a Wheatear was flycatching from the fenceposts.
Pleasant as it was, I decided to head over to a well-known local Little Owl stake-out to see if anything was happening.
Unfortunately someone was having trouble keeping their eyes open in the hot sun, as Migrant Hawkers and Red Admirals sauntered by.
After a spot of de rigeur glaring, which fooled nobody, I left the owl in peace, after all, it looked like it had the right plan for the afternoon.