The chill morning was something of a rude shock at Marshside today, but Swallows, House and Sand Martins were still pushing through.
Four or five Chiffchaffs were singing, audible from the public footpath between Hesketh Road and Marshside Road, and a light passage of alba wags and Mipits was bounding north, with one or two buzzy Redpolls mercifully invisible.
Blackcap singing too, and I thought I heard a Tree Sparrow calling, but couldn’t pin it down in the scrub.
I met up with Bazzo and after a check from the platform we worked the Sandplant – Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were there and seven White Wagtails were on the fenced off area behind.
From Sandgrounders a pair of glorious adult Med Gulls were displaying amongst the BHGs, bowing, scraping, stretching and generally throwing weird shapes.
Beautiful birds – blood red eye-rings, white goggles, swan necks and the long white wings of angels – you can see why some birders rate them as the best gull going… (I’m more of a Sabs, or maybe Pallas’s, man myself, but the principle is arguably the same).
Out behind Polly’s Creek a Red Legged Partridge was scurrying about, and the pair of Pochard was still on the sandplant lagoon.
I drove up to Crossens where we grilled a few thousand geese – the six Barnacles were still amongst the Pinks and the two Greenland Whitefronts, all black belly bars and white foreheads, were further out, but reasonable through the ‘scopes.
A Peregrine was on the deck out there too.
Many more geese were visible in the shimmer out towards Banks and way out of range.
On the way home I called into the office at Ainsdale and had a quick look at the dunes south of Shore Road.
As the afternoon brightened, 3-4 Willow Warblers started singing, my first of the year.
The song is as refreshing as a large G&T on a warm, sunny afternoon.
Ooo!, now there’s a thought…